Usually the title is the first thing that comes to mind when I update. Today there was nothing. Just "blah". Blah, blah, blah. Can you tell what kind of mood I'm in? In a nutshell, I have grounded myself to my bedroom because I can't seem to be pleasant to anyone. I have a tendency to be sarcastic or so Brian tells me. He quite often will say "sarcasm is always aggressive" to which I respond "yeah, so what's your point??!!" So now you know why I'm grounded.
I have been meaning to update the blog for a few days now but the busyness of the season has taken over the week. I have wanted to be Mary. I have tried and tried but Martha takes over. I have good intentions - I start out with my Martha hat on because I needed to get the last of the presents bought and wrapped, the cards addressed and all those fun activities. I intend to take my Martha hat off but suddenly Martha goes into overdrive. No time to sit at Jesus feet now - there are goodies to bake, the house is a mess, on and on and on.
I will rationalize that when everything is done then I can sit down and read a devotion. I'll enjoy it much more if the house is clean and I'm not distracted. It will be easier to focus if my to-do list is done. On and on I go until there is nothing physically or emotionally left to give. I'll crack open a devotional as I'm laying in bed drifting off to sleep so I can check off my "spent time with God today" box off my list.
I have had a few times where I just stopped the nonsense. I opened my bible and read through some Psalms, I found a devotional that really spoke to me, I connected with God and the world fell away. Life was good in that moment and that was all I wanted. Slowly though the world called out (or more likely the kids started fighting, the timer went off reminding me that we needed to leave or anxiety just started making its way into my mind).
I have been struggling with the whole gift thing this year. I love buying gifts for the kids. I can't wait to see the look on their face when they open it up. This year was no different - I sat with anticipation as they unwrapped their gifts and saw the sparkle in their eye as they realized what was in front of them. But then there was this emptiness. This look of "I need more". All the gifts were unwrapped, paper was strewn all over. All the time I had spent figuring out the perfect gift, finding the perfect gift, hiding the perfect gift and finally wrapping the perfect gift was gone. Poof. All the anticipation and poof, gone. I wasn't mad at the kids - it's human nature to always want more, to need more. They weren't asking for more - I could just sense this feeling of unfulfillment.
As I type this I wonder if that is what God sees when He looks at me. He gave us the only truly perfect gift this world has to offer. The only gift that can give us eternal joy. I accepted that gift a long time ago. I grew up in a Christian home - that gift was given to me when I was born. I grew up being taught about this gift. I went to church every Sunday and learned even more. I was diagnosed with cancer and this gift was made crystal clear to me. Over the past 40 years (yes, I said "40"!) I have listened to, learned about and shared this gift with others.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life". John 3:16
A friend of mine just recently wrote on her care pages how we tend to put this gift that God gave us into a box. A little box that we don't open. That is so true. I know I put it into one. I carefully pull it out when it is time to read the bible or work on bible study. I think I may only even lift a corner of it. That gift should be unwrapped, opened up and front and center every single minute!
In this world where there is cancer, ALS, starving children both far away and close to home, sadness, depression, terrorism and things so horrible our minds can't even comprehend them there is also this gift. This gift that I have clung to - that I have been holding tight to my chest with my arms wrapped around it. I cling to this gift as I force myself to get out of bed every morning. I hold tight as I make myself take that next step. I grasp it as I go into surgery. I hold on to it fiercely when my mind starts to go ahead to that phone call . . . "the biopsy came back - your cancer has metastasized - we need to start treatment right away".
Maybe I need to quit clinging to that gift so tightly and let it go. I need to open it up again and keep it out in front of me where I can see it. I'm not quite sure how to go about this. I knew I needed to update the blog and process all this. I feel better now and yet still scared to death at the same time. This last surgery has scared me more than I realized it would. Although "George" has been removed he must have gotten a good right hook in before he left because it feels like someone punched me in the neck. When I feel that pain I am mentally reminded of why I have pain, what was removed during surgery and the results that it may bring.
I think it is time to stuff those thoughts into a box now! All the anxiety and fear needs to be stuffed into a box - the box needs to be taped up - then the taped up box needs to be thrown into the bottom of an ocean! Maybe then I can unwrap the gift of Jesus. While I'm at it maybe I can stuff Satan and all of his army that likes to fling fiery darts at my brain into a box too. I can tie it up real tight, put a heavy anchor on it and fling that into the ocean too. I know it will slowly creep back up out of the murky water but if I can just get that gift of Jesus opened up fully then the brightness can block out all those nasty other boxes that are trying to take away my focus, time and energy.
It seems like we can so easily say "thank you God for the gift of your son". Right now I am so thankful for that gift. That is the one gift this season that will leave us fulfilled - that is if we remember to open it.