It's 6:20 on Christmas morning, and I can't sleep...not because I am anticipating unwrapping the packages underneath our tree, but because I have a lot on my mind. The three of us have had a wonderful, relaxing, and fun time with my parents, their two dogs, and Mac and Julie these last few days. It's so special to all be together on Christmas, and I think we'd all agree that the newest addition to our family, Julie, is one of the greatest gifts this year. The newlyweds have been a riot!
At the same time, I feel like in many ways, I've blown it this Christmas: sour attitudes at losing "Settlers" over and over again (being physically sick right now doesn't help either); getting mad at Matt for having 2 bowls of cereal rather than 1 because he'd spoil his Christmas Eve dinner (how controlling and obnoxious is that); not to mention jealousy, ungratefulness, complaining, feeling uptight about everything going smoothly; and saying a whole slew of stupid things trying to be funny, but as soon as those words slip from my tongue, it causes pain instead of joy. As a hostess, the last thing you want people to see is your sin and the lack of hospitality you have at certain times. So I agonize over feeling like I've totally blown it, that I've "de-specialized" Christmas, and it makes me just want to run and hide, escape from my mistakes and myself.
The play-by-play I just gave reminds me of something a dear friend told me not too long ago about our expectations for Christmas, and how we anticipate everything to go "just so" in our relationships, in the preparation of the Christmas trimmings, and even in our own attitudes that genuinely desire to ponder the miracle of the Word made flesh (John 1:14). We tend to build our expectations up in such a way that Christmas Day is wonderfully climatic, and anything less than that is a disappointment. But my friend's point was trying to think of what Christmas Day was like for Jesus, who was born in a manger, left the glory of heaven for earth, felt cold air and hunger; cried, not being able to clearly communicate, tiredness. While it was one of the most glorious events ever, it certainly wasn't a day built up like how I tend to picture a "perfect" Christmas.
After my goof ups the last few days, it certainly takes no genius to see that I am human, so imperfect and human, and in need of forgiveness. The Lord graciously reminded me this morning of how His mercy, His compassions, are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23) And while envisioning what this Christmas morning would be like, I certainly didn't picture my mess ups and needing to experience God's mercy and compassion. But I do. And I'm so thankful that I can wake up any morning, but especially this Christmas morning, and be reminded of His promise. I gladly receive it!
Dear friends, Merry Christmas!