Today I'm stressed and heavy-hearted, and this morning I drive home with teary eyes and feel like I will give out if anything or anyone requires any more of me. I'm weary and worn and I have been, WE have been pinched tight and stretched thin in all ways possible. And spiritually sometimes it feels like just enough. Just enough release. Just enough of the word. Just enough Holy Spirit to get me through the rest of these chores and the rest of this day. But I don't think this is how I was created to live and this is too much weight. And I want peace that flows like a river, and joy that bubbles over, and calmness and happy-mommyness, but this morning I am failing. And I tell my husband through teary eyes that I. Am. Failing. I'm failing at waking up early and doing the things I want to do, I'm failing at eating how I want to be eating and exercising. I want to be a better mommy. I want to be more attentive to everyone around me, and loving and sweet and.... not how I am.
My husband tells me to come here- lay by him. We hold each other, arms wrapped around and breathe and know that we need Jesus. We are best friends, but especially at times like this. We just know. And he just knows right where I'm at. He strokes my hair and tells me to breathe in. I want you to do the same right now- breathe in. Breathe deeply and push everything away. All the thoughts, all the clutter- just push it all away.
And I'm aware in that moment that it's layers and layers deep. After one layer of thought comes another and then another. I'm failing and things suck and life is heavy and there are more layers than I even realize. So I do my best to push it ALL away because what else can I do in that moment but listen. I'm hungry for peace. Are you hungry for peace too?
Then, very quietly, after the breathing, he begins to tell me the story. The story in the simplest of ways, as I have never heard it. Still stroking my hair, still breathing and tear stained. And I want to tell it to you now, how he told it to me:
In the beginning was nothing- just God. And he made the heavens and earth. Everything just quiet and still. And he decided, just because he wanted to, to fill it with greenery and animals and people. He made Adam and Eve and they sinned and turned away from him and wanted to do things their own way. And this brought evil into the world. And now, there is all of these evil, corrupt people just doing what they want. But then, God sent Jesus. Innocent. Perfect. Into this messy, messed-up world, and he died for all of that evil. So that all you have to do is believe in him and you can live in heaven and in peace with him for eternity. And he left behind his Holy Spirit so that he's with you now. And that's what Christmas is about.
I had never heard it told so simply and beautifully, and it never touched me just like that. In the simplest of ways when you need to be reminded that the simple truth is what matters. God is what matters and this beautiful truth of him reaching, stretched, loving arms open for us.
So God please help us to not get caught up in expectations, and trying to find the perfect gifts, and get-togethers where we feel we need to straighten our hair and paint our nails. But more than that, help us to not get caught up in our own pressures, our own thoughts about what we should be doing to make things nicer, or more special, or more simple, or more anything! There are 1,000 articles to read about what you can do to keep Christ at the center of this season, or make your kids less materialistic. But here's what I will do: I will keep praying for God to take my ego, my pride and anger down a few notches. I will continue to pray for the people on my "forgiveness list". I'll just do my best at what I've been given and ask God to help me love more, and spend more time with him.
But mostly, I want to live in the simplicity of story my husband whispered in my ear this morning. Mostly, I want to reach up and hold that perfect hand that is reaching down to me. And just be a daughter this Christmas.