I am surrounded by angels, and it’s a bit discomfiting.
For three days I have pulled them from the attic…bit by little bit, so as not to tax myself over it all. But here I sit, amidst boxes and berries and angels and…I’m not feeling it.
Part of it, I think, is what the pastor said at our Hanging of the Greens service last night. Advent is not meant to be rushed through, she said. It is a slow movement from the darkness into the light.
I try playing music. These songs have been healing my soul this season.
But the music has me sitting motionless in the middle of the living room floor—listening. The dogs like this…they think a human in the floor is an invitation for kisses. I wrestle with them a bit. Throw a toy or two. It looks like Penny will be leaving us this weekend. It’s been a couple years since we have not had a canine house guest for Christmas and I am sad to let her go. I scratch behind her ears and she rolls on her back, lays her head on my lap.
You’re a good dog, I tell her, lifting her chin. Her eyes speak love.
The boxes are still on the stairs.
I am on my back now, on this hard floor. I close my eyes and let the grief be. I know what this is all about but I wish it would leave me. Every year it’s the same and I’m tired of it.
My husband tells me that there is no feeling in the world like Christmas when you’re a child. He says that nothing can compare to the anticipation and the wonder of waking up on Christmas morning. I’ll never know about that. Christmas was just another day in our house. But I see it in the eyes of my boys. To be able to provide such joy all at once is an amazing thing.
I sigh and roll this around in my mind.
Every year, I want it to be extra special. I know it’s some kind of lame attempt to redeem those years. But last night, we sat together in the warm light of our living room and listened as Little Jeffrey read the first Advent devotional. We’ve never done that before. And it was—extra special.
I am out growing these boxes. I’m not sure what that means yet. But I think they joy we feel on Christmas morning is just practice, just a shadow, of the tremendous joy we will feel when we lay our eyes on Jesus for the first time.
So I let my heart be renewed. Right in the middle of my living room floor with dogs pestering. I ask God to give me the eyes of a child. And that allows me to get up from the floor. And move toward the boxes.
Oh, yes. I’m surrounded by angels.
Today I am writing from where I am and joining L.L. Barkat in searching for a sense of place. Join us? You can link up here.
Monday is also gratitude day (isn’t everyday?). Today I am thinking of sweet blessings…
**our Jesse tree—made from the old wallpaper sample book…hung on the fridge.
**the voice of my babe, reading praises—thanks with a quivering voice.
**for reds and greens and angels abiding here.
**church greens—the hanging and the eating of them.
**my nephew…being born today.
**mom’s voice on the phone—the baby is coming!
**beauty in the mail (this is for my new nephew! thank you, ELK!)
**the grace to let go. the grace that covers.
**salty tears—tasting the grace that covers.