This week I had plans for a great Christmas vacation to Ensenada to see my sister and her family. I planned visits with friends, and play dates for the kids. All the ingredients for sugar cookies were stocked and ready for a baking party with my girls. We even hoped to catch the new Narnia movie too.
But then my youngest got the stomach flu. Which she passed to me. Then the older kids got it… and hubby too. Even the dog got it. (Yes, I’m serious).
So, no vacation. No time with friends. No parties. Instead of baking and frosting cookies, I’ve done lots of laundry and coated my floors and bathrooms with bleach. I’ve felt like an isolated nomad in my own life this week, wandering around dazed and nauseated.
This. is. not. the. Christmas. I. wanted.
It’s not the one I planned for. It has instead been a major ChristMESS.
But, as the ancient Persian proverb states:
“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.”
Let me tell you, being quarantined in a house with four kids for the past week due to illness and incessant rain – especially with two special needs kids – made for a pretty dark place. But the stars have been bright indeed! My 8 year old said over and over, even in between throwing up in the middle of the night, “Thanks for taking care of me, mom” and “I’m really enjoying you this Christmas, mom.” I can’t adequately describe what these words feels like, coming from a child whose mood disorder often leaves everyone else in her world an irrelevant detail. But it’s something like heaven, I am certain.
The song below also encouraged me as I wandered this very different Christmas. It pressed me not only see those stars in the dark places, but to step out courageously and see what God will do with the moments I don’t expect. How He still creates stars – in us – in the dark or blurred times in life.
So now I pass that along to you as a gift. Spend a moment to listen and read the lyrics. May it be to you a Christmas present from the heart of heaven, and encourage you if you are struggling.
Be blessed in the midst of whatever you’re facing, my friend. Merry Christmas.