This last month of December, was really tough for me. We lost our little sweet 12 week baby Dec. 27th of last year and this month I would be due for childbirth…two miscarriages in one year, and as this month crested it was like a wave of inability crushed on me. I couldn’t figure out why I had so much less ability than normal, and I believe these losses must have been what sapped my soul.
I was having less patience this month, less joy, less stability and vices I had worked so long with persistence in really petitioning the Lord’s help for, were all of the sudden present again, as if I never had made that progress. I was so disheartened.
Not only these hidden losses, but there was more and deeper vulnerability of my situation that made keeping it together impossible for me.
The best thing I did Christmas Eve, was to read my scriptures. The day before, I had read in the book Helaman, of the Book of Mormon, chapter 4:26, …”And thus had they fallen into this great transgression; yea, thus had they become weak…” I felt really weak. I knew that unless I did this bidding, I would keep falling. Helaman 4:25 …”and except they should cleave unto the Lord their God they must unavoidably perish…” (aka melt into crappy crappy parenting puddles)
I recalled a Sunday School lesson studying the beautiful words of Paul, how we can thank God for times of weakness, for in those times, we can connect more powerfully with Christ.
So, I read those verses again to bring their fresh healing to my mind.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
So I prayed, I cried and I prayed. Please give me the strength reserves and stability I don’t have right now. Please help me to feel joyful and excited like I usually do on Christmas Eve to help me do those spiritual things with my family that I love to do. Please oh please oh please help me, I am in need.
His peace descended upon me like a dove!!! Praise His Name! I went about my day in normal emotional health. The Engineer and I got the children to do their chores, which were a lot, we took the children to carol so my Fairy Princess could share her talents, she has a very beautiful Christmas song memorized and her voice uplifted those we sang to. We did our lovely but rambunctious Christmas Eve traditional Nativity. Paul Bunyon had requested a ham dinner instead of our traditional bread bowls with cheese and broccoli soup. The Engineer, bless his great heart, helped pull that together in cooking, but I in the peace the Lord had given me, helped it happen peacefully and happily.
The Engineer was awesome helping me through the Christmas Eve insanity wrapping and stockings. I drifted to sleep by 1:30 while he persisted through much much later. And would you know it, I woke up GRUMPY!! How could this be? I went to sleep at a descent time. How could this be. As Paul Bunyon came in the room, I immediately pretended to be asleep. How could I say something ronchy to him and dampen the beautiful brightness of Christmas morning.
As soon as he was gone, I jumped into the bath and I cried and I prayed, just like yesterday. Oh how I wanted to have a lovely Christmas day! I could feel how sad I felt to not have my angel babies alive and I prayed that they would be with me through the day. As I prayed again with so much humility, the same miracle happened for me. Joy, strength, desire, ability.
Soon I was making a last minute gift for Bouncing Boy. Then I was up and down stairs helping get some last minute wrapping for my Engineer’s present, all in joy and brightness, freshness and kindness like I usually have on this magical and joyful morning. The Engineer made his delicious omelets, we watched a Christmas devotional together, I sank my teeth into that delicious grub and praised him merrily as I usually do. We watched part of “Once I was a Beehive…” and then I read the children a beautiful story book account of the Nativity once more, and asked the Engineer if I could pray.
In the prayer, tears for the Savior welled up and I cried and prayed thanking the Lord for the gift of His Son, thanking the Lord how hard the children worked on their gifts to show the love they had for eachother….
And then we came upstairs and what fun to hear the children disclose the joys of their stockings. The next while was a most delightful hour or so, of each child excitedly finding their presents? No. Would you believe, they were so anxious to give their gifts and watch each other open them. They were so sad when there were no more gifts to GIVE. I had one of those moments, where putting up with a messy homeschooling house, and lots and lots of sibling rivalry, paid off. They were learning true service and love and kindness! I basked in it due to the grace the Lord had given me. After the children opened all the presents, the Engineer played Chess with Paul Bunyon. I knitted with my Fairy Princess who was anxious to crochet with her new books. I danced with Hoppity and by the end of the day, I was waning and tired. But…
The day ended with one more nativity puppet show, and falling asleep to cuddling with Hoppity as I just finished her Christmas hat. And watching Scrooge that favorite redemptive story, with the big kids.
Yes, happiness and joy and strength were mine this Christmas, thanks all to the LORD, Jesus Christ.