Ever since I was a wee girl, the story of Christmas, and it’s meaning was read to me. My Dad often read the account from the Bible . This is a memory that makes me smile . I had a good good Father .
Story time when you are a child is treasured, but it turns out, that having someone take the time to read to me now as an adult creates the significant pause button in my person that is needed to calm the craze that often lives inside me.
It is relaxing, but also rejuvenating when a story bubbles forth verbally that tantalizes my brain, and ignites my imagination to know that there is more… so much more than just today .
When I hear the phrase, “ once upon a time,” I get excited, and want to scoot to the edge of my cushioned seat, “put on my thinking cap,” and pay attention.
Pondering this year 2020, and all of its challenges, it’s been a year of unprecedented setbacks, and yet also mixed in with that there have been humans rising and overcoming obstacles.
We don’t know what lays ahead, there is much uncertainty. I find it’s a good time to ponder before the beginning of a new year, and decade for that matter, what has passed, and instill new goals and prayers for the future.
I am presently in quarantine, and self isolation, so there is lots of time to think, perhaps too much time. I am not unwell, it is just the stipulation, and mandate that I am required to follow.
Rolling around in my head is my thankfulness for freedom itself. Why is it when something is taken away that we truly feel it’s value and loss?
I take much for granted, and in truth, I believe a lot of us do, if we are honest with ourselves.
Just as we remember the one insult hurled in our general direction, rather than focus on the generous blessing of having another compliment, or give us praise.
Some folks make New Year’s resolutions, only to beat themselves up, days, weeks or months later, when they fall down, off the wagon , or find that the old habits have resurfaced in places we thought we squashed them down into . It’s instinctual to want to put the hurtful and hard things away, and bury them. It feels better.. until it doesn’t.
Real change can be instantaneous, but I think more often real and lasting change is gradual, like the chipping away of layers of paint on an old fence. The layers of the why you treated yourself this certain way, or allowed others to treat you a way, needs self discovery and reflection.
A person needs to wrap their head around a habit, understand it, before it can be discarded for a better way.
It’s so easy to put a bandaid on a gaping wound, but the blood will certainly soak the dressing, and spill forth , and the wound can become infected and needs more attention than before.
To cover up, and hide what hurts us, and cause habits and choices to persist will continue to plague and make us mentally unwell, unless we get to the root of the issue.
I am preaching to myself mostly, and recognize that if my roots are not in good soil, there will be no flourishing of the plant. No flowers, leaves, branches, fruit, vegetables will be produced unless the roots are safe and nourished.
Connection, and the feeling of home doesn’t come from a structure, just as the church is not the building, it’s the people. We need our people. One another to hold, talk to, cry with, hug, kiss, and love with.
This year has kept us from each other with this pandemic. We are separated by masks, and miles, or maybe the masks created even more miles between us , and the aloneness that can creep up from the root of our souls became intensified because of the risk of illness, and death. It makes sense . The term “ socially distant” makes me sad. I don’t like it, even though I understand the whys and the precautions. Just because you know a thing is necessary doesn’t mean you feel good about it .
I know blood is required to keep me alive, and if I lose too much I will perish. I accept that I need to get more blood if I want to live . This is life .
These masks that have become required are peculiar to see hanging about on every hook. How quickly they have become commonplace .
People have gotten creative, and sewn their own, and sewn them for others.
I remember growing up when my Mum, and Nanny(grandmother,) would wash their “ pantyhose” out at night after wearing them for the day, and hang them over the towel rack like we now wash out our masks and hang them out to dry.
These are indeed strange times. We all need hope and vision for a brighter tomorrow . We need our people, their smiles. We need hope .
When Jesus came into this world as a fresh little new born, all pink and wrinkly spilling forth from Mary’s womb onto fresh hay, that was the day that hope was born.
Every time I see a glimpse of a new born baby, or hear the guttural little wail from a crying infant, it makes me want to cry.
The hope for all mankind entered into the world like that . Helpless.. needing his Mother to suckle for life giving milk. His existence depended on her .
This takes home births to a whole new level .
I don’t think I’ve ever heard of “ stable births?” Are women lining up to give birth in a barn on fresh, or not so fresh hay? If no, then why not? If it was enough for the King Of Kings, then maybe it could become something to consider ?
These are my “ living in quarantine thoughts.”
I was watching a show last night about giving birth. It’s always miraculous to watch and remember. It’s messy, lots of blood, and sliminess, and cleaning off that’s necessary once the babe exits, and takes its first breaths of life giving oxygen.
We wait for the first cries, and often the little fingers stretch upwards, and claw, and clench, as if to try and comprehend this new place of existence. They seem petrified, yet as soon as they are laid upon their Mothers’ breast, they find home. It is familiar. It is instinct. It is a miracle.
New birth, a new year, new hope. These three .
Like the fresh growth that decides to start again after the other tree has died, and been cut down, oftentimes there are still those roots that were laid deep down in the soil that can nourish yet again the tender sapling.
Hope can be buried, but it will rise again, and it did. The baby Jesus, would become the man that would die for all mankind, be buried, but would resurrect after three days to bring new life.
In this new year that is breaking forth upon us there are decisions, and the need to focus on what lies before us. A realization that beyond ourselves there is a hurting world that needs love and attention, and yes kindness, and lots of incredible and amazing grace .
Grace is the sweetest sound. We can give it, and receive it. It is a great gift when someone offers you grace, but when you pay it forward and offer it to another, it is life altering.
I’m continuing to learn a lot about forgiveness. It is a deep well, but worth diving into . Learning about grace and forgiveness, and that I’ve been given much of both, and therefore going forward knowing it is tireless and needs to be offered and received often.