South America – Day 126

I think the Lord made it snow just for me.  After Christmas eve morning with my parents and brothers and sisters, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do until Saturday night.  The thought of spending the next 3 days alone at home with my kids brought such a feeling of despair and loneliness.  I was invited to go to Glen Carbon to spend Saturday lunch with my in-laws, and I had been invited to go to Iowa to my Grandma’s house, but either option just sounded like so much work.  I know that Derick would have wanted me to go to Glen Carbon.  And I know that on the way down there, I was planning on driving with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law to ease the stress of the trip, but I wasn’t sure what time they were coming back and I wanted to come back fairly early so that I could see my extended family for at least an hour.  I, actually, don’t go to Kroger for milk and eggs by myself with all four kids, let alone take a day trip that’s 2 1/2 hours in one direction.  The more I thought about it the more stressful it sounded.

Christian went to his Jolliff family on Christmas afternoon and I told his dad that he could spend the night at his grandparent’s house.  So, that eliminated the option of going with my parents to Iowa.  But God made it snow instead.  It was predicted to snow 3″ or less here, but 7″ at my grandma’s house.  And the trip to Grandma’s house was postponed.  Suddenly, I had a place to stay for the Christmas weekend and I wouldn’t be alone in a house full of little kids.

Anyone who has spent an extended amount of time with me this week knows that I was not looking forward to Christmas this year.  I had no idea that it would be this hard to spend it with Derick overseas.  I did all my shopping in a matter of 2 days.  I really think I made pretty good purchases in spite of my procrastination.  I know that Jesus is the reason for the season.  And deep inside I really wanted to make it a special Christmas for my kids.  But, I just could not do it.  I was stuck, paralyzed, unable to move forward with the plans I had in my head.  I called my mom, crying on several occasions.  I’m sure she didn’t know what to do with me.

Its funny how things work.  I have such a great support system around me.  But, Christmas, so far, has been the hardest weekend of Derick’s absence.  That is also the weekend that everyone is the busiest.  I wanted company so bad.  But, its not a weekend that people spend with needy friends, it one they spend with their families.  My family is gone though.  I know… my kids are still here.  But when it comes to holidays, I feel like I am functioning as half a person.  I remember my grandma saying that after my grandpa died.  Yesterday I began to wonder how she even made it through the holidays that first year without him.  There is such a marked difference when the person that you most want around for a special occasion is missing.

I began thinking about people that really are alone during the holiday season… every year.  Am I available to visit those people?  Or am I too busy with my own life to even notice.  I’m not sure I even know anyone like that.  Or maybe I do and I just haven’t recognized that they are in need.  I pray that God would open my eyes to the needs of others.  That I would not be so consumed by myself that I don’t take the time to notice what’s going on around me.  And that he would give me boldness and assertiveness in making myself available.  I think if someone would have asked me this week if I needed anything, I probably would have said no.  I didn’t need anything tangible.  I needed someone’s time, anyone’s time.  But, I didn’t want to take people away from their own family, I didn’t want to be selfish about it.

Well, *sigh*, now Christmas is over, and my God, in his loving kindness, provided company for me.  I have one more party to go to tonight and then its back to life as usual.  Back to my normal goals and semi-routines.  Back to potty training and trying to keep kids healthy during the flu season.  And back to counting the days until Derick’s return.  I welcome routine.  Right now it brings me comfort and peace of mind.

So, now I sign off so I can put pants on my son that seems to have been potty training forever.  He makes Aida’s potty training nightmare look like a walk in the park.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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