‘Tis the Season…

sad-christmasIt’s Christmastime.  But it sure doesn’t feel like it for some reason.  I had hoped that by being very organized with my Christmas shopping (Excel Spreadsheet, anyone? Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read!) and by getting it done early, I would be more relaxed heading into December.  I only had one gift left to buy by December 2nd, a gift certificate, and I purchased it today.  So my shopping is done, including stockings.  I don’t have to fight the crowds for the next two weeks, except at ALDI.  But I’m still feeling the blahs.

It may be because I’ve been kind of stressed about this weekend.  We had Scott’s company Christmas party last night.  Then this morning, I had our ladies ministry luncheon – a cookie swap, secret sister reveal, and potluck all rolled into one.  I was pretty stressed about that, because I had a lot of things to remember – including dragging along a bunch of the newly published church cookbooks that we need to sell by the first week of January.  I was up until midnight last night making my cookies for the swap.  Then there was the Christmas party for our local foster and adoptive parent association.  This actually was to start at the same time as the ladies luncheon was ending.  This meant another dish to bring, two girls to get all dressed up for Santa pictures (and we don’t even “do” Santa), and picking through the gift room for presents.  The thing is, I already had the girls Christmas pictures taken (and they turned out GREAT!) and I already have all of their gifts.  I decided at midnight last night that we weren’t going to the association Christmas party.  So you’d have thought that would have relieved some of my stress… but no!

It may be because I’m kind of stressed about my brother coming to visit.  He’s arriving sometime Tuesday and on Wednesday, his two children are flying in from Arizona.  They are 8 and 12 and I’ve not seen the 12 year old since he was 3 and have never met the 8 year old.  They’ll be staying here until at least the 20th, when my mom gets home.

It may be that I’m kind of stressed about my mom getting home.  Not her actually getting home.  She’s been gone two months on a road trip out to California and Oregon.  I’m not really stressed about her getting home.  It’s what her coming home means.  Mom coming home means I have to say goodbye to some of our very dearest friends, who have been staying in her house for these two months, preparing to return to the mission field.

You know how sometimes you just meet a family and the friendship is just there immediately?  These friends have been so dear to us and so close to our hearts.  They have laughed with us, cried with us, stretched us, encouraged us, taught us, grown us, helped move us, killed chickens with us… *giggle*  They are those kinds of friends who don’t come along very often in a lifetime.  We’ve always known their heart for missions and so we’ve always known that when God called, they would go.  We’ve known they were actually leaving for a couple of months, but that hasn’t really made it any easier.  They’re not moving overseas for the this time, only 9.5 hours away… but 9.5 hours away is not close enough to have over for dinner or to run out for New Orleans style sno-balls or to have lunch after church or any of that.  Yes, God is calling them and yes, I’m sure He has wonderful things in store for them – things that will matter for His Kingdom.  But my heart still aches and the tears still fall.

So please forgive me for not being very regular with my writing and for being a little down.  And if I don’t really feel like wrapping presents or making cookies or attending another party, please understand why.

As of today, I’m going to try focusing on that Babe in a manger and His gift to the world and let go of all the rest of it just a little bit.  (This means your Christmas card may be a little late… )



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