It feels like a collective sigh of relief today. Christmas is over. We survived.
Sometimes you wonder (at least I do, why we do this to ourselves? Overspend, Overeat, and lack sleep and we call it a celebration.
Yesterday, I dropped "The Sunshines" (my 3 kids) off with their Dad for the rest of their winter break. I was driving home wondering, lamenting, how I ended up in this situation, alone. Wondering if I could just skip it all next year?
I have spent the week cooking, entertaining, running around, I told a friend, on the phone, I felt like collapsing now that it's over.
That friend reminded me, "yeah, but you wouldn't have it any other way." True.
It's crazy and chaotic parenting 3 children alone, but then again, I can't stand how quiet it is now that they are gone. The quiet reminds me how great I have it every other day of the year.
There's this old song, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" redone by Steven Curtis Chapman. It's based on a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I never understood it until now. How the melancholy meets joy at Christmas. When your life doesn't turn out the way you dreamed, you lament, but at the same time see hope.
Longfellow wrote it on Christmas while grieving over his wife’s accidental death:
In despair I bow'd my head:
There is no peace on earth, I said,
For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
Then he heard church bells, causing his demeanor to change. What began melancholy, ended hopeful:
I heard the bells on Christmas day
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.
I want to hear the bells too Lord. Help me to get over the fact that my family doesn’t look like a Norman Rockwell painting, but one day, You will set things right...