I've been feeling very behind this week. Growing up, everything Christmas came out and was put up within the first day or two after Thanksgiving. We arrived home from our Thanksgiving celebration with family and we had one little one with the flu, and another other one who seems to be either in the middle of a growth spurt or starting to teethe. It's been a full contact week and my house looks about the same as it did when we arrived home last Sunday evening and dumped our stuff in the middle of the living room. Things are slowly moving to their rightful places, but besides putting out the Christmas pillows my mom gifted me as a part of her Black Friday goodies, nothing has been done.
Every night this week I've looked around the house and sighed. Andy has been gone late two nights, and worked later than I planned on another night. I get everyone to bed with just enough time to crash with some dinner and wine on the couch while catching up on a show or two.
For our first year really putting an effort into creating our "family" Christmas, I've struggled with feeling like a big ol' failure. The first year we've had a tree in six years and we don't even have it yet! Decorations are still in the basement. Christmas lights are sitting in a pile waiting to be strung up outside. I mean, lots of people on Instagram have their Christmas trees already! And their homes smell like pine and cinnamon! Mine just smells like...nothing. Diapers. Oh, and the Jesse Tree ornaments I printed off to color while we read the daily Advent story, well, they wanted to color them all at once so I let them. And at bedtime, instead of wanting to hear about the Story and the Song, they wanted an Elsa and Anna story. I think I could write Frozen cult fiction and make a good living.
But tonight, I sat on the kitchen floor eating dinner with the girls at their little Ikea table and we listened to a Pandora christmas station while Dylan slept in the next room, quiet after a fussy day. The house was warm, the lighting soft (I put incandescent lamps in the kitchen instead of using fluorescent and it has made all the difference), the smell of curry rice and sausage on the stove, and the girls chatting away. Afton bounced off her chair and came behind me, taking my hair in her hands and said, "mom, I'm gonna give you a braid. Hold still!" Ruthie was deciding whether or not she actually liked the curry sauce on the rice and kept asking for one more bite of mine. She'd twist her face while chewing and shake her head. "No, I don't like it...can I have one more bite?" All this culminated into a moment.
We probably all read those articles that circle around Facebook about focusing not on the "doing" of Christmas but rather the "being," and I subscribe to this idea whole-heartedly, especially as a believer in the magnificence of the baby whose arrival is at the heart of this season. But sometimes it is just so nice to have my own moment, my own realization of the fact in one of those spaces that transcend time, when all becomes still in my mind and heart and I feel the love so present in my life. It's a sweet feeling that one reads about and says Yes but when you experience it, it's a little like, "oh."
I'm so thankful I had one of those moments tonight.
Have you had that moment yet this season? I hope and pray that you make the space in your life to recognize it when you do, store it in your heart as a treasure to revisit again and again.