Sunday, December 29, 2013

Three Things

When they we little they asked for stories.  Sometimes stories wouldn't come naturally and needed prodding.  "Three Things"  was born.  "Give me three things."  I would say.  And then I would promise to make up a story with their three  requested things.  Talking trees and piranhas were the frequent requests.  The stories were fun and easy to forget, but the time together with minds imagining and words flowing will be remembered forever.  My memory of "Three Things" is rich with blankets and cuddling, mommy kisses, giggles and night time comfort. 

Three Things was our way to say "sleep tight, and let your minds dream dreams of wonder."  Three Things was comfort and security.  Three Things grew.  It grew to car trips and grandchildren and camping trips and new families.  Story making is the power to create magic.  When you can create a story you have set the universe on a new path. 

Three Things began some 35 years ago. It seemed so simple, but Three Things taken  to an adult level is not simple. 

Pick three things that you want your story to be about.  Love? Prosperity? Happiness? How about Grief, disappointment and pain?  or Children, Music and Hope? 

If your life story were narrowed to three things and you had the power to choose....Wow!  What would you choose?  Certainly not talking trees and piranhas. 

I live daily with the stories of others in my antique store where I spend much of my time.  Lives are narrowed down to the stuff that's left, and the stories are lovely to imagine.  It's really a very short time, life.  We do stuff, we gather stuff, we love people and things and the stuff stays.  I consider it a privilege to touch the stuff that was once someone's story. 

But, I've been prompted lately to think about Three Things and have tried to wonder what they would by in my story.  I think they would be:  Grandchildren, Hope and Faith.  Life without any one of them would be cavernous. 

It's a nice reflection.  Narrowing the value of life experiences to three most important. 

Three Things for Rowan has begun.  I'm writing stories for him with three things that are given to me by friends and family.  I'm looking forward to growing with this experience.  Let the journey begin. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I've Got To Get A Grip On Christmas

I'm sitting here alone and full of brandy.   The day was good and the people are important.  But, I've got to get a grip on Christmas.  I am a believer.  Yep.  I believe in the whole thing...Virgin birth, Savior came to us under an amazing star...all of it.  I believe.  I also love to believe, and do, in the Santa and magic.   So, here it is, Christmas night.  Everyone's sleeping and I'm trying to get a grip.  It's family, it's food, it's neighbors, it's friends, it's music boxes and baby stories.  Listen, if what I believe is true, the magic is everywhere. 

That little baby who found a manger for a bed didn't come here so we could tell his story.  He came here so we could get a grip.  Life is hard, and it's not.  Life is amazing, and it's not.  Love is everywhere, and it's not.  Day to day we face what we face, and we reach in to what we believe to be true to make it okay.  So, for me, I believe in the miracle.  I believe that God, really, GOD, reached down and gave a part of Himself on Christmas Eve, so that we might look at life differently. 

I spent too much money this Christmas.  I ate too much food.  I drank too much drink.  But, what is that?  It's nothing.  It's living life.  The magic of Christmas is the babies who come home and the books that make us cry.  The magic of Christmas is the knowing.  It's the knowing that under all the worry and fret and anxiety of the future, now is amazing.  Now is a remarkable gift.  . 

Getting a grip on Christmas is getting a grip on self.  As lovely and beautiful as it is, Christmas has only one purpose, and that is to remind us that God is in charge.  It's a beautiful story and I love the songs, but the grip I get is clear.  God is in charge.  Life is short.  Do your best.  God takes care of the rest. 

I've been on my knees a lot this year.  Friends and family have needed my help.  I've screwed up a bunch this year too.  But, here we are, Christmas night.  The fuss is all over and the mess lingers. It's easy to forget why.  Not tonight.  I'm not going to forget.  Jed is asleep and struggling with pain.  We've tried so many things.  Rowan is sleeping just rooms away.  My miracle grandbaby who glows with beauty and wonder.  Future? Get a grip on Christmas!  God is in charge.  He proved it by sending a part of Him to make our stories beautiful.  It's hard to be the watcher of stuff.  I'm the watcher of my husband in great pain and non movement.  The watcher of families starting and struggling.  Backing away and knowing God is in charge is, well, it is just darn hard, but good, and the only thing that I can do with confidence. 

My life can't be much different than anyone else's.  I worry about my loved ones.  I pray for their future.  I struggle to find truth, and I screw up often in the search.  That's why we all need Christmas.  It brings hope in the struggle and beauty in the prayer.  It's just plain important.  Not Santa, or lights, or presents, but the inner stuff.  The stuff that grows in the night and makes tears.  The stuff that wells up and explodes in joy.  It's the hugs in the laundry room and the chat across miles.  It's knowing that hard as we try to take over. we are not.  Christmas is the reminder that It's bigger than us.  I think I have a grip on Christmas.