I’m not sure if you caught Josh’s Christmas blog post, but if you didn’t, certainly stop reading this right now and hop on over. He talks about our desperation for Christmas this year and also how it took weeks longer than usual to muster the motivation to deck our halls with boughs of holly. The Bishops have transitioned the past few weeks, recovering from turkey overload and also letting the dust settle on our more traditional roles as I’ve been home. There was a short stretch of time of such exhaustion and emotional heaviness around here, I would have sworn I wasn’t going to see the twinkle of a single Christmas light at our house. But then Josh and I realized how greatly we need Christmas—how desperately we need the Kingdom to break down the doors in our lives—and we hauled down the boxes of ornaments, set up the nativity, and hung the stupid wreaths regardless of our sluggish hesitation.
Now, on December 9, we caught up. And decorating is truly a sign this year for the internal shifts taking place, especially within me. It’s not a big secret, but we’ve been seeing a wonderful counselor for a little while to have some healthy perspective and an extra set of hands to help pull us out of our mud pit. I sat in her office last week, and rather than melting into her yellow cushioned chair feeling like dead weight, it was as if I was floating as lightly as the snowflakes out her window. Stress is lifting and restoration has already started.
Writing about this makes me a bit nervous, because, to be honest, as helpful as it is to have a blog, I’m well aware of the fact that most bloggers (at least the ones that I know) use their posts not only as an important personal outlet, but also as a gallery for onlookers. We love our posts to move people with bedazzled metaphors, funny jokes and stories about our kids, and well-rounded structure to please an audience. All good things, but this post isn’t about any of that. Our reality right now is that we’re in the trenches, crying for help, trying to get out. Marriage is hard. Kids are difficult. Professional goals are shelved and dusty. Finances are tough. Big questions sit heavy on our shoulders every single day. But even though we may not feel this cornered all the time (and hopefully we won’t for much longer), we are no more desperate for a Savior now than we are in our best times. We *always* need Christmas, whether we feel the ache of that need or not.
So, the tree sits proudly on the stand with hideous homemade ornaments that I’ll treasure til the end of time. The lights are glowing inside and out. Tonight, as Josh rocked Oliver to sleep, I stayed with Jack, telling him that God chose a young girl no older than his babysitter to be the mother of the King. His mattress was dragged into the living room to continue the tradition of sleeping under the tree, and we talked about the stinky stable, the lonely family of three, and the Big Plan that was behind the whole story.
Thank goodness for Christmas. For holly, cocoa, snow, angels, jingle bells, and Christmas cookies. Thank goodness that His plans are sure and good. I’ve got plenty of proof.