Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas, NOT As I Had Planned

Life hasn't gone as planned, these last two weeks.
It started with waking up to malaria on the Monday morning before Thanksgiving.
Not what I had planned.
This was my week off school to get things ready for Thanksgiving and the coming Christmas season.
This was the week I was supposed to do the shopping to get all the needed supplies for the feast.
This was the day before we were supposed to choose our live turkey and then pluck and dress it.
Not what I had planned.
This was the week to deep clean the house after months of school-is-in-session-and-we-don't-get-to-deep-clean-during-school.
These were the few days I had to prep food ahead, because I was the sole cook for Thanksgiving dinner.
Did I mention that everything {down to the pumpkin pies} are made from scratch?
Not what I had planned.

In the end, the malaria meds worked, I slept a lot, my husband and kids worked overtime, and Thanksgiving managed to come off without {too much of} a hitch.

But it wasn't feeling very much like a time of thanksgiving....

This week began, and we started the vicious cycle again.
My strength was back, but I still didn't feel quite up to 100% yet.
Monday was decorate-for-Christmas-day, and the lights weren't working and parts of the Christmas tree began to fall off. Yes, I said fall in broken, and my brilliant husband had to think of a way to secure twelve or so branches to the trunk with no brackets.
Not what I had planned.
Pushing the kiddos every single morning to get chores done and go into the school room so we could just "finish already!"
A teething baby, who is learning to walk {very, very slowly}, and knows what she wants, but cannot express it, and is surrounded by twinkling lights and shiny baubles that she cannot touch, and is a regular crank.
And our elections are a week from today, and that is all  EVERYONE is talking about and thinking about, and nobody is thinking of Christmas.
Not what I had planned.
Last night I was grinding spices in the mortar and pestle, and the baby dripped dish soap in it while I was dealing with an "emergency."
And the "emergency" was a kiddo who didn't listen to her mama {because she knew better!} and made a gigantic gray paint mess while working on a Christmas gift for a sister.
I yelled at her, and fussed at her for the paint covering her hands, and the desk, and the floor, and the sink, and the bathroom floor {because the bathroom sink has a leak I forgot about!}, and all she could say through sobs was....."I've wasted my paints!"
Not what I had planned.
I was rushing to get supper done, and cut into the yam {the main portion of dinner} and it was rotten clear through.
The replacement rice burnt on bottom.
The fish tasted too fishy.
The electricity was off so I had to heat bath water on the stove top so everyone could get a bath before church.
Not what I had planned.

And it was NOT beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

I sat down to catch my breath after two weeks of fighting hard to just breathe, and I read these few words....

Christmas isn’t the making of a product; Christmas is the meeting of a Person.

For Thanksgiving isn't turkey, and pumpkin pie, and Pilgrims, and Indians,
and Christmas isn't lights and ornaments and warm, fuzzy feelings.
Christmas isn't even acts of kindness, and handmade gifts, and good will toward men.

The spirit of the season is in the Spirit of the season.

"Keeping Christ in Christmas" is really keeping Christ AS Christmas.

Not what I had planned.

And so....
I take a step back,
and I take a deep breath,
and I look at Christmas the way He's always intended it be:

A time of waiting
   For Him!
and watching
   For Him!
and loving
   For Him!
and living
   For Him!
and celebrating


  1. Amen, Patty! Love you guys and miss you most this time of year. May God give you a glorious holiday season...even if it's not like any of us had planned! :)

  2. Patty,
    This was such a blessing to me. It brought me to tears! It's so easy to get caught up in the day to day things, that we forget our purpose. Things at my house have been very stressful as well. Some of the same homeschool with a baby struggles, while I also watch my 4 year old neice. Thank you for reminding me to keep my focus!
    Heather Heath

  3. you're my favorite blogger! Thanks for the honesty. Maria