A coronavirus holiday season lacks in the festive department for this pseudo-elf, and my teenager prefers not to do too much with the family. That is my state of the situation address. But I tried my best to “Christmas” (if I may use it as a verb), which included WAY more cheesy holiday movies and shows than usual – 15+ in 22 days. I won’t bore you with all the titles but you can ask me if you want recommendations. I will tell you that if you like the Hallmark-type flicks, Midnight at the Magnolia on Netflix is really a New Year’s movie. You should put on your agenda this week.
The sweet hubs and I took our Shelby to THREE drive thru events. This seems to be everyone’s solution for distancing. Two were forgettable, while the one put on by the Dallas Children’s Theater delighted us.
My Allie’s high school jazz choir delivered singing Christmas cards (in the form of front yard caroling) as a fundraiser for two of the four weekends this month. We hired them one night and invited neighbors to come outside for a melodious and socially distanced treat. A good friend of Allie’s invited her to see her dance in The Nutcracker while Chuck and I went to an outdoor version of the classic with friends at Lake Grapevine! Our school also managed to put on a safe Winter Choir concert for us to witness the culmination of a semester’s work. Allie sang with two choirs and performed a solo rendition of “White Christmas”. It always thrills me to hear my songbird perform. To watch and listen, click here.
I managed to watch a couple of non-Holiday related things. The King’s Speech, Joy and the Netflix series Away fascinated and entertained us. I will warn you ahead of time that the streaming giant opted not to bring Away back for a second season, but the one is worth watching anyway. And we actually went to the theater to see Honest Thief and a free preview Premiere of WW84 (that’s Wonder Woman 1984 if you haven’t been waiting with baited breath for this one like me). If you enjoy Wonder Woman at all – SEE THIS. And watch for the fun surprise cameo. My only complaint is that when she is supposed to be sick, weak and tired, Gal Gadot still looks better than 99.9% of us. I guess that’s part of the “wonder” of this woman.
My teenager finished up her exams just in time for our son and 4 littles to descend on us for a few days. Chaos and fun and festive activities ensued. My parents, sisters and families and brother-in-law’s family came to see us and the out of town guests in the front yard with masks. Boy will I be thankful when we don’t have to be so careful or so brief. As I write this, we have just canceled our plans to attend Christmas Eve service at church, and a road trip to spend a couple of days with my in-laws. My husband and one daughter tested positive for Covid. Merry Christmas to us.
To change gears a little, I see the title of this blog post everywhere right now. Most of us relate to this lyric from “O Holy Night” to some extent. This month, and this year, included good moments, milestones and celebrations. But also more bad moments, grief and tragedy than I sometimes thought I could endure. Nights filled with tears of grief are far from “silent”, and I see a lot chaos when “Away in a Manger” says things are “calm and bright”. But the words of my favorite carol explain how we can rejoice even though we feel weary:
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
We make mistakes and sin against our creator. But because Jesus came here and was born in that smelly barn, we have worth and can know our worth. God found us not just worthy of creating, but worthy of saving – worthy of love and relationship with Him – worthy of sending His only son to die in our place. What a sacrifice. What a Savior!
We find a “thrill of hope” that He came and that He will come back for those who love Him. And I can hardly contain myself when I think of what He will usher in when He comes again.
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
We don’t carry out His laws perfectly here, which is why peace can feel so elusive. But one day, He promises to set all things right. I can’t stop the grateful tears now anticipating this (although there probably is some fatigue and disappointment mingled in those tears). But even here, even in 2020, trusting in Him and believing that all He says is true can break our chains and fill us with a love and peace like no other. This is my “Grown Up Christmas List” for us all. Better yet, this is my prayer. That you rejoice in Christ on this day and all the rest.
And now for this week’s featured post!
Donna from Serenity in Suffering wrote a post that beautifully encapsulates the theme of my month end review. When You are too Weary to Rejoice speaks to the heaviness I feel right now, but offers hope, encouragement and even prescriptions for overcoming that weariness. Thank you, Donna.
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