Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Didn't Satisfy, Because it Can't

 We had five Christmases this year. (and still didn't see everyone and probably ticked someone off) They were good, all with people we loved. But there is such a thing as too many good things. Working, planning, cooking, cleaning, travel, wrapping, delivering, mailing, driving, driving, driving on bald tires in the rain for hours- for so long I actually had tell myself, (though Greg was driving- thank God), "RED means stop." We made it home, by His grace, the orange gas light screaming, "Eeee!" I'm so tired my eyelashes hurt. We've no real food in the house- which means more driving tomorrow. Nooooooo! I long to sit as His feet, to read, to pray. Or, no- you know what? Even better, to just do nothing at all. To just be His on the couch. No computer, no book, just daughter- watching the dust settle, seemingly random yet not, through filtered white curtain light. The trash can is full, the recycle bin is full. We have new things. Nice things. Things I like a lot that aren't Him. I dragged my tree to the curb this morning. I had to get. it. out. It was dead. Dead like me, or at least like I feel. And I realize that I can't just simplify my life and open myself up to freedom & joy by getting rid of extra socks and bowls. I need to dig deeper. To hurt people's feelings. Which will be hard. And worth it. So my son's Christmas memories won't be of Mom & Pop's gray Honda headrests. So we can have time for the things (people) that Jesus Himself was about. Give me a soup kitchen, a ditch to dig for someone. Not because I'm good or selfless. I'm not. I'm so lazy. I want French toast and Bing Crosby and an X-Box and a flat-screen and some eggnog to take me away to happy Christmas wonderland! But they didn't last year or this year and they never will because only Jesus' love can hug me tightly enough to make Christmas truly merry. And only He can save my babies who are stealing cookies in the kitchen. I'm not sure how next year will be different. Just praying it will be.
"Our mission is to plant ourselves at the gates of hope — not the prudent gates of Optimism, which are somewhat narrower; nor the stalwart, boring gates of Common Sense; nor the strident gates of self-righteousness … nor the cheerful, flimsy garden gate of 'Everything is gonna be all right,' but a very different, sometimes very lonely place, the place of truth-telling, about your own soul first of all and its condition, the place of resistance and defiance, the piece of ground from which you see the world both as it is and as it could be, as it might be, as it will be; the place from which you glimpse not only struggle, but joy in the struggle — and we stand there, beckoning and calling, telling people what we are seeing, asking people what they see." The Gates of Hope," Victoria Safford

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I never got rid of any of those glasses, just the one Greg broke.

I love decluttering. And my Amazon wishlist is 50 miles long.

I thank God for the smell of the tree in my living room. Just before I scream at the kids for breaking a stupid ornament.

I see pictures of dying children and I feel sick. Then I scour Zappos for yellow flats.

I have a painful longing to adopt again. Yet I pull the covers up over my head most mornings, dreading another day of orphanage behaviors with the children we already have. 

I get mad at people who accumulate tons of stuff. I am jealous of them, too.

I feel weird trying to sell fair trade goods that really do help women in AWFUL situations around the world. Because I'm afraid people won't like ME as much if I ask them to buy something.

I worked super, super hard to prepare for my Trades of Hope open house yesterday so I could help impoverished artisans and maybe make a few dollars. While my own family received the sweet gift of, "Put that down, Stop it, Shut up, Go away, I'll do it myself! "

I decorated for that party yesterday with stuff from the dollar store.

I like Christmas music, for the most part. But I'd rather wrap gifts to Thin Lizzy.

I say, "Thank you, God, for our paid off vehicles... We are soooo blessed. Most people in the world don't have cars or even shoes... Yaddah, yaddah, blaaaah." But really- I want a BMW. A fat one.

I did not go to church today. I forewent the happy Cara church act to stay home and pray. Which I did actually do after spending a while on facebook and eBay. And I'm not sorry.

Jesus loves me in spite of my duplicity. Which is just unthinkable, and which makes me want to go to church next week.