There are about 1,000 things that I should be doing at this moment. I should be editing my prospectus, reading for the course I'm TAing for next quarter, prepping dinner, making my Christmas card list, pumping breastmilk...really any number of areas of my life need attention. But the fact of the matter is, my time is mostly taken up by this amazing, perfect little human being that entered my life 7 weeks ago, so the things that I should be doing in a normal life often get pushed aside for a diaper change, nursing, or, more and more often, playtime and facetime. So in this moment, I am staring at my son napping, a beautiful little Christmas tree all lit up (our first ever), and a candle flame is waving back at me. I am so filled with gratitude for so many things right now: our families - our mothers in particular, who have been by my side almost daily since Jonathan's birth, our home, our jobs, and our healthy baby boy. Anyone who knows me well would probably not peg me for the peaceful type, and I tend to overstress and worry about way more than I need to. But, in this moment, I am trying to focus on gratitude and the amazing things God has blessed me with.
Many people call this their favorite time of the year. I must admit that it certainly warms my heart, the idea of this Christmas season. However, I feel that so much of the true sentiment of it has been lost and scattered as our culture has begun to hold tighter to things than to experiences, people, and all the wonderful moments that come with just living. For many, this time of year brings back pain as it reminds them of those who have passed on, or relationships that have been broken. In the movies, these broken relationships are mended in perfectly-timed, heartfelt meetings and unanticipated moments of forgiveness and grace. But all too often, in real life, we remain as hardhearted towards one another as Scrooge is at the beginning of that Christmas tale we have all heard, and those relationships remain broken. I hope that we can let go of some of our things and grab on to some of the love that gets lost in all the plastic, electric, lit-upness of those things. May we strive and aspire to those Hollywood moments, even as they are rarely as simple or easy as they are portrayed on the silver screen. Let us seek to love one another and remember that this time began as a celebration of the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who dared enter this earthly world a helpless, innocent baby in order to save the souls of all those who loved and hated him. Hallelujah, Christ is born!