When It's Just Christmas

I don't bake, and I don't really cook well. We won't be invited to any large family gatherings, dinners or parties. We haven't Christmas shopped or done any festive activities. There are no craft projects with the kids or Pinterest creativity planned. In fact, other than the decorated tree and my almost 5 yr old's Christmas excitement, it may not even really seem like Christmas. It's that, just Christmas without all the extras. This Christmas season, it is a crazy family of five grasping for sanity and calm, a few Christmas movies and gifts, and us loving a new beautiful baby girl. And in the strangeness of our new normal, I just find myself forgetting...Emmanual.

Due to my precious newborn's sleeping and eating habits, I have spent a little more time than usual or necessary on social media. Staring and perusing numbly to keep my eyes open and myself alert. I find myself increasingly envious of the family gatherings that we do not have available to us or activities we are unable to attend because we are housebound with a newborn. In addition, the normal desperate missing of my parents this time of year is increasing with every family related post. I find myself intimidated and guilty, because I don't have a list of baked goods and casseroles to make. Side note: I saw Mcdonalds was open on Christmas and seriously have thought, well we could just do that for our little family Christmas dinner. And I feel that I am losing the spirit of Christmas. The season will pass me by, and I will have missed out in all the festivities and goodness of my favorite holiday.

Wow, shame on me. The hormones and lack of sleep is muddying my brain. God, in my current chaos and missing of my dear parents, is trying to speak through the noise. Reminding me of the heart of Christmas. The truth. It's stripped down and bare, nothing but a stable, some animals, two parents and a newborn. It's not decorations, large family gatherings, food, gifts and other distractions. It was humble, meager and absolutely beautiful. Life changing, hope brought to a world searching and waiting expectantly for rescue.

So, due to extenuating circumstances my holiday is stripped down this year. And really with my parents gone, it's been stripped permanently in many ways. But God is reminding me that is okay, because it was never about food and family. It was about hope, light and a Savior. Hope that I so desperately need every day. Promise of joy and strength in the crazy world I live. It's the reminder that this hope and Savior was the one that so graciously brought my little Havyn Hope to us this Christmas. The Savior that kept her safe and healthy for us. That gave me three beautiful children, (never mind, I have no idea how to manage all three right now.) He will give me the grace I need for that as well. And an incredible husband and father that keeps everything together. That's enough this Christmas, although if even that were not there - Emmanual would somehow need to be enough.

God has shown me this truth so many times since I lost my dad, and again when I lost my mom. But, we are human, and sometimes we just need him to reach through the noise and remind us.

No matter what you have or you don't have this Christmas, you have hope and you have a Savior. And that is all it's about anyway. Precious Emmanual, God always with us in the crazy, in the loss, in it all.