Believe

I place the laptop gingerly in my lap once a sunk into my recliner.  The house is quiet and I am keenly aware of my breathing and my heart beats.  My entire body is riddled with a feeling of overwhelming hopelessness.  

My darling, husband brought the Christmas boxes in from storage.  The moment I lay eyes on them I felt complete panic.  Every year since I have been on my own, I have decorated for Christmas.  Garland, ribbon, and making bows, as well as decorating trees.  Large ones and small ones.  One year we even made a felt one to put in the kitchen.  I left no spot without Christmas cheer.  My kids used to say it looked like Christmas threw up.  (Please excuse the expression.)

I do celebrate Christmas as the birth of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Actually, in our home, it was always more about Jesus than Santa.  I started just being memorized by the different styles of Nativity Scenes and began collecting.  Randomly one day,  my son said something to the effect, “Why do we have so many Nativities?  How Many does one house need?”  CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.  It became my mission to add more and more creche.  

This year I opened the plastic tub that contains my precious accumulation and stood there staring. The thought of unwrapping those individual packages left me with troubling nausea that I have no true way to describe.   Troubled  I fought back the waterworks that pressed behind my eyes.  I reattached the lid and hoped against hope that the feelings of dread would disappear.

My Christmas tree is finally up. Although it took about four days to manage that.  In years past I would have decorations up moving like a cyclone.  This year it is creeping along.  The kids will probably get involved, and that will help my motivation some.  At least I pray it does. 

If you are struggling too, I want you to know you are not alone.  I can not explain why these things are happening, I only believe we will learn from this midnight storm.  I know that a little baby was born to a virgin in a stable over 2000 years ago that we might live and not die.  God’s son came to Earth in the form of man.  John 1:1 reads, In the beginning, the Word was already there. The Word was with God.  The Word was God.

He is the reason for the season and no matter what my emotions say, I believe that.  I pray that you too will trust in Him to get you through this struggle.  So I may not be ready to drape tinsel over everything that stands still, I still believe.  No matter what I feel, I still believe.

Ho-No Holidays

I suppose when I began to reach the more mature side of life is when the nostalgia commenced intruding.  You find yourself reminiscing in the strangest times and getting lost in those thoughts.  They can be wonderful, giddy thoughts of a fun time as a child, as well as sad, loathsome times.  So vivid live those pictures at that moment that your entire demeanor can improve or suffer.

Holiday time swirls with a plethora of deep emotions for me, and I know that I am not alone.  Just consider the stressors that accompany all the festivities.  Facing crowds of people in retail stores to try and find perfect gifts, closely followed by a long wait in a check-out line that moves at a snail’s crawl to be greeted by an employee who is all too comfortable with sharing with you and the rest of the world that his job “sucks.”

There are parties with gift exchanges and Dirty Santa games.  There are Chrismas Caroling at the nursing homes and for shut-ins.  The church Christmas program practices and performance, and the special collection for the Pastor.  There are new clothes to buy, Cakes, pies and cookies to bake.  Decorate the house and the yard.  Oh, and don’t forget that you volunteered to help decorate the church and fellowship hall as well.

Be a part of or at least see the local Christmas parade.  Christmas cards to address, Christmas dinner to plan and grocery shopping to do.  House has to be cleaned for houseguests.  Linens all washed and folded for any overnight stays.  I MEAN JUST WRITING IT GIVES ME ANXIETY!

Now in the middle of all this commotion, my mind will seem out of nowhere drift off. A smell, a sound, or the sight of something and I get all choked up.  Tears well up in my eyes and all at once my mood changes.  That sad memory makes me feel things that I now perceive with some deep down emotion that I do not possess the inclination of what I am experiencing.

I am writing this post because it has been a while since I posted. These all-consuming emotions are triggers for depression and anxiety.  I can’t even tell you how many lists I’ve made and they even begin stressing me out.

So, as a beginning to the Christmas Holiday.  I have vowed to make life easier.  I am shopping online.  Even grocery pick-up is so much easier.  And those stresses are off my shoulders.  I am learning one day at a time to try and find one thing to make me feel less stressed.  A walk, a book, Mommy time alone, alone time with God.  And I am discovering that sharing here with you makes me feel stronger too.

I probably will never stop reminiscing, but I pray for strength not to let those memories consume me, and tear me down.

We will get through this!  We will make it.

God Bless,

Michelle