Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Door with No Decor

Sort of like an Inn with no room, I’ve got a door with no decor this year for Christmas.

We drive past homes multiple times in day and night-- plastic sculptures of glowing snowmen, hot air balloon-sized inflatable Hello Kitties, handcrafted reindeer, and yard after yard of trees wrapped in the colors of the twinkling rainbow.  My children ooh and ahh and beg the same for our front yard.

Can I be honest?  A light bulb blows out in our home almost  It’s a miracle our house is not on fire this very second because I’m sure there’s a short in our wiring somewhere.  We can’t plug in too many devices in one room or the breakers blow.  There’s no way our house could even accommodate a spotlight in the yard without a complete blackout of our home.

Can I be even more candid?  I love viewing the lights and decor in other people’s yards.  I don’t feel like exhausting the energy to create and then un-create.

More raw truth?  This past year has been hard.  Most days it’s an accomplishment to get out of bed and keep the kids alive.  This year, my children heaved the big cardboard box upstairs and erected our artificial tree, oohing and ahhing over sparkling glass angels, photos of miniatures of themselves, and various plastic character ornaments from the past.  I kicked back on the couch and steeped in their joy.  It was glorious!

Our crèche nativity is still buried under dust and boxes in our storage facility a few miles away, along with a gorgeous flowing mesh bow for my mailbox and wreath adorned with sparkling ornaments for my front door.  I don't have the key to storage.  My husband is gone most of the time with work.  It's a safe bet my door and mailbox will be ribbon-less this Christmas.

And you know what?  It's okay.  I inhale the artificial tree, the random articles of clothing scattered in every nook and cranny of our home, scatterings of food crumbs, school papers, and dog hair on the floor...and I give thanks.

Life still goes on without world hasn't stopped, and I haven't felt neighbor guilt or puffy glowing Santa envy.  We slide into our devotion half the nights of the week because sometimes I'm just too exhausted.  And the world still turns and all is still well.

I did, however, mail out Christmas cards this year.  I don’t expect my pictures to be perfect, but I do ask each child to at least turn towards the camera.  Exhibit #1, Easter 2010 is a good indicator of how our photo shoots normally go with mama behind the camera. 

In the frigid air of November, I mentally prepared every child after breakfast to get dressed for Christmas card photos.  Standing with cold wind whipping my shoulders, chilling my bones, the same child crossed his arms and made an angry face.  Are you kidding me?

What should only require five minutes resulted in a solid hour of stomping, raised voices (some mine), repentance, and a re-do photo shoot with everyone at least looking towards the camera.  A tiny celebration.

Another celebration was cake.  Yes, at forty-one, I baked my first pound cake.  The first try was unsuccessful, apparently because I doubled the recipe.  The thick five-pound batter was like putty in the mixer blades and burned the motor of my utensil.  My house almost caught fire as the overflowing dough glopped to the bottom of the oven, creating flames.

Day two and a second attempt resulted in a glorious spongy creamy yellow mound, edged in crisp brown goodness-- a Bundt cake nonetheless.  

I'm celebrating cakes without house fires this year.  I open hands and give thanks to a God who has filled my year with hope, beauty, and answered prayers.  His faithfulness.

It's been through the unexpected, miraculous, laborious emotional pain that He has showered freedom, strength, and hope to this wretched, fearful, messy girl.

And I give thanks for all He pours out abundantly.  All the unexpected ways He shows up.

Because this girl is living and breathing a life with a fresh breath of courage and rest-- a girl who has grown a little less fearful of the darkness.

And I celebrate.

{photo credit:}

1 comment:

Heaven Smiling said...

My goodness! I hope you've gotten your wiring fixed by now. How frustrating. I love the Easter picture. Aren't kids great?! I'm glad you can look at all this and still feel grateful. I'm your neighbor at Monday Musings.