Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I see CHRISTmas differently

Fifteen years ago I began to celebrate CHRISTmas.
I began to understand Advent in a much more clear way.
I have kept Christmas all my years, but the years leading up to that very special one were about me. Yes, I knew to celebrate Jesus' birth but it just didn't register in depth. It was mostly about the decorating and the eating and the gifts, to be honest.
Until fifteen years ago.
Fifteen years ago, in the middle of December, at the age of twenty-three, I gave birth to our firstborn.
That simply overturned my perspective and I've never been the same.
I learned about real love that Christmas.
I looked at her precious scrunched up face and I was captivated.
That Christmas, I held that newborn baby girl and I thought of Mary and Baby Jesus and I knew her joy.
I also thought of his great suffering and how she had to give Him up to God's greatest good and I looked down at my daughter's sweet downy head, placed my hand on her chest to feel her itty bitty thumping heart and my heart groaned in protest.
How was that possible?
That year CHRISTmas and Advent crashed right into me like a giant wave, sweeping me up and engulfing me.
Each and every Christmas since... I remember.
I remember what it was like to carry her inside of me and how those last few weeks my anticipation and fears were at a fevered pitch. I was so euphoric and frightened.
I remember the doctor's concerns and the weekly monitoring and testing and how every pushing kick of that tiny one inside me spoke life, Life, LIFE.
I do not remember right off the top of my head a single gift I received that Christmas besides her.
These weeks of Advent that highlight preparing and waiting and hoping and His coming... I understand more  because one year at Christmas I prepared and waited and hoped for my little one.... I have a bit of knowing now. Those impossibly special days of CHRISTmas fifteen years ago are as fresh to me as yesterday.
Each December finds me tracing my cesarean scar, rubbing my mostly flat belly and remembering when it was swollen with life.
And now, each year I watch her grow in grace and beauty I continue to anticipate all that He has planned for her life and the lives of my two other children.
Thank You Jesus for opening my eyes and heart a bit more to the Real CHRISTmas.
I am blessed beyond imagining.

Edited to add- sharing this at Ann's today for Walk With Him Wednesday... Preparing for Advent

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully put...

    I wish I could say I had your same perspective with that first Christmas baby son (mine came 12-5-01) but I didn't. It wasn't until we were already homeschooling and the internet allowed me to even learn of Advent through those crazy catholics *wink*. It was a life changing moment! But for me, now I struggle with the daily distractions of it. I have 6 littles 10 down to 1. We do Advent nightly. The kids love it but, for me, it lacks spirituality because I STILL have to deal with disciplining and training during the middle of it...little ones not sitting still, not minding, being selfish, running when they should be sitting. Sigh. I know they are getting something and that it is about the practice of habit and setting traditional pathways in the heart that He cares about. But still, I'D like to feel filled during Advent too. That is my struggle this Christmas.

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