It Came Without Clean Grout

January 3, 2009

It’s been way too long since last I posted!  Yipes.  The holidays get a little nutty.

The title of this post refers to the epiphany I  had on December 23, as I was cleaning and scrubbing and preparing to have my lovely in-laws over for brunch on Christmas Eve morning.  Despite my yearly pronouncements that “This Christmas, I’m not going to succumb the the insanity and frazzlement of last minute Christmas preparations,” once again, I failed in that resolve.  I was going full-speed ahead with baking, wrapping, dashing off the post office to mail our cards, last-minute shopping, staying up late, trying to squeeze in some meaningful silence each evening around the Advent Candles, and probably doing a bit too much snapping at my sweet children.  Hey, ’tis the season!

So, on Christmas Eve Eve, as I stared at the grubby grout of my kitchen tile counter, I thought, “I need to bleach that before Dave’s folks come over tomorrow morning.”  And at that moment, the face of the Grinch appeared in my mind’s eye, when he ponders the mystery of the Whos celebrating Christmas.  “It came without presents!  It came without bags! It came without packages, boxes and tags!”  And I finally took a breath, and I realized that Christmas would come, irrepsective of the condition of my grout.  So I let it go.  And I let Christmas come.  And it was delightful and joyous and exhausting and perfectly fine.

In fact, in all the bustling and busy-ness, I was astonished on Christmas Eve when we went to the evening service at our church.  Somehow, every carol brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes.  Somehow, the reality and the audacity of the Incarnation of Chrsit ravished my heart once again.

The rest of the holidays passed in a blur.  Lots of new toys to play with.  Two pet guinea pigs for the children.  (If Bridget doesn’t ask me at least 12 times an hour to play with them, she seems to feel the hour was wasted.)  The day after Christmas 12-hour trek to the (purportedly) nearby snowy mountains.  The hosting of the annual “Home Group” New Year’s Sleepover, which consisted of eight grown-ups and thirteen children crammed into our house for a night of fun and noise and celebration.  And a touch of the post-holiday doldrums today, when I finally had time to sit and write a blog post.

Happy New Year!

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