27 December 2007

Gasp! She blogged!

All is calm, all is bright. I can thankfully say that now that Christmas Day has come and gone. Every year I try to keep the chaos to a minimum. Every year I think I've got things better organized. Every year I collapse on my sofa on the eve of Christmas Day and take a deep breath. "I did it" is all I can think. Pitiful, isn't it? I want to say that all my running around brought me closer to Christ; made my Christmas more special. But it isn't in the frosted cookies or the gifts delivered or the carols performed themselves that I find myself closer to Christ. Instead I find it in the happy faces of my family and friends who appreciate what I do. Going from utter unwrapping craziness to complete quiet and reverence as we kneel to pray as a family on Christmas night brings me closer to Christ.

A friend of mine recently lost her brother to the war in Iraq. Here is a woman who gives and gives. And gives. I think her life must feel like chaos sometimes,too. When I lost my mother and again when I went on bedrest with my 3rd child, she gave to me selflessly. I had the opportunity to serve her family on Christmas Eve this year. But it was difficult for me to keep my mind off the long list of minute details I needed to take care of for my own family. And those thoughts of "why did I say yes to all this stuff this year" creeped into my mind as it often does around Christmas Eve. Then it hit me, that if someone benefits from my craziness then it's all good. I may not feel the calm and bright until after Christmas Day has passed, but the loved ones around me are feeling it throughout the season, in part because of me and my habit of always adding one more thing to my plate. I am not justifying or condoning killing yourself off every Christmas. But I know that my memories of Christmas are all magical, because someone has given willingly of themself to make happiness happen.

I guess that getting swept up in the mayhem can be sort of a trade-off or reward. I feel satisfied today. I feel like I got what I needed to out of Christmas after all. There is a feeling of peace that envelops our home, and I am thankful for it, no matter how much work it took.

12 comments:

Jen said...

Merry Christmas to you Lei! I'm sorry to hear about your friend. She will be in my thoughts at this difficult time.

Morning Glory said...

I was so excited to see a new post from you in my bloglines! I'm finding it harder and harder to get back into writing after not doing any for so long. I just can't seem to feel inspired about anything.

I'm glad you survived Christmas with warm memories and feelings of joy. Ours was lovely, too.

Yvonne said...

It is wonderful to see you posting.
I am so glad your Christmas went well. You are so right--that peace and joy that we see in the faces of our family is worth it all. The joy that comes from service is wonderful.

I am glad your friend has someone like you.

Cocoa said...

I relate so well to your feelings of satisfaction and peace after all the work creating Christmas magic for loved ones and friends.

Happy Christmas to you and yours!

Amber said...

So great to hear from you and nice to have you back (and not temporarily? :-) I am so sorry about your friend's brother but happy for your wonderful Christmas!

Gabriela said...

Thanks for your perspective Lei-service is so important and can help us feel closer to the Spirit than most other things. :)

Merry Christmas.

Blackeyedsue said...

I am so glad you found some peace. I think about you all of the time. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your friend. I received your card. It is absoluely lovely and so appreciated. You are a true friend. I wish you lived right by me, I would take you to lunch tomorrow!

Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family. I hope the New Year is filled with precious blessings.

Nicole said...

Oh Lei, I've missed you. Thank you for the lovely post, I wish your friend comfort during this difficult time.

Belladonna said...

WELCOME BACK! You have been missed. Glad to see you writing again and love the pics of your family!

sheri said...

Merry Christmas, Lei! (late)

Misty said...

My brother also served in Iraq, he's home safe, and I truly can say I don't know what I would have done if I had lost him. My most heartfelt condolences to this friend of yours whom has also paid the most large price for our freedom.

And..... I totally get what you are saying about Christmas. And I did love it. I found myself in the midst of about 5 service projects for families in need this holiday season. It was almost more "busy" then I could handle, but the spirit I felt of the true meaning of the holidays brought magic to my Christmas that I couldn't imagine.

Good to have you back.

mumple said...

I know I'm late...but WOW. What a powerful testament to the idea that God sometimes choose *me* to be the instrument.

Thanks.