Something about the Christmas season always makes me stop and look back over the year that is quickly coming to an end. Christmas is also a time that old memories flood back, triggered by such simple things as a Christmas song, a smell or an ornament you hang on the tree. The memories can suddenly leave you in a puddle of tears or with waves of anger and resentment but mainly melancholy for those beautiful moments that have gone by in a blink of an eye.
I tend to over compensate at Christmas for my own kids. I try so hard to provide memories for them that will leave them with happy memories to look back on when they are grown. Today we all made gingerbread houses. We have been doing this for years now....even Ben who is 14 was excited to start the Christmas season doing this favourite tradition which we all love and enjoy!
Today as we worked on our houses, I told them how one year when money was especially tight and we couldn't afford to buy the kits, I figured I could make everything from scratch and just buy the candy. By the time the kids finally got to prepare their houses, I was a basket case! I discovered how lousy I am at making icing...it is laughable now but at the time I wanted to cry and scream....thankfully the kids only remember how much fun it was even when I ended up gluing some of the gingerbreads together since my icing was to thin.
Thankfully, this year my husband worked some overtime so we splurged and bought these wonderful kits at Cosco. Ella was in candy heaven and we had lots of fun and it was fairly easy and stress free! Though, do note the jenga building blocks we use to keep our roofs on till they harden...
We also bought our tree today from a nice old man whom we met last year and bought our tree from. His trees are freshly cut and he had lots of fun stories about his time in woods. Hopefully in the spring we will buy our wood from him for the year.
So, as I gear up for another holiday season and commit myself to pleasing others...and I do enjoy it...though I wish I wasn't so tired....I pray for peace within. This year has been one of the hardest years I have gone through since my teen years. I felt like I was kicked in the stomach over and over and I keep trying to get up and catch my breath but it can all be so over whelming. But I do get up. Everything happens for a reason and our purpose in all things is to find God in the midst of it.
Spiritually, I am bone dry. I am deep into the desert. However, even in my weakest moments I never doubt Gods existence... but I have questioned why I feel so cut off from him. Why is he so quiet...is this a time of discipline for me, an attempt to finally make me suck it up and learn my lessons...maybe...Tough love I understand.
I watch and see how easy others seem to have it in their walk with Jesus. Their lives seem easier or at best I wish I could trade my troubles for theirs...but I know that is silly. People only share what they want you to see...I know that...but at times I feel like I will never fit into the mainstream of life.
Lately our pastor has been preaching on grace, and trusting in God even when you are dry or in a desert. I took comfort in what he said today. He said not to allow the doubts of God to rob you of your peace. You can be in a desert, you can be depressed, you can even feel God's silence but even in that, to keep praising him...or to simply lift your hands in prayer even when your arms are heavy and tired.
1 O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.