Monday, December 25, 2017

Counting All My Presents

    The fields are full of crystals on the grass and ribbon frost on the ground.  Today is a very special day.  It's Christmas of course, and I know we've just spent Thanksgiving being thankful, but this is the time of year I like to count my blessings the most.  It's on this day that we remember and celebrate the precious gift of a life that would be unlike any other, a life that would set the captives free and heal the broken-hearted.  And that more than ever has been me these last two years.  I have been the broken-hearted...but with time, I am healing and this Christmas looks to be the most joyful one I've had in many years.
    I know that it's very easy to forget that, not just at Christmas, but all the time with so many ways to distract ourselves in this modern age.  So, today, I wanted to pause a moment and share a bit of my own story with you and the lessons I've learned at Christmas time, and it begins of course with my little girl.  One year, my oldest child decided to sneak over to the Christmas tree and count up all the gifts that had her name on them.  I found her extremely distraught and proceeded to needle the truth out of her.  She finally admitted what she'd done and that she was upset because her sister had so many more gifts that her.  I tried to explain that she had chosen a couple of very expensive items while her sister had asked for a lot of small and inexpensive things, but the that amount spent on both was the same.  It didn't matter; she looked at what someone else had and she felt unloved.  She pitied herself.  
    We all do that at some point.  I used to catch myself doing that on Facebook quite a lot when I looked at other people's photos of beautiful vacations or expression of love.  (I don't look at Facebook very often anymore.)  It's hard not to look at what others have and what I don't, especially when things don't go as I'd hoped or planned--or when things go totally and completely awful.  The world is full of stories where someone has had enough-enough of that unfulfilling job, unhealthy addiction, toxic relationship, or that simply that same old scenery.  And the hero of those stories makes a change to something totally different that suddenly brings all the fulfillment that had always been lacking.  It's a common story, a really great story that hopefully inspires others to take that plunge toward a better life...but, it's not my story.
    I loved my life.  I loved everything about it.  There were days I wasn't full of pep, but I always reminded myself that it could be worse, I could be working a meaningless job that I hated to pay for things I didn't need while someone else raised my children.  (Please don't send me a nasty e-mail if that's your life, because, no matter what you're doing, if you love it then I applaud and support you.  All I'm saying is that life wasn't right for me).  I was living my dream.  And then it all ended, just like that.  It's very difficult to move forward because I keep looking back--toward the ashes and everything I lost.
    I think of my daughter that Christmas eve, standing there unable to hear or absorb the lengthy list of reasons why she should be thankful and how truly loved she was not just by me but by so many.  Self pity blinded her and it will blind me too if I let it.  And, I could.  I could just lay down and die here in self pity, because even now it is a vest ocean of grief that I have with me every moment and it is always threatening to pull me under.  It's just that I'd rather not.  I worked too hard to give up.  Besides, I know there is still hope, there is still a way out.  It's the hardest fight I've ever been in in my whole life to overcome this, but it's the cruelest pain I've ever felt, so it stands to reason.  Nothing worth having will come without a fight.
    So, here is a very big part of my solution: I have to remind myself everyday, sometimes every hour, that I haven't lost everything.  I am in fact very blessed with more blessing yet to come.  All of my loved ones are alive and healthy--that is a huge, jumping-up and-down-I'm-so-excited kind of present.  I have a job that I enjoy and that challenges me--that's a gift.  I still get to spend more time with my kiddos than most working moms,--what a blessing!  I had eleven years of bath times, story times, long afternoon walks, crafts, snuggles, tears, quiet daily routines, impromptu ice cream parties, long meaningful talks, water balloon fights, free style two minute dance parties, learning, loving, and watching these two amazing little people grow and change--that is an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime gift.  I have a beautiful farm that daily brings me unexpected beauty like this delicate ribbon frost decorating the fields.  I am blessed, my friends.  And you are too, if you choose to see it.
Merry Christmas, and a Happy and Blessed New Year!


  1. I am so sorry. I know exactly how you feel. My life was destroyed and I have no idea how to make a new one. I'm also blessed but life is just too hard right now.

    1. I know it's hard. There aren't words strong enough to describe it, really. But, just remember, it's one day at a time, and sometimes one breath at a time, and you will get through this. Use the "Contact Me" link on my page if you need to talk. Hugs, hugs, hugs.


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