Merry almost Christmas! I hope you are having a blessed week getting ready for celebrations, and enjoying the time getting ready. Because, it’s so much about the process and journey. I am having so much fun with a house full of too much energy and excitement that could legally blow like dynamite. I am so, so grateful for the festivities, but especially the people I get to spend it with.
I also have something very exciting to share with you! Remember the post I wrote in November about my Inspired Room – A Room With a View, helping to promote Melissa Michael’s new book, The Inspired Room? (click on photo for a link to her blog)
I so enjoyed writing that post and getting such sweet meaningful responses. And so I was completely, totally blown away when last week, I got an email from Melissa herself saying, “Congratulations! You were randomly selected as the winner of the $300 Anthropologie gift card!” I was completely shocked, and felt kissed by God. I NEVER, and I mean NEVER win drawings, not even for $5 Starbucks gift cards, so you can imagine my elation to have been randomly chosen to spend free money at my favorist store ever! We have a family vacation planned to California in February (because Anthropologies do not exist this far north), and you can expect to see an instagram account of me blissfully spending my gift cards, compliments of Melissa at The Inspired Room. And I plan to bring her book as reading material for the plane! The gift cards arrived on Monday. I weathered a half an hour wait in the Post Office line, but it was well worth it. Merry Christmas to me!!!
I am delighted watching my kids anticipate traditions, gifts and food this week. My husband and I went on a date this week and shared about Christmas memories we had as children. (It’s so fun learning about your spouse even after 11+ years). As a child I recall Christmas morning being the combination of experiencing a clock that slowed to a near standstill and a tummy acting as a barometer of the sleepless excitement I had felt all night. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t sleep like any normal night. I was entertained rather by the numbers on the digital clock slowly meandering towards a darkened dawn (the reality of Christmas in Alaska). My siblings and I had a ritual, once it reached 7am, we would put together our makeshift band, and play Christmas music until our parents released us from the confines of our prison-like bedrooms. When we knew they woke up within the first measure of music, it was pure torture to play countless Christmas carols. Perhaps they just loved the sheer musicality of a robust baritone and delicate flute playing out in the most awkward duet known to mankind. At any rate, Christmas always came.
We would run like a race horses to our stockings. And my Mom, she is and always has been one of the best gift givers in the world, I’m sure of it. I have two sisters, all of us with different styles, interests and builds, and she seems to hit the nail on the head 99% of the time. There have been many times I liked what she picks out for me better than what I pick out for myself.
It seems like every Christmas, my siblings and I were so blessed with incredibly thoughtful gifts that after opening our stockings we frequently told her we didn’t need any more gifts. However, our favorite breakfast always concluded with gift giving around the tree. We never took back an unwrapped gift.
The Christmas I was sixteen, however, I unwrapped my gift and was sure my Mom had made a big mistake and wasted a lot of money. What was puzzling was that she never even offered to take it back. Like I was stuck with this huge gift that I was afraid I would never use. I am not one who could fake my displeasure, so I sat in the wingback chair disturbed and pouting, not as much because I had something else on my list, but because I knew this gift was a sacrifice, and I was sure it would be a waste. And she, amused with my disgust, confidently laughed, “Oh, I know you’ll use it.”
The thing with good mothers is they know their children. Born into a world marred by cultural contexts, peer pressure, bullies, and good intentions of people, mothers have the decided privilege of seeing beyond the here and now trends that lasso a child’s heart into masking who they’re called to be. With movements in the womb that distinguish temperaments and personalities, a mother has the chance to be perhaps one of the few who can truly see and help bring into being who their child is meant to be. Mothers have been given a gift to see beyond the mistakes, the fads and trends, the attitudes — they can see who their child is really meant to be.
Perhaps the most poignant example of this is seen in John 2. Jesus and his disciples were at a wedding. He hadn’t done anything miraculous at this point, there was nothing that especially set himself apart besides a deep revelation as he unraveled the Scriptures. But at that wedding, his mother knew who he was. The wedding party had run out of wine, and she simply said to the attendants, “do whatever he says.” She knew who her son was, she knew He was the promised Messiah, and with that came unmatched grace to carry out the Kingdom unearthed in the goodness of God. He argued with her, “Woman, my time has not come.” Jesus, the Son of God didn’t even believe it was time to fulfill his destiny and calling, but his mother determined in who he was brought forth the miraculous signs, nudging him in essence saying, “It is time. World, behold your Messiah.”
What my mom gave me that Christmas spoke to the fact that she knew who I was and who I was made to be greater than any other gift I’d ever received. That gift I unwrapped, insecure and sixteen, was a Elnita sewing machine. Because even if it is a part of our destiny, sometimes it is hard to see wrapped deep in our soul, what seems contrary to what we or the world heralds as worthwhile.
Over the years, I would lean in and learn, that yes, creating and designing always was and is a big part of who I am. I am so grateful for a Mom who could see beyond the young adult wanderings of “who am I going to be.”
Whether you had the gift of a mother who believed in you, or another person who invested courage and strength to become all God made you to be, we have all been given the sweet assignment as mothers or as mentors to change the world one person at a time. To see our children as mighty men and women of God, ones who each have a unique assignment to change the world. We have the blessed task to keep whispering and praying, disciplining and shouting the truth until we see them soar. May your richest gifts come from the blessing of investing in other lives this Christmas season.
I hope you all have a very blessed Christmas! I’ll be back next week.