It's beginning to look a LOT like.........................................frustration.
Updated: Dec 3, 2021
Merry December friends.
That month of all things Jesus and glistening snow and yet the most stressful of the entire year.
When bright copper kettles and whiskers on kittens should be on your list of favorite things, but you'd give your last five dollars for a half hour in the bathroom by your lonesome.
When the sweet Hallmark ornament of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus is warped and now sounds like COVID personified.
Maybe you aren't there.
Maybe your home looks like a Balsam Hill commercial.
This is not the post for you friends.
If you see a real spike in your water bill because hot showers are therapy, please read on. You are among friends.
Tonight I combed through the garbage because I just didn't trust my own judgement.
Judgement that screamed, "THIS is not right. Send it back to India via Amazon!"
For real. India.
As in, "Oh look at that customs slip," India.
And yet, I wrapped it because I was a wrapping machine at that moment in time and would not be squelched.
Every year I tell myself that I WILL learn how to use less wrapping paper because youtube will indoctrinate me in the corner-wrap technique and every year I somehow loose the will to learn how to open a new dispenser of tape correctly.
There it was, straight from India, carried possibly by elephant's back and yet it wasn't what I had exactly ordered.
This present for you-know-who.
The you-know-who who actually sends me out to write because he knows I keep attempting to run away anyways.
The man who cheers my weight watchers attempts and eats broccoli with me like it's goin' out of style.
And in my stirring of Christmas spirit I decided to THROW AWAY a valuable bit of information that's required for a refund.
It was at our biannual Homeschool Recital that I officially decided that I WOULD indeed return this less-than gift of undying love and affection. Surely I could locate said piece of information and all would be right in the world.
This was after a very long day.
A day filled with the average run-of-the-mill frustrations in marriage, motherhood and ministry.
Where you sit on a pew at church and swear before God and everybody that this is the LAST year, you really mean it, that you will organize the church Christmas decorations.
Where you find out that your little white puppy the kids brought down to church when they helped with decorations, left what I will affectionately call, "THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST," right there on the carpet in the snack room prepared for after the recital and you weren't the one to find it, but a dear woman coordinating the food.
Fa la la la la and Good will towards men.
I sat at the recital with two girls who couldn't eat dinner for nervousness and one son who's pocket trumpet (yes they are a thing and they are adorable.) had recently been dropped and broken.
This was the beginning of a very good evening.
Where all the moms wonder if next time they will indeed find something amazing and interesting for their brood to learn and pontificate.
And in their wondering they question whether their kids will make it in the real world, why they don't make their teens brush their teeth more and ten million other things that I don't have time to jot down here.
Daughter struggles through "Silent night," and its the same part every time and you smile because gracious she sure tried her best.
Then the next daughter who cried real tears for daaaaaaaaays about her violin piece aces it and walks off like nothing ever happened.
I look over at my husband who just has this way to thinking every single thing is the best and the brightest and I am just wondering how much veggie pizza I can scarf after cheering on the kids with every ounce of my being.
Son gets up with broken trumpet and you don't know whether to laugh or just sit stress paralyzed. (It's a real thing.)
It was monumentally bad.
It was horrific.
It was so bad it was one of those moments where you laugh because your body makes you laugh and you feel awful for laughing but you just cannot stop yourself.
It came moments before this son ALSO had to perform as George Muller.
When I saw him enter the back of the auditorium I was just compelled to hug him.
His red-hot face touched mine as I grabbed him.
There was no shame in my Mom game at this moment.
And this kid who was supposed to display a go-kart he had been working on for weeks,
This kid who got the parts to finish it HOURS before the recital,
This kid who's go-kart broke IN HALF just before showing it,
Laughed with me.
He was red and sweaty and just hugged me back and laughed with me.
We joked about how he should have just sang most of his piece and HELD his trumpet, and we laughed some more.
He then told me that if he couldn't laugh at himself he wasn't anything.
And you realize right then that your kids are smarter than you are.
And I tell you just as I am sitting here beside my Christmas tree that I have never loved that kid more than I did just then.
I told him that I loved him to.bits.
That I was immensely proud of him and hugged him until it was finally embarrassing for us both.
And I watched in astonishment as he turned on-a-dime and became George Muller.
He gave his absolute best under the spotlight when most of us would've hid in the corner.
When I WOULD HAVE hid in the corner!
He didn't hide when razzed about it later, he just laughed again and mumbled how he would just keep working on his little arrangement.
And this kid who knows so much more than his Mom came home with me, joined his brother and without me even asking went through heaps of garbage for me tonight looking for the information he knew I had given up on.
Knowing it was "garbage night" and the bins had to make it to the curb before bed he began to search for me.
Wet oatmeal, chicken carcass and shriveled junk mail at the end of what should've been a no good, terrible, horrible very bad day for this guy.
Once I realized what these dear fellas were doing, I came out to aid in the search and Oh how we giggled.
Oh how very much us three around old coffee grounds and pizza boxes so sums-up most of my Decembers.
And the laughs were a balm to this heart of mine.
A balm that covered so many irritations with myself, with crazy schedules and with those who were seemingly impeding progress today.
In the garage we were just three people making a memory that will last a lifetime.
Of course you-know-who watched us scurry here and there with garbage bags but some things need to just stay between Mother and sons.
And perhaps Santa.
Otherwise known as Amazon.
I have no clue how to get this parcel back to India, and I will worry about that tomorrow.
Tonight I learned an important lesson.
I learned to laugh at my own mistakes.
We all make them.
Some more than others.
December seems to be my designated month of disasters.
Maybe you too?
Proverbs 17:22 is such a good reminder to this frazzled Momma. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
You know that feeling, right?
That bone-dried, I could care less, Bah humbug feeling that comes just as you should be making Christmas cookies or attending that fiftieth church function with the word "Cheer," stamped on your forehead?
No one says, "Sure have had some PRETTY dry BONES this week," but we all have those times.
Times when we just plain forget to laugh at ourselves and the fact that we cannot even help ourselves without the grace of God.
I wasn't even sure how dry my own bones were, how fractured my own spirit was, until we began to belly-laugh in the garage.
And those laughs felt like a soothing oil.
You know the laughs that make you toot?
Those kinds of laughs.
I can say for myself that when I allow the devil to get me too busy, I fall down the rabbit hole of discontent and ingratitude and thus let him have every ounce of joy I have from the Lord.
Nehemiah 8:10 reminds me that there is so much joy for the taking, and so much strength to be found in it. "for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
My heart swells with this verse tonight from, "Great is Thy Faithfulness,"
"Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!"
Let's crawl through December if we have to, but let's gain strength through so much joy found in the faithfulness of our Lord.
It's all about Him anyway.