finally getting it this year, the holiday spirit where I'm excited for making treats, visiting friends, balancing work and play, making sure Lydia understands the meaning behind this special time ("baby Jesus lives, mama, yeah!"), and scheduling our family get-togethers. I'm excited to make incredible soup and beans with my dad, Julekage with my mom, and dozens of cookies with my in-laws. and of course, trying to think of our own traditions here for our little house and little family.
it's been an emotional December, what with the school shootings, reminders of suffering here and overseas, drug busts involving little children in our county...winter seems to bring this sense of longing that makes the goodness fade and sadness more present. we're striving to stay strong and have heart, there is so much good to remember in this crazy world.
I became teary reading the letters to Santa in the newspaper this morning over my morning coffee. every time I look at Lydia and ask her if she knows how much we love her, she gives me this knowing grin and runs into my arms for a big hug. her little chickadee ornament and our other old friends are up on the fast-dying tree (skip a day of watering and watch out, I guess), and the lights look so beautiful peeking out between its branches at night. friends are having babies, nursing them and holding them close, and I miss that sweet love between a newborn and mama. the funny and poignant moments we share with the residents and fellow coworkers at Prairie View bring laughter to a hard day's work. so many emotions wrapped in one month, it's hard to stay in tune with the truest meaning of the season--why we pray, why we change, why we live the way we do.
time to sit down and pray for peace, to really dig in and focus on our families, each other, our friends, ourselves, this Christmastime. be Gandhi, be the change you wish to see in the world. be Jesus and love one another as He loves us. be helpful, gentle, protective, gracious, and just plain kind. I know we're going to try. grace comes to us in so many forms: a listening ear, a well-timed hug, a hotdish for a tired mom, cards and letters from friends far away...the list is endless with the possibilities of sharing love.
sorry for the rambling, my heart's been on a roller-coaster lately. a post of the Chapman holiday fun-ness to follow later :)