Joy, week 50

It has been good for me to see the word “Joy” so many times this week.  With nine days left until Christmas and only fifteen days left in the year, part of me wants to hide under a blanket, take a long nap, and pretend it’s October!

It’s been a wonderful holiday season so far.  I’m enjoying my children, loving the sights and sounds of Christmas, reading Christmas stories to my heart’s content and generally aware of my countless blessings.    At every social event I’ve attended I’ve been able to really focus on the people I’m around.  I’m feeling like my life is full of wonderful people and friendships I treasure but don’t deserve.   It’s a good place to be.

In fact, we’d decided that since we’ve been so blessed we ought to plan a couple of simple, casual holiday gatherings for friends and neighbors.  I had the plans all worked out and was ready to deliver invitations when one of the children came down with a fever.  I decided to wait a day and see what would happen, since ten people under one roof can make the rounds of a virus something of an event.  Sure enough, it got worse.   I’ve consistently had three or more children crashed and sleeping on the couch all day for the past week and after days of being coughed on by my little ones, I woke up feeling awful myself.    One of the parties I wanted to have would have been held right now and instead we sit as a family with blankets and cough drops and homemade chicken noodle soup.  The bodies on the couch and the bodies up and around change places as doses of ibuprofen wear off or kick in.    My brother and his boys decided to brave the germs and flew from Denver to visit over the weekend.  We loved seeing them.  Our oldest son came home from snowboarding last night with what might just be a broken collarbone, so we have that to take care of tomorrow.  My husband and I have had a big decision to weigh this week, and I always forget how much time, talking and emotional energy it takes to make these decisions even when they’re good decisions.

I’m supposed to help with a holiday party at the school on Wednesday, and we had planned to have a birthday party for my daughter on Thursday but she’s the one who’s been hit hardest and running a fever of 103.5 all weekend.  I’m thinking it will have to be postponed until after the holidays, and I hope she’ll understand.

Yesterday my youngest walked into the room with bangs.  She’s never had bangs before, especially the kind that are three inches long in one spot and 3/4 inch long in another.  This makes us 8 for 8, with every one of our children cutting their own hair as toddlers.  My four year old was in on it, too.  She gave herself bangs early in the year,  and it was almost all grown out, but now half of the “bangs” are much shorter bangs and she looks like kind of a mop.  Or maybe they have mullets.  I don’t know.  We’ll see what we can do to fix it.  As soon as I have the energy to do it, that is.

Given all these little speed bumps I’m crossing things off my list and deciding what can be postponed.  Christmas crafts and projects might not happen after all and the cards just might be mailed for New Year’s.  But it’s ok.  Christmas is right here.  It’s the feeling in the room as the toddler jumps on her Daddy to be tickled, as the children play songs on the piano, as we enjoy steaming mugs of hot wassail while we laugh and talk together.  We’re doing just fine when the glow in our eyes match the glow of the lights, even if we’re blowing our noses every five minutes.  The Lord is so generous to my family, and I’m aware that his windows are wide open.  For this I am grateful, and I’m grateful for the lessons that sickness can teach me about simplification.

SO.  I have nine days to see how much I can salvage of my original Christmas plans, and then a week after that to wrap up year.   Today while I was rocking a little body my mind wandered to my sewing room and started planning the quilts I want to make in 2013.  Surely that’s a sign that I’m on the mend!  I hope tomorrow will bring an increase in energy, a clear mind, and little bodies that have strength.

Life is joyful!

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