Sunday, December 21, 2014

Expectations

Well, sickness has descended upon us.  Blair got this flu-like thing Thursday and, despite my purchase of every cleaning product containing the word, "Clorox", Carson woke up with it yesterday morning.  Unfortunately, when he woke up, he was at his cousin's house, where he'd spent the night and so now........he's sick too.

From our home to yours, we bring pathological tidings. 

Basically, it's a short-lived illness, but it really packs a punch.  High fever, headache, body aches, and a chesty cough....that kind of cough that keeps you expecting a lung to shoot out across the room at any moment.  I've had the aches and cough part but not much fever......until tonight.  Until now, I have remained upright to tend to these "ankle biting, bacteria ridden, disease carrying children of God".....as Madea so accurately describes kids.

The only thing that could make this more special is if Davis catches it, too.  When Davis is sick, everyone is apprised of his condition on the quarter hour....you know, just in case your sympathy starts to wane or in the event you mistakenly thought you were sicker than him.

This was not, at all, what I had in mind for our last weekend before Christmas.  We still have things to do.  We had weekend plans.  The candlelight service at church.  Gifts to deliver.  A party.  More people to visit.....people, who would not appreciate a visit from us in our current state. 

"Merry Christmas....we brought you some fudge........and swollen mucus membranes with post nasal drip, a violent cough, and aching that will make you wish that was the Death Angel on top of your tree". 

Yeah, people don't really appreciate Christmas visits like that from those who smell like menthol and have Kleenex lint hanging from their swollen nostrils.....nor do they like to sit next to such people at church, so some of us stayed home today.

Fighting over the vibrating heating pad and pouring Advil down our throats wasn't in the plan.      

We always have a lot of expectations about the Christmas holidays.  It's probably the holiday for which we build our expectations the highest.  We spend over a month planning and preparing to execute this idea that we have in our heads.......an idea constructed by Hallmark Christmas movies, snowy Christmas card scenes, Bing Crosby, Visa commercials, and romanticized Christmases past. 

The picture of Christmas in our heads looks mostly like this...... 
"Chestnuts roasting by an open fire" and ALL of the lights working on the tree in our immaculate home where nothing is out of place. 
"Frosted window panes, candles gleaming inside, painted candy canes on the tree"....... and loving children who never fight and only have good will toward each other. 
Moist turkey on a beautifully set table surrounded by family "passing around some coffee and the pumpkin pie".   
"Parties for hosting, marshmallows for roasting" and beautifully decorated cookies for Santa.
 
"Where the treetops glisten and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow" with no Apple products or other electronic devices to distract them.    
"Jack Frost nipping at your nose" and a light snowfall on Christmas Eve that doesn't affect travel and a husband who does his shopping at Tiffany's.  
"Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow" and the warm, uncomplicated
 love between kith and kin. 

  When, in reality,

Christmas can sometimes turn out looking more like........
Overcooked bird.  Family flaws.  Congealed salads.  Cousin Eddie's RV in your driveway. 
Fallen faces.  Gifts that miss the mark.  
Traffic situations.
Children who are full of mucus.  
Dry trees.
Pinterest fails.
 
The Christmas explosion that scatters Yuletide debris over every square inch of your house.
Unreliable tree stands and great-grandma's broken ornaments.  (God rest her soul, which trusted you completely.)
 
There's always something that doesn't go smoothly or according to our best laid plans.

The turkey is dry.  The kids have intestinal flu.  The gift didn't fit.  One string of lights goes out.  Mother-in-law overestimates you by two sizes.  Backorders.  Someone didn't seem as excited as you imagined.  Travel delays.  Relatives, who stay too long.  No hot water.  Bad weather.  Being caught without a gift for someone.  Having to run the air conditioner so you can all wear your Christmas clothes.        

Really, the Christmas story is full of expectations that weren't met either.  I'm sure Mary didn't plan on being a virgin mother and it probably dashed her parents' expectations for her, too.  The situation wasn't the start that Joseph had dreamed of for his new life with Mary.  Mary didn't expect to be away from home without her mother when her first child was born.  The world didn't expect the Savior to be born in a stable and placed in a trough.  The shepherds weren't who you'd expect the angels to invite to see the newborn King.  You wouldn't expect Him to grow up and die in the place of those who loved Him and those who didn't....even those who weren't born yet...like us.     

I guess if we look to our circumstances and food and gifts and weather and family and that one overinflated day to fulfill all of our Christmas dreams, we'll most likely end up disappointed in one way or another.....on some level. 
 
But, if we just focus on Jesus, Christmas will exceed all of our expectations. 
 
"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”   -Matthew 1:21
 
""Glory belongs to God, whose power is at work in us. By this power He can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine."   -Ephesians 3:20 
He never disappoints.       

I won't be back until after Christmas, so from our house to yours.........
Have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS! 
May God bless you and your family!  




   


3 comments:

  1. Expectations are over rated. My Christmas leans toward Christmas Vacation with some Little House on the Prairie and Hallmark thrown in. Really though, its the Maker upstairs. Daily prayers looking up and being grateful for I have. Charlie Brown all the way! Hoping after your family was sick, you get some TLC too. God Bless and have a very Merry Christmas Joni, Kathleen in Az

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  2. Merry Christmas! Adjusting first to blended family life and shared custody provides the gift of much lower expectations. I'm grateful for whatever happens when we get to gather together, and I've let go of trying to create the perfect holiday. I enjoy things much more now. Thank you for the reminder!

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  3. So sorry to hear you all got sick.
    Life hardly ever goes how we planned it. : ) Thanks for another funny post!!
    A very Merry Christmas to you all.

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