I got nuthin’

I have always maintained that depression lives in the space that separates what we wish were true and what actually is..

chasm

Our job

Our marriage

Our kids

Our home..

Christmas…

There’s the fantasy:

Large family eating Christmas dinner

and the reality..

ip

and our bitterness grows in the delta between them.

The problem with Christmas is that we are sold the Norman Rockwell vision..

rock

all is calm

all is bright..

no one drinks too much

we don’t eat too much

spend too much..

Auntie Sue doesn’t bring up the election..

The food is amazing,

we all get the perfect gift..

like my daughter did two days ago..HAHA (see Wednesday’s post)

per

The pressure for perfection is on..

and we take it personally when our reality falls “short..”

short of I dunno,

something that looks like this?

card

What I didn’t realize is that Rockwell also painted this:

gl

So the guy wasn’t completely lost in fantasy..

gt

I had a problem bubble up today..

something unexpected that isn’t working..

and that will cause major disappointment.

I was starting to get agitated

started feeling bad for myself and mad about the let-down others will feel..

until I put the whole thing into instant perspective.

There’s Aleppo and Berlin and the families of those soccer players who fell out of the sky only weeks ago..

their loss keeps my frustration in check..

their pain shreds my growing toothpick tower of self-pity.

Hey..

We are alive,

we are together,

we are healthy.

I got nuthin’

NUTHIN’

to complain about..

because really,  I have everything.

(click here vimeo.com/194989301?ref=… for a fun reminder)

I have so much..

so much to be thankful for.

And that’s what I’m going to focus on this Christmas-

our blessings..

my blessings..

and the hope for all humanity that rested in a baby.

Merry, Merry Christmas!

 

Isaiah 9:6- For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

joe

 

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photocredit:Fraser Point Church,Daily Mail,Dallas Morning News,Dallas Morning News,Pinterest,www.familysteps.com,Daily Mail,www.pinterest.com,Norman Rockwell,Always Never Me

 

 

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See something, say something?

I had just pulled a sheet of cookies out of the oven when the doorbell rang. It was dark and kind of late, so I was a bit taken aback when I saw a tall man through the glass. I hesitated for a second until I saw the DHL logo on his shirt.

I opened the door.

He greeted me in a thick Russian accent and explained he had a package I needed to sign for. I squiggled my finger across his i-pad and he bent down to pick up the box.

“Eeet’s very heavy” he said as he handed it over.

The sucker weighed a ton. I came back inside and grabbed my glasses. The box was from Abdul with a last name too long to remember (let alone pronounce) from an outfit called “A to Z Printing” in Amman, Jordan. I felt a twinge of concern…who the heck is this?

I googled “A to Z Printing” in Amman- nothing popped up.

The package was addressed to my youngest daughter with my eldest daughter’s phone number listed as a contact…I contacted them both immediately and no one knew anything about the box. I contacted the only people I knew who traveled in that area..nothing.

The next hour was a back and forth blizzard of texts with all of my family as we tried to figure out who might have sent this thing. I took it into the bathroom and placed it on my scale..It weighed 18 pounds. (For reference, the heaviest bowling balls weigh about 16 pounds)

sc

I called DHL.

They were not able to provide any additional information except to wonder why the weight they had listed ( .5 k) was so far off. Heck, if they got the weight wrong, how did I know they properly inspected the thing?

I started to get a stomach ache. My sister-in-law told us to get out of the house.. (She contacted me today and said she told me to get the box out of the house…Obviously at that point my hysteria must have been about to rip open cause I didn’t hear ‘the box’ part…HAHA)

I took the package outside and covered it up … (yes, in hindsight, two foam boogie boards wouldn’t have done much had the box blown up- I had clearly passed the threshold of panic and was no longer thinking straight..)

I called our local police’s non-emergency number just to ask them what I should do. I mean we are just your average-Joe, American family here.. we don’t get packages weighing almost 20 pounds shipped 3 day express from the middle east from people we don’t know named Abdul….just sayin’

bd

The cop on the phone was very nice and told me he’d send someone out to take a look at our mystery box which I gingerly removed from the porch and placed in the middle of the yard.

yd

Not ten minutes later, my daughter texted me from the airport in Philadelphia to tell me that her boyfriend (on a cruise in the Bahamas) looked through his Amazon account at her insistence, and saw that his gift to her was indeed coming from Jordan. (Why it came from there..no one knew..)

I called off the sheriff…not that anyone had come yet..

which is in itself a whole ‘nuther story..I mean what happened to see something-say something??

When my daughter finally arrived at our home after midnight, she tore into the now infamous box. And there it was, the gift that almost ended up in the grasp of some remote controlled robot – detonated by Homeland Security at the side of the road.

She was SO excited to receive these two, massive volumes of medical intrigue that she dragged them straight into the guest room for an all nighter no doubt..

Never a dull moment..huh?

Ho, Ho, Ho.

bk

 

Where to put this?

I’ve been busy trying to organize my house prior to the arrival of all our (grown) kids for the holiday.  As I do, the question that keeps popping up is “where can I put this?”

Decorations, pool towels, paper plates, folding chairs, snacks, games, extra soap and shampoo.. gotta find the appropriate spot for everything..which brings me to yesterday’s attack at the Christmas market in Berlin…

Where do I put that??

In the midst of all the baking, wrapping, partying and preparation.. where do I put the images, sounds and reality of today’s suffering?

tree

There’s so much darkness in the world that it sometimes seems almost obscene to continue with our celebrating.. and yet we do.. because at the end of the day, Christmas is about the birth of Christ who offers us forgiveness and salvation- He is the light we crave!

Jesus didn’t come to fix the world

“In this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” John 16-33

He came to show us the way forward 

“I am the way, the truth and the light.” John 14:6

This is the good news that we need to hear ..now more than ever!

So I will pray for the victims of violence, those who are ill, those who are dealing with loss and sadness and those whose minds are trapped in a maze of dark ideologies..

 I will light the Christmas candle in honor of the one who brings hope to the hopeless.

I will sing the carols about the one who paid the price for our transgressions.

I will give gifts to those I love in remembrance of the precious gift Christ gave to me

And I will love, love, love on behalf of the one who loves us more than we can ever imagine.

Yes, I will say Merry Christmas loud and clear

not in spite of the pain

and terror

and chaos

and anger

and fear

in our world..

I will say Merry Christmas

no…

I will LIVE Merry Christmas

 BECAUSE

of it.

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photocredit:Fanpop