Archive for December 27th, 2010
As I sit in the darkened living room staring at the Christmas tree lit up in our nearby dining room, my heart settles into a place I don’t let it rest near enough. As I hear and see the fire in the fireplace rhythmically flicker, I am filled with sweet delight.
The reflection of the lights on the tree reflect off our wood floor and highlight a Hot Wheels race car set in the middle of the living room floor. I can see the rug we rolled up and moved out of the way so we could get the new refrigerator into the kitchen a couple hours ago — ours went out on Christmas eve. Joseph and Mary stand watch over the room and the tree now devoid of gifts. They rest on a nearby table, Mary clutching her newborn child, a powerful symbol of where our family’s heart has been this past year.
A pop up kid’s tent is set up in the entry way, just around the corner from where I sit. Toys and games are stacked on our dining room table waiting for the morning fun to begin again. In the middle of that table sits an incredible, framed, photograph of two precious little boys — one whose absence tears our hearts and yet whose life now graces another family because of the love and care of our son and his wife.
A few presents, not yet delivered, rest on the china hutch. A card from Fitia, from Madagascar, rests on the same table I’m resting my feet while I type. Toys are stuck in every corner of the room. They are picked up as much as needed until life returns to our happy holiday “normal” when daylight strikes and the rambunctious joy of a little boy fills the rooms again.
Unfortunately, Donna has developed a temperature and she is resting fitfully in our bedroom down the hall. Zach, Mandy, and our little S-man (our 3 1/2 year old foster son whose name I can’t share) are asleep in the room behind me. Megan, who recently graduated with her DPT so we lovingly refer to her as Dr. Meg E. Pooh, is asleep in the room next to them.
As anyone who is honest and has been down this road already knows, I’ve had my share of mess-ups, goober-headed things I’ve done, dump things I’ve said, ill-timed words, as well as things I’d like to do go back and do better. And yes, I’ve collected some wounds along the way and have the scars to prove it. Yet there is one unmistakable reality: we all love Jesus and we all love each other. I don’t know about your definition of success, but I’ll take that one.
So as the lights on the tree shine in the darkness of near midnight, my heart chooses to hold on to the great gifts that God has given me this past year. Some of those gifts have meant very hard goodbyes, but I wouldn’t trade the hurt of the partings if it meant never knowing the precious ones God has put into our lives — treasures from Peru, China, Thailand, Madagascar, and Kentucky. And for the treasures in the rooms nearby, who rest in the grace of God’s sweet care as they sleep, I count myself blessed, loved, and hopeful for tomorrow.