I have my coffee sitting close to me on the bookshelf near my couch. I chose a mug with a giant snowlady, as I like to call her. She has a thick, sassy, red scarf tied around her neck that appears to be flying in the imaginary wind. For some reason, this seems to make her happy. In one hand, she’s holding a red tea kettle with what I imagine to be filled with Holiday Chai Black Tea by Stash. This is my new favorite tea since a Teacher of the Deaf that I work with gave me a box for Christmas. There are candy canes, Christmas trees and dancing gingerbread women, snowflakes falling from the sky, and a happy snowman standing by her side holding an apple spice cake that was made in a festive bundt pan with mistletoe garnish. I’m dressed to work in NY today, making sure I have all the right things to keep my face from freezing as I walk to 34th Street. My lunch is packed, my phone’s charged, the new book I’m reading for Blogging for Books is in my backpack. An eighteen year old NIV bible is open on the couch to the book of Proverbs. My apartment is so cozy as I sip my hot coffee and read Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Looks like I have to get off my cozy couch and take my coffee to go in order to live out this important word for the day. Trust. See you later, cozy apartment. Time to find a cozy seat on the train and read a good book on my way to video relay services.
In a nutshell, this is what Christmas is all about. Raising our hands in thanks to God even when there are things in our lives that don’t feel very praiseworthy. When I lift my hands in prayer and focus on thanking God for all the good things, I end my prayer feeling the Holy Spirit around me, causing me to forget the things in my life that are still being ironed out. I have a feeling that if everything was taken care of all at once, I might start to believe that I did something great to earn such an amazing life & start believing I was more capable than Him. It’s crazy to me to even write that because God is the one who breathed life into me in the first place. God knows how we tend to operate though. We’re prone to wander away from him. Not having all my prayers answered at once is really something that I should be thanking God for too because it keeps me in relationship with Him. I’m the happiest when I spend time with God because he re-energizes me at the end of the day when my spiritual tank starts to get close to empty. Christmas is about thanking God for sticking so close to us that He even wants us with him for eternity. And think about this. He wanted us so badly for eternity that He sent Jesus to show us how to live dependent on God, to show us that He literally feels our pain and to show us that Jesus is the atonement for all of our mishaps because He still wants us for eternity. Now, that is something to seriously celebrate!!
In the third book of Ecclesiastes it reads, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to rebuild…” This photo of my daughter reminds me of this passage but then I add my own lines which would say, “A time to be inspired and a time to kneel down giving thanks for the glorious view set before me, a time to feel freedom in the purity of true beauty and a time to lift up & let go of the things that keep me from feeling freedom, a time to record the creations of a masterful artist and a time to be thankful for the things He devised to fill up our souls with adventure, a time for us to take in the scenic view and a time to say thank you, thank you, thank you for this place with the wind whipping through my hair, where I am awestruck, at peace & energized all at once.”
I woke up this morning to the screaming of my house phone. I didn’t know what was happening as my dreams were fighting with reality and I was struggling to figure out which was which. As I scrambled off the couch, I worked hard to figure out where the phone was as I simultaneously tried to keep my balance. I was so sick I thought I was going fall over. My body was wet with perspiration, my head & face hurt, I was coughing like an old woman with emphysema and I still had body aches. When I found the phone, I was more happy to stop the ringing than I was to find out who was calling.
It turned out to be my father on the other line, checking in to see how I was doing and if I was going to work today. It was 8 o’clock. Why hadn’t my alarm gone off? The night before, I had asked my daughter to turn my alarm on. She had some trouble with it so I went in to check that the right time was set for it to wail. It wasn’t the right time so I fixed it but I didn’t look to see if she had mistakenly changed the current time.. Ahhh…that’s what went wrong. Note to self, I need to teach my 10 year old how to use an alarm clock. Preferably when I’m not deliriously sick. Thank God, her Grandpa was willing to drop her off at school. Thank God, I have such supportive parents.
As I started making her sandwich, Makayla told me in her chipper way, “I thought I wanted to stay home to take care of you today, but I’m really happy I’m going to school! I’m really happy I’m going to school for 2 reasons! Do you wanna know what they are?! One, it’s Manny Monday, that means my class gets to see a new picture of baby Manny on the Classroom Dojo that Mrs. Ruiz sends. Also, I won’t miss the next chapter in Wonder that Mrs. Pelaz is going to read and on Monday we do a craft. OH! And we have PE today!”
“I’m so glad you have such great teachers and that you love the things you’re doing in school. You’re kinda making me wish I was in the fifth grade again, ” I chuckled, not mentioning that she actually gave me 4 fantastic reasons to go to school. Her joy and excitement was so contagious, I couldn’t help but give her a kiss on her forehead and a side-ways hug. She has the amazing ability to make me smile and remember the lovable things about life even when I’m sick.