For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. Luke 2:11
Seven years ago, when I was pregnant with Jocelyn, I noticed all the windows in my house were dirty. The funny thing is, we’d been living here for three years; yet I’d never noticed before. Regardless, once I did notice, they haunted me, and I became obsessed.
Clearly I was nesting, and in intense overdrive. But I felt like I couldn’t give birth until they were all clean, inside and out, upstairs and down. So I did the logical thing and threw a “window cleaning party” and invited my mom and sister, Kerry, to come.
I myself cleaned one window and had to sit down and rest. While Kerry graciously cleaned my carpets (my other obsession), my then seventy-five-year-old mother was left to finish the job. I was mortified.
I was forty-four years old when I had Jocelyn. The pregnancy took an incredible toll on me, and growing her left me breathless and exhausted. I knew I’d be limited in how many windows I could clean (thus inviting others to help), but I didn’t know how limited.
What I didn’t know at the time was I had Thorasic Outlet Syndrome. Every time I raised my arms, I was cutting off the blood supply to them. No wonder I could only clean one window.
But not knowing that then, I felt completely guilty watching my mother do my work for me. I was also frustrated and deeply disappointed in myself for all the other things I couldn’t do during that pregnancy. I wanted to have a clean slate when Jocelyn was born, all the to-do’s done, so I could just sit and hold her, and gaze into her eyes.
Despite all that didn’t get done, she came anyway. And you know what? She didn’t care that there were scuff marks all over the door trim, no artwork on my bedroom walls, and piles of crap everywhere. She just wanted to be held, and loved.
That is Christmas. Despite all that is left undone, Jesus is coming anyway. He doesn’t care if gifts are still unwrapped, meaningful Advent activities are untouched, and our heads are still filled with chaos. He just wants to be beheld, and loved.
So we can quit our striving, and toss out our to-do lists. Christmas is about His birth, not our performance. A miracle is about to happen. All we have to do is show up for it, and be blessed by it.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Questions For Reflection:
* Were there things on my nesting list I didn’t get done when I was pregnant?
* Did my baby care?
* Are there things on my Christmas to-do list that still aren’t done?
* Will Jesus care?
* Can I let go of the lists and just show up for the miracle of His birth?
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Claire, I always enjoy your blog, but this is an especially beautiful post.
So perfect for Christmas time!
Aww, thank you, Deborah! That means so much. This post seemed to write itself as I begged God to refocus me. I just hope I can maintain that focus over these next few days as the busyness of the season revs up full throttle. Merry, merry Christmas to you and yours!
Merry Christmas Claire!
You so often express just what I am thinking in your post. Thank you for the reminder to refocus on the most important gift of Christmas.
So glad it resonated with you, Jeanne. May the “most important gift of Christmas” bless you with a deep and meaningful Christmas – free of all the chaos and scurry. Enjoy that beautiful family of yours, and know that I miss you!
After having my second just two weeks ago, I SO needed to read this! Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas season!
Congratulations, Kristen!!! I’m so happy for you! I hope you’re giving yourself lots and lots of grace during this very big transition time. Every time you gaze into your newborn’s eyes, may you be blessed with God’s love reflected there.
Yes, yes, and yes!! Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family, Claire! I’m so grateful God brought you into my life. XO
I feel the same way, Sandra! Thank you for all the ways you bless me, and all the people who are fortunate enough to attend your faith and fitness classes.