o come o come emmanuel
I've been in the trenches of motherhood lately. A growth spurt and teething and upset tummies hit all at once and destroyed my life. A formerly happy baby who now screams when she's not being held makes for very difficult days when there are presents to wrap and cookies to bake and basic chores that need to be done. I know that parenting is often about picking your battles, and sometimes that means picking no battles and just holding your baby until the storm has passed. It means staying up late after the baby's asleep to get things done and to paint your nails a sparkly red during nap time instead of cleaning or laundry or dishes or baking all in the name of survival. It means watching The Holiday twice in two days because something about it is so comforting, and keeping the constant flow of sweet potato puffs and applesauce and bananas and veggies and milk and turkey flowing as fast as possible to keep up with a growing baby. It's in the 60s and it feels like the world collectively decided to celebrate Christmas in April instead of December. There is a severe thunderstorm warning, everything is off-balance and wonky, and the cookies taste a little different than they did last year. Christmas cards never made it out to anyone but the grandparents, and sometimes you cry twice by 8 am and realize at lunch time that your shirt has been inside out all morning.
But we're pulling through to the other side. Slowly but surely. This horrible week has felt like such a true picture of Advent. I didn't grow up celebrating the idea of Advent. I feel like it's something that really took hold in modern culture only recently. But lately, I understand it so much more. It's helped me internalize the real meaning of Christmas so much more. The weariness, the strife, the tears, the hope of future glory. As Gracie started to slip back into her old self and the stress and frustration started to lift and I could breathe, I realized this is it. This is what Christmas is about. It's about weary hearts rejoicing. It's the thrill of hope that our Savior came and is coming again. After giving birth, I understand so much more of what Mary must have gone through. The excruciating pain and discomfort mixed with pure joy. Life doesn't stop being painful at Christmas, but that doesn't mean we can't rejoice in our Lord's coming, and also in the sugar cookies.
Our world is fallen and it's broken. Things aren't as they should be. But this world isn't our home, and one day all things will be made right. Emmanuel is coming.
Merry Christmas, my dear friends and family.