It's a Monday morning, and I spent the first half of it at work stress eating Butterfinger cups and gummy bears along with my second cup of coffee. I'm considering a third cup, as I write this.
I'm eating my feelings because one, I'm sleep deprived and it's making my body crave sugar, but two, I got emotional at Ken about being late to work because of a busy morning and what it boils down to is that my heart aches about not being with my babies today after a weekend together, and that's how it usually is. But this particular weekend, the ache is nestled in a deeper ache. I attended the memorial service of a friend's baby, and I'm aching for my friend, who I know must feel that ache in the inside of her arms, in her blood, all over her heart, all the way down to her toes.
The service took my breath away. I expected to be heartbroken, but I didn't expect to be so encouraged, to get a glimpse of a gracious God, be put into awe and have my faith fortified. I'm still reeling and I hope it takes me time to process because this ache in my heart - it's good for me. It reminds me to keep my friend in prayer, it reminds me of how amazing it was to see my friend and her husband stand firmly in their faith through it all, and it reminds me not to take anything for granted.
During these days of meditating on the reason for the season and taking stock of what is going around us, I'm feeling every feeling and holding each of my babies extra tight. They provide warmth during the cold days - that's a real bonus - but they also are a stunning reminder of the message during given the memorial service; that in the face of tragedy, 1) there are secret things of God that we cannot know, 2) that death is not the end, and 3) that our lives are but a mist that is here today and gone tomorrow.
This past few days, I thought about such things while we got a Christmas tree together, while I gave thanks for Ken's mom and my parents, while I cooked meals for our week, while we reveled amongst the kids during a book exchange, and while we performed our bed time rituals before going to sleep at night.
Deliberate, is the word for this holiday season for me. I'm thinking hard about the words that I say to Sloane as I explain the mystery and grace of this season and thinking a lot about the traditions and rituals I want our family to have. I want these weeks to go by slow so I can deliberately celebrate and remember such a glorious gift.