This year was such a challenging Christmas. For whatever reason, all the stress that came this Christmas brought back a lot of old feelings for me. I must confess that in the past before we had kids, I was kind of a grinch at Christmas time. I enjoy the holiday, getting together, and even giving gifts but I hated Christmas music, didn't care for decorating, and the movies made me crazy. I would tend to be a bit of a grouch during this season. Some might say that is no different than normal but they can just be quiet.
I think one of the reasons I've struggled with Christmas is because it reminds me of some bad memories I have about growing up living with my mom. Christmas was always so stressful for her. She didn't have a lot of money and would get so upset about not being able to get us certain gifts. I think if it wasn't so obvious from her behavior, we wouldn't have ever known there was an issue. A lot of those memories or feelings came flooding back for me this because of all the sickness we experienced. Like my mom, I wanted Christmas to be so great and fun for the kids I got extremely stressed out when things didn't go my way.
It all began unraveling when my daughter Jocelyn woke up at 5:30a.m. Christmas Eve, sick. She missed out on family stuff all day and then on Christmas day my other daughter Lyla woke up at 6:00a.m. sick. They both fought through being sick over the next 4 days. They barely made it through Christmas day. This was then followed by my wife who started to get sick the day after Christmas. She slowly got worse and worse as the days went on. As I write this on January 2nd, she is still sick. To top it off, I wasn't immune to getting sick myself. On New Years Eve, I started to go down hill with a fever, sore throat, and headache. This was one of the lamest holiday seasons ever. It was truly a time when I wish I had a redo button.
Here is my confession: it has been really hard to find the joy in this Christmas season. I've struggled greatly with just wanting to be grouchy and Grinch-like. I think for a few days I was truly mad but have been able to pull myself out of it.
I am honestly thankful that the kids are getting better, my illness seemed to be rather short lived, and I hoping my wife gets better soon. This has been a challenging start to the new year but I'm hoping to turn things around. Lord help us always to see your goodness even in the midst of our storm. Lord help us to always know that you are there walking with us in the storm. May we see you at work and not miss out on opportunities to be blessed, bless others, and be used by you.
Have a great day today.