As we wrap up 2010, and as I shuffle through my pictures from this Christmas, I realize that this has been quite a year. From the pictures, we appear so joyful… and they are acurate. We had the most joyful, perfect Christmas ever… because we didn’t plan it. From start to finish, 2010 has been much like this. Some things we planned, but most we didn’t, and the year turned out to yield many surprises. Some surprises were not so welcome, but others were ones we could never have imagined, like having another baby girl, starting a goat share business, and countless other small joys. Sometimes, amidst the stress of life’s realities and darkness, I have had to strain to find the blessings… but they have always been there, as an undertone that Someone is truly guiding our life.
This Christmas season held many surprises… the week before, I became very ill, stalling all the usual Christmas plans and making me wonder if St. Nicolas was going to be throwing up over the toilet instead of ensuring that Christmas was ‘fun’ and even ‘spiritual’ for the kids. But Christmas Eve morning, I was perfectly well, as if I had never been deathly ill. A few weeks before, Corey was in accident that almost cost him his life, and totalling our commuter vehicle. But he miraculously emerged unharmed, and even though the accident brought with it pourly timed inconveniences (when are inconveniences ever WELL timed?) where we went weeks without sure transportation, we bought a new (to us) van in a matter of minutes on a Sunday in December from kind people in our community. And then there were gifts for the children that seemingly appeared out of nowhere. This has been an incredibly tight couple of years for us as Corey embarks on his new career, but the generosity of all around us has been astounding.
We didn’t know how Christmas would ‘turn out’… but Christmas morning, we awoke to plenty of gifts for the children under our tree, a beautiful quiet Mass, and my sister spending much of the day with us… and the next day (a surprise as well) we got to continue the celebration with my wonderful family and a dear friend of the family’s.
But the main gift I felt this Christmas was inexplicable joy. There was no tangible reason for it. It was just there. I think it has something to do with a little Baby Who gives without measure, more than we could ever even imagine.
My wish for you (and myself!) is to continue the joy of this season as the world grows slowly darker, and stresses threaten our peace daily. May the New Year bring you many blessings, some of which we can’t see, but KNOW deep in our hearts.