Happy New Year...but we haven’t celebrated Christmas yet.
I have long professed a desire not to be one of those mothers who make a calendar date more important than people. In fact, I’ve made mutual accountability agreements with a few of my 50-something girlfriends around topics including: Warmly welcoming new friends into our families; remembering that we own our traditions, they don’t own us; and ensuring we don’t attempt to guilt our children home for the 25th.
I must confess, those are easy standards to espouse when, for the last 25 years, everyone was home and traditions continued. But our three boys became young men and last year the plans shifted just a little. This year’s stockings have yet to be hung and my declarations are being put to the test as our youngest is out of town and the turkey won’t grace our table until January 3rd.
And, I get to choose my attitude around these transitions. Will I focus on all that is different and long for things past or will I intentionally look to the Lord with a grateful heart for all that is present?
Let's be honest.Sometimes the crazy distractions of life help, too.
Two days before Christmas the phone rang at 7:24 am and I was greeted by my son who was on his way to the airport with his fiancé to catch a plane and spend Christmas with her family several provinces away. “Mom, the Chariot just quit. Can you or dad come and pick us up? Our flight leaves at 9:10!”The 1990 Camry, aka the Chariot, had coasted to a gentle death on the shoulder of the #1 Highway.
It’s not the first time we’ve received the 911 of auto calamities. In fact, it isn’t the second or perhaps even fifth. That’s how it goes with young men driving the least-expensive-most-reliable car we could afford as they attended university. One son left a transmission on a back road and another slid off an onramp into a concrete barrier, both resulting in “I’m okay but the car isn’t” phone calls.
And, if I look for Him, I can see God’s presence in all of this. The Chariot went to vehicular glory in a spot that made the rescue quick and easy, even affording the kids time to grab a coffee before their flight. And my husband and I enjoyed a date scoping out the used car circuit on December 23rd which is not a bad time to shop if you like the undivided attention of every sales person on deck.
These last few years of personal health issues, parenting young adults, setting aside career, major surgery, rehabilitation, resuming work and many other changes have been powerful means of God teaching me to hold tightly to things most valued, but to do so with open hands. Where are you, Lord, in the midst of this transition and what is it you’d like me to see?
If you have interest in walking along with me as I navigate the mundane and extraordinary, I welcome you to join me here each week.
With love and gratitude,
In The Midst