Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy Holidays!

My Christmas was sweet; I hope yours was too. Last year I was recovering from surgery and so couldn’t go anywhere on Christmas Eve, so we kept to ourselves. The whole evening R kept saying, “I really like this. This is nice.” So this year, we stayed to ourselves by choice, and it was really nice. We took the boys bowling in the afternoon of Christmas Eve, and a really big snowstorm rolled in as we bowled. We picked up pizza on the way home and then built a fire and “snuggled down,” as I like to say. We watched the Luke II video and, my favorite, Mr. Krueger’s Christmas. (Favorite line: “I believe I spoke to you about that at the time,” which Mr. K says to baby Jesus about his problem with a tenant.) Then we read the story, sang some songs, opened a present. It was all just sweet and, well, sweet.

The next morning we tore into the loot. Favorite quotes: 4-yr-old, with his hand in his stocking, “Oh! I’ve ALWAYS WANTED ONE OF THESE!!!!” And then he pulled out a regular-sized Hershey bar. And the following conversation, right after 4-year-old opened his big present from Santa:

6-yr-old: Hey, I saw that under the Grandpa [spare] bed last week!
9-yr-old: [pointing to me, in great excitement] That means that YOU ARE SANTA!!!
[I busy myself getting the toys out of their packaging]
9: I know, let’s go down and see if that toy you saw is still under the bed. If it’s not, we’ll know that Mom is Santa.
[6 and 9 go downstairs. I’m busy helping 4 open his stuff.]
[A few minutes later they troop back upstairs]
6: Maybe Santa just brought it early and kept it there because he knew it wouldn’t fit in the chimney.
[No more is said.]

So, how was your 2007? Mine was a year of suffering, I admit. And learning. And also great appreciation for small and simple pleasures, tender mercies, compensatory blessings. We had many. As I look towards 2008 and set some resolutions, I have one great desire of my heart which is, of course, that I will return to health this year. But even more than that I want to feel God working in my life, even if it is through continued struggles with my health. I feel that I could probably endure just about anything as long as I felt the Lord near. I also believe, though, that we are not necessarily guaranteed that we will always feel Him near, even when we are righteous. But it’s sweet to realize that it is my greatest yearning, even greater than my yearning for health. It’s nice to know that about myself after a year like this.

What about you? How have you grown, and where do you hope to be next year? My best wishes for a happy new year to you!


Marj said...

It's been a pretty good year and I'm looking forward to an even better year. My goals for this year have a theme entitled, "That was really hard but I'm glad I did it."

#1 - In one month I am going to a leadership training in las Vegas. My work is sending me. I hear it's really hard from all those who have gone before me but I know it will be a good experience.

#2 - Doug and I were asked to be a ma and pa for trek. I am really excited for that.

#3 - I am training for a half marathon.

#4 - Attend my 20 year high school reunion.

Zina said...

Hi, Darlene. I'm so sorry to hear that you're still having health problems. :( Do you have a clear diagnosis now? I admire the faithful way you're approaching these trials.

I got briefly discouraged trying to think what I'd accomplished in 2007 -- then I thought of how many diapers I changed (Henry and Rose are both still in diapers) and I decided that was a heroic achievement in and of itself. I also briefly toyed with the idea of making ambitious resolutions for this year, but decided that I'm too much in survival mode to make any major changes. I do have a few definite ideas in mind that are fairly likely to happen since I really want them, though.