Silent Night! Holy Night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon virgin mother and child!
Holy Infant so tender and mild.
Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace!
–Joseph Mohr, 1818
Can you believe it’s Christmas Eve 2014 already? I can’t. I know I haven’t been very active on social media lately (I’m trying, I swear), but from what I have seen, I know many of you won’t be sorry to see this year pass. For whatever reason, it seems life has chosen to knock a lot of us down this year. For my family, we’ve had a difficult time getting into the Christmas spirit after the loss of my husband’s grandmother. She was 84 and lived a good life, but it wasn’t something we were expecting. Nonetheless, we attended her memorial on Saturday and although it doesn’t seem right, life goes on.
Between losing our house, family members, and getting sick a lot in the past two months, I’ve found myself whining to God that life isn’t fair. Useless, I know. I tell my two kids all the time I don’t want to hear the “F” word (which in my home is ‘fair’). This year didn’t go the way I planned in too many ways to count. I found myself thinking, “I don’t deserve this crap!”
But then I was reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas as I baked goodies with my 10yo daughter today. I bet, “This wasn’t what I had planned” is exactly what Mary thought as she gave birth to the son of God in a stable. Talk about humbling.
With 2015 right around the corner, I’m excited! I’m especially excited because the final installment of my trilogy, 18 Thoughts, comes out January 27th! A million thoughts went into telling Olga’s story. Of course, when I wrote the beginning, I knew there’d have to be an end. A final chapter. I thought I knew it before I wrote it, but I didn’t. In the end, I let my characters take over.
And isn’t it amazing how God does the same thing for us? Yes, he begins our stories, sets each one of us apart for a specific time and place. He’s a plotter, not a pantser! But he, the God of the whole universe, gives each of us our own pen. He allows us to write the stories of our own lives. How much easier would it be for him to script each scene for us? But he loves us too much for that.
So as I take up my figurative pen for the new year and you take up yours, I hope that we remember, yesss, this isn’t what we ‘deserved’ … it’s so much better! God had the perfect ending in mind when he sent his son to earth for us.
In the darkness of the night, the Wise Men saw light. Maybe just like 2,000+ years ago, God will use the darkness of this year to reveal his light if we look for it.
Because that light that shone in the darkness? Best. Christmas. Present. Ever. His ending was our new beginning.
Merry Christmas to all!! Oh, and one more thing to celebrate tonight . . .