"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
and carry them close to his heart, and shall gently lead those that are with young." Isaiah 40:11

Monday, December 20, 2010

Days of Christmas - 8,9, and 11

ps -I just read a blog this morning (Dec. 22) that fits a little with what I wrote at the end of this post as well as with your comments.  I know for sure that I am not the only one who feels that the 'sparkle' of Christmas isn't there for us this year, and in fact - that so many of the ways we think we should be celebrating even seems trivial and fluffy - in light of our reality. Thanks to a friend for sharing this blog with meA Light in the Darkness.

Another one that I really appreciated - it reminded me of some of my thoughts a year ago at Christmas - is this entry... Why a True Christmas might be Painful

Friends of ours who recently lost a child were invited to a Christmas party.  The host said 'we're just going to be happy - no sad thoughts' or something like that.  Needless to say - they found another party to go to, one where they could be themselves  - allowed to stare into the Christmas tree for awhile or whatever.... Let's really care for each other this Christmas - and make space for all the messes and pain of life  - because Jesus came into our mess too...I've been so challenged in this area lately.  It has been so much easier to run the other way from hurting people - to be honest - it is scary sometimes.  I need His help to do this well. 

Well, we thought that our elves were just taking a little break from the Days of Christmas while we were away - but no! Our neighbor friend just dropped by with two gifts. She had seen them sitting on our steps and decided to keep them safe and warm for us.  Then, just a few minutes later - while we were still admiring our gifts in the kitchen, the elves visited AGAIN.  So we got three presents at once.  Wow.  Thank-you:)

Here is a picture of our yummy gifts!  And another picture of a few things from the days previous - minus a few edible things......

I have been feeling so very gloomy this afternoon/evening.  (Dave thinks that I might be trying to recover from this morning - maybe I am..) I have also been thinking about how our journey with Rachel started almost a year ago and how I was wondering what lay ahead - already sensing that something was different with my pregnancy.  And now, here I am -  afraid of her dying this week and always having Christmas associated with her death.  I am thinking of others right now who are facing an uncertain/difficult Christmas season.  I feel anxious, as if there are things I should be doing to "be festive" but I can't even keep up with the simple stuff.  And I just don't feel festive.  I feel like there should be Easter songs playing, not light Christmas songs.  By the way - this does not mean I am not enjoying our 12 Days of Christmas gifts - those really do help brighten my spirit and it has been alot of fun for all of us.  But I am just plain sad sometimes too.  And maybe that's not so bad. Rachel helps me to focus on what is important about Christmas.  The real story - Jesus, Emmanuel -  God with us - our God who was born in a barn with the animals - who would one day give his life, to pay the sacrifice necessary for our sin - so that we could be reconciled to God.  So that we could one day be with Him forever.

Jesus came to be a light in the darkness...He came to defeat the enemy.

I felt like the clouds lifted a bit at supper - our kids can be so goofy sometimes, that I can't help but smile.
I was thinking of other times that I have smiled lately....like when:
Abigail has to pick the lint from out of Rachel's toes
Ethan asked to hold his sister - right in the middle of a fun playtime with friends at church
I hear Dave playing with the kids in the other room..right now I think he's tying up their hands and feet with tape? oh boy...but they are laughing and full of life.

and I am glad for the light that keeps breaking through.....
and I am glad for my husband who has been waiting patiently for me to get off this computer....I'm going to go be with him now...


Anonymous said...

How very clever for people to bless you with surprise gifts...something to look forward to every day! I feel like I know you and your family so much better through this year of reading your writings , thankyou Kendra. May God again give you strength for this day. Roselle

Carol Taves said...

I love the "Days of Christmas" gifts - someone has a very creative way to bless you each day! I'm very thankful for them. I pray that you will have restful day today, Kendra. Feel free to feel whatever emotions you are feeling - it would be pretty unnatural to not feel sadness and gloom at the thought of losing Rachel. I think this time of year is hard when you are dealing with loss because the commercial world sells us these pictures of happy families, parties, beautifully decorated homes . . .when the reality is that very few of us actually have that experience; we all have baggage, and that's why the birth of Jesus is so wonderful! Praying for you today!

Jaclyn said...

I wish I could just wrap my arms around you guys and hold you tight, taking away all your pain! I know I can't but I am praying that God will give you a great big hug today! Maybe not in the way that I'm thinking of, but God likes to surprise us. Praying you sense God's love and peace!

So glad you could enjoy a few smiles! Children are a blessing!

From Jaclyn

Kathy and Carl said...

What a blessing your surprise gift giver is!

It's understandable that it's hard to feel festive. You have gone through so much and are weary. Sometimes is hard to have the strength to carry on. God continues to hold you, as we pray that every day, and we pray that through this Christmas season, he will give you glimpses to encourage and sustain you.

Jenny said...

I'm a friend of the McCullochs, and I stumbled onto your blog a few months ago from a link on their blog. I don't know you, but I think about you and pray for you often. I just wanted you to know how much your honest faith ministers to me.

Brenda Funk said...

It would be unnatural for you not to feel this way often Kendra! I'm thankful for the bright spots/smiles you do enjoy from time to time. Praying for you that you will have strength to continue doing the neccessary things everyday, and even that spot of joy that shines through once in a while. And so much of Christmas in our culture seems so trivial and fluffy. No wonder you can't quite get into it this year.