Sunday, December 7, 2008

Quick note

hey, a quick note on that last post. i'm not trying to be a baby about all of this, and i understand that it's a natural stage of life. i just was feeling rotten and needed to vent some of it out.

So yeah...not being fatalistic or a cry baby...just getting emotions out so i can work through them properly.

love you all!!

Not a Dry Spot on My Face

As Brandon and I always sang every year, "Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat..." My parents always had something new or different for us as Christmases as home would go. It was still new, but in a different way when Brent and Brandon went off to college and we moved, and that was hard enough for me. I'm wondering how I'm going to stand this year. It's already been hard enough. Advent stuff is going on at churches, the school is decked in Christmas decorations, they just had their Christmas party, Christmas songs are everywhere, and yet I find that I can't sing them. This year we add a family member to our Christmas celebration as Lacy will be joining our family in May. I couldn't be happier about that, she truly is a blessing and TONS of fun. I can't say I'm liking the other changes though. The realization that now not only do I have to share my brother with another girl, but I have to share him with a whole nother family with their traditions and celebrations. Our holidays will never be the same. Did I waste the time that I had with my family? Brandon also has an amazing girl friend, which still makes me laugh since we, as a family, always gave him grief about the girls in his life. Now that I'm facing the differences with Brent, I wish I would have kept my mouth shut, as if that would have done anything to keep Brandon from finding this amazing girl, so i could hold on to him as my brother for a little longer. Did I miss the best years of our lives? Did I close my eyes to them? Or am I just going through the wonderful process of letting go?

For a short time my family will all be together at the beginning of my Christmas break, but then we start separating and going our separate ways. I admit that I've been trying to find something for me to do during Christmas after people start leaving, so that it doesn't seem so empty at my house. I'm not sure I'll be able to stand it. Even with just Brent gone. I've never handled uncontrollable change well, and this is no different. I want so much to be happy, because I know this is all a natural part of life changing and perhaps getting better, but it hurts so much.

During church, I have to admit I really didn't hear much of Pastor Allen's message on peace (perhaps I should have listened better). I was thinking about the celebration of Christmas. How can I feel like I'm losing so much and still celebrate the same way. It's been about whatever we do, doing it as a family. If it was traveling to New York, Ohio, Chicago, staying home, caroling, being in Christmas productions, hosting the Christmas party at camp, whatever we did, we did it as a family. The was the one tradition that never changed. That was the only real tradition we had. I know I'm probably overreacting, because we WILL be together for a good while. I just can't seem to shake this feeling of loss. It didn't hit me when Brent and Brandon went to college, when Brent got a girlfriend, when I left for college, when Brandon got a girlfriend, so why is it hitting me now. The happy time of the year, and all I want to do is cry at the changes.

I did have a random thought as I was sitting in church today about the Christmas season and Mary. I looked at the way that I celebrate Christmas. The times that I always considered celebrating were those times that we had a group of people, family, friends and we were singing Christmas songs, eating Christmas food, playing games, sitting around and talking, catching up, etc... I lost myself during the singing thinking about the "first Christmas" as they call it. Some could argue that the first Christmas had a big party, singing angels, lots of people (the shepherds), the hosts of the party (Mary and Joseph), and the life of the party (Christ). But what does it say in Luke 2:19, "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." I know many who have made so much from that one sentence. I always looked at and thought that it was sort of a strange thing for her to do. I would always figure that she should have been rejoicing, after all, she was just a part of one of the biggest miracles in the history of the world. So in my thinking about it today, I wondered if our culture, even Christian culture, even in my own mind, if I've partied Christmas too much. There definitely nothing wrong with Christmas parties, even with the idea of celebrating Christ with many people as the shepherds did. But I wonder if I've missed part of the glory of Christmas, by never being quite and "treasuring up all these things and pondering them in my heart." I've never just sat during the Christmas season and lost myself in thoughts to and from God about his sons birth; I always just figured with the year after year stories and celebrations that there would be nothing that I could miss in all the season. The Lord has been opening my eyes through Old Testament History that no matter how many times I hear or read even the most basic story in the Bible, there is one more thing he can show me.

I don't know really where I was going with that, but I thought it was an interesting thought. Something I might try this my extra time at home.

I'll be home hopefully by supper time on Friday the 12th, and I can't wait to see my parents (even though I just saw them on Thanksgiving). Then having the rest of my family joining us. I pray and hope that I'll put aside my sorrow and hurt and enjoy the blessing of a close family that the Lord gave me!