Choosing Life Advent Day 5
I woke up to find my daughter curled up on a 3 foot couch in our landing-office-prayer room area. Her long legs stretched over the edge, her blanket (the one she's carried yes, from her crib) in one hand, and the sign of tears still collected at the corner of her eyes, it has been a bad dream kind of night.
Finding your way after a bad dream isn't easy. Sometimes our nights are uneventful. We wake up rested and ready for the day. Other times, well you have them, too, you can't seem to shake the affects of your night. My just -got- accepted- into- university son tells me that our logic portion of our brain turns off when we sleep. That's why our dreams/nightmares can feel so crazy. Whether or not that is true, (I'm not going to google it) I nod and tell him he's so smart and I wish I could know things like that. My daughter needs me today to say it will be okay. I hold her close and we look at craftsy ideas for Christmas on pinterest because somehow we feel like we're being creative even when we don't really feel like it's Christmas.
I'm tired today. My heart is tired. I want to stay at home and hide. I want to close my windows and say I'm not here. Weariness, the kind that creeps into your bones and makes your legs feel like jello and it takes everything in me to wake the house up to whole wheat pancakes because they need me to say, Good morning! We will live today. Again.
Deciding to put up our tree the day before Thanksgiving was a choice. Not because I'm anxious to decorate, although I usually cannot wait, but because my husband leaves on Thanksgiving night for our home country and I have this sense that he won't be back on his scheduled date. I tell the kids this because I'm not good at faking it as a parent. We read our first Advent reading early because we need Dad around for this. I smile painfully through it, my kids can see right through it, my heart already anticipating the days ahead.
Making Christmas cookies today takes all the energy I have. I don't want to make cookies. I don't want to pretend that things are normal because they aren't. I want to fold my arms up and have a little tantrum in my bathroom because I don't know what else to do.
Today is just hard.
Choose Life today, Jenn. I hear the Lord whisper through Deuteronomy 30:19, "I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice, holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days....."
John 10:10 speaks also of this life to me tonight. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." The thief? It's the same thief, but he's after different things in each of us. I somehow forgot that today.
The Lord is my life and length of days. Abundant life. It's mine and it's yours.
It's our choice.
My husband exhorts me last night to find a way to live through the dissonance. Fix delicious food, laugh with the kids, celebrate Advent and all the traditions we've created over the years, Live. Yes, we can be sad at the sadness, at what's not, but that's not where we stop. God has given us breath for one more day so we must live it. "Choose life, that you and your offspring may live..." The choice to live impacts my kids.
It's night now. My daughter snuggles next to me (she happily takes over Dad's spot on the bed) and the boys engage in an all out nerf gun war. The Lord sustains us through the moments that make up day. And he grants us the grace that we need to make it through the night, too.