Monday, December 13, 2010

The real and the now: Learning to see the tender mercies and still be okay with it all

Most of the things I wanted to get done on Saturday, didn't get done. No Christmas gift shopping. No groceries. No baking. No over-due library returns. My laundry baskets are overflowing...

This is what happened instead...

My time was taken in sorting and delivering all the extra food from our church Christmas dinner to some families in our congregation. Car loaded with boxes and bags filled with ham, baked potatoes, cheese, rolls, and sour cream. Greeted with grateful smiles. Greeted with warm hugs. Greeted with, "How did you know I needed to talk to you? Do you have ESP?" Left me with a feeling that this is what Christmas is all about.

We finally got our Christmas tree, but it's not decorated yet. I don't think I've ever been so late. No lights on, even. And of course, the ornaments are still in the box.


I'm finding that I'm more aware of the wonderful smell that tree has brought into the house. I'm really seeing the simple beauty of that bare tree sitting in the corner of the living room.

The homemade gifts and 12 Days of Christmas (that I recently wrote about here) just aren't going to happen this year. Don't think I'll get the Christmas cards out this year, either. Tired of sending those "Look what a wonderful year we've had and a what a wonderful family we are- type newsletters", but still wanting to show our friends and loved ones we remember them and love them...

I can see that I'm okay with that. I know I'm trying. My heart is still there. I am trying to serve others, especially my children, in the past and ways now that really matter.

I took care of a sick child this weekend. A big teenage son who doesn't want or need my nurturing all that much any more. The child that is too old and too cool to wear a coat when it's freezing outside. Who would rather wear shorts to school. Who doesn't like the food I make.

It was a gift to see that he allowed me to take care of him a little. To let me treat his bad cough the best way I knew how. To rub his chest and feet with oils and his taking the medicine freely. To massage his aching muscles. To tuck him in the covers like I did when he was a little boy. To give him comfort in the way only mothers can.

A migraine hit me hard yesterday. Enough to put me to bed. Enough to say I couldn't go on my visits or make dinner.

This was a gift, too. I was able to finally rest. I could feel the comfort of those flannel sheets and new down pillows Keith bought me for my birthday. To be able to feel his strong hands placed on my head, rubbing the pain away. Hearing the comforting words in the prayer he said in my behalf. And as I then poured out my feelings and frustrations to him, to then to let the tears, somehow built up, come like a powerful, surging wave. "It's okay to cry, Em." Allowing to take my pain away.

This is not what I wanted for my weekend. These challenges.

This whole year wasn't what I wanted or expected. Through all this, I'm learning things I've needed to learn. In this reality of now, I can accept the way things are. The blessings and beauties and miracles are still there. There's always good if I look hard enough. God's tender mercies will always carry me.

If I allow. If I surrender. If I can see.


  1. Yes, Emily. Not wanted but received with wisdom are the challenges that stretch our souls! If we care enough to walk in the Lord's path, He will kept us in even in the storm. Be still!

  2. hope you are feeling better today.