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Christmas Comes Anyway!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Three more sleeps 'til Santa...YIKES!

Unlike so many SPARKlings, I am not 'ready' with respect to gifts, cleaning, food... typically, the trappings of the seasons tend to overwhelm me, and I struggle right to the last minute with covering all of the conventional bases.

Yet... every.single.year. (because of, not in spite of my struggling, and just like the Whos of Whoville) I get to re-experience the magic of Christmas... it comes in all its own splendor anyway, and I am ever-blessed beyond my own plans and imagining! I've come to appreciate the gift in learning anew each year that my being in control of every detail is not a requirement for peace and joy in my life.

Typical to form, mayhem hit in my life yesterday... we had a funeral to attend (a dear old, old lady who was like a second grandma to me... I found out yesterday that she actually disliked Christmas... so I suspect she was quite pleased at the timing of it all) and then, at the funeral, my dad collapsed and is now at the CCU (Cardiac Care Unit), receiving a permanent pacemaker as I type (later edit: I just talked with my dad on the phone. He's well enough... they will monitor how things are working over the course of today, and likely send him home tomorrow).

It never ceases to amaze me how life works. Had he not been surrounded by EMTs (there are several in the family of the afore-mentioned dear lady) and so near the hospital, he'd have died... had he been at home sleeping, he likely would not have woken up (his heart-rate was 25). For now he will be fine. My dad is also old... and this would not be his first health crisis... or even his first at Christmas... his first stroke at age 55 (the same age I am now) happened at Christmas... we know full well each day with him is a gift (he has now surpassed the lack of longevity that runs in his genes by many years).

...And the Christmas for which we've been planning has been up-ended... but we're all grateful, and moving forward... into JOY, with PEACE-full hearts, living HOPE, and sharing LOVE in profound, specific and tangible ways... ways that aren't always available to us when life is 'humming along' as usual.

In addition to things with my family, last evening we took Christmas treats to the care home where my FIL resides (he could also pass any moment), where the Divine Miss O and her horn teacher played a carol concert on French horns. It was truly lovely, and the music washed away the stress of an otherwise long and trying day.

Just prior to the concert, Dad was becoming very agitated, yet with the sounding of the first note (and his first chocolate, LOL) he calmed and focused on his sweet girl... love and recognition shining out of his face. He forgets most things, but he never forgets HER. She was the baby that wasn't supposed to be, and he is grateful every day for the gift. As long as there is her hand to hold, all is right in his world... I marvel at the communication that flows between them without words.

The rest of the residents were beautifully child-like in their glee as they accepted our gifts of oranges and chocolates and tarts... each offering somehow more surprising to them than the last (as though they were experiencing the magic of unlimited possibilities... more precious that gold, Frankincense and Myrrh... for the first time)... I was deeply, deeply blessed by their simple gratitude and delight at the unexpected party. Some of them even sang along, and many thanked us repeatedly!

Today I shall go about my hustle and bustle with a lighter step, and a FULL heart, despite the weight of my thoughts and responsibilities.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you, and in a special way with anyone who is also finding the road the Christmas complicated, and fraught with detours, roadblocks and blowouts.

Remember the essentials only (it's not the 'stuff' and splendor), keep it simple, and focus on the people who matter to you most. Wrap yourself, and those you love, in a blanket of goodwill and presence (don't fret over the presents!)... Christmas, and the miracles big and small that it brings, will arrive... no matter your circumstances.

Open your hearts and be blessed!

Throughout this holiday season, and well into the New Year, for you I pray... may an all abiding peace fill your thoughts, rule in your dreams each night, and conquer all your fears. May God manifest himself in ways you have never before experienced. May your joys be fulfilled, your dreams be closer, and your cares be lifted. I pray that faith enters a new height in you, that your territory be enlarged, and that fulfillment is just one step closer.

I pray that you may find peace within and all around you. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content. May the presence of Christ settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

May God always and abundantly bless you, and those you love, in every way that you require. May he hold you gently in the palm of his hand in a very personal way, and may you rest in the fullness of his love, his grace, his strength, his wisdom, his rescue, his redemption, his healing, his inspiration, his restoration and his mercy as you require it! May you carry in your heart this coming Christmas season an extra special awareness of God's great love for you; and as Christ is born anew in your heart this Christmas, may you feel his sweet and gentle baby-fingered touch upon your life, and may you see his miracles all around you. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen!

Merry Christmas, and a blessed and joyous New year, my Sparkling friends!

{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}

P.S. Here are a few of my own Christmas musings... from my heart to yours:

A Meek & Thankful Heart
(the soundtrack of my Advent & Christmas)

Magi of a Different Sort...
(the re-visited and continued journey to wellness)

Reflections On Christmas
(where hope and love spring eternal)

A Mustard Seed Christmas
(when the struggle seems too heavy and big for the tide of Advent to temper)

(planning for the New Year)

Why I'm STILL here... my SparkJourney Saga

No more Mrs. Doubtfire... or Picture UPDATE at nearly 100 lbs. ELIMINATED!

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Losing a Lot of Weight

How I Am Eliminating 'EXCESS Weight'

(ponder this some and you come to see this SPARKjourney in a whole new light)

I'm choosing to focus on maintenance for the time being (I have another 30 lbs. to go). I'm pretty sure that I'm STILL 155.0 pounds, today (I was yesterday)... but the scale says I jumped up 8 pounds OVERNIGHT (I will never bet used to this dynamic)... likely a cortisol/inflammatory reaction to my day yesterday.

Don't allow the scale more power than it deserves, SPARKlings! Stay the course and let the dust settle!

(Just over a year ago I was 250 lbs. & over 50% BMI... Obese Class III)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you for your prayer for us.
    I really appreciate that.
    Especially "may an all abiding peace fill your thoughts, rule in your dreams each night, and conquer all your fears". May the same be true for you as well!
    1117 days ago
    Prayers for your Dad. HUGS and prayers and Merry Christmas . . . peace!
    1122 days ago
    My grandfather lived to 103 and a half. He was with it mentally until the last couple of years. Every time we told him we were going to visit him, he lit up. Even every time we told him about the same visit. It was always a wonderful surprise to him. And our visit was always a wonderful surprise for him, too. It was so heartwarming.

    I'm glad your dad is doing well.
    1123 days ago
    So thankful to read your dad is okay and was in the right place for that heart issue to occur!

    I enjoyed your blog tonight thoroughly. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Merry Christmas to you too!!
    1123 days ago
  • LINDA!
    Merry Christmas. emoticon
    1123 days ago
    What a lovely blog. I am touched by your generosity and joy amidst your crises -- and the fact that (like me) you're just not one of those super-organized people. But clearly you make time for all the IMPORTANT stuff (and you know what that is . . . )
    1123 days ago
  • JUSTME29
    I'm so glad your dad will be ok. It's amazing how things like that can happen, seemingly randomly, at the perfect time. There is no good time for a heart attack, but near a hospital and surrounded by EMT's is the perfect time and place if it has to happen at all. We so often overlook the small ways in which God looks out for us (every trip to the store or to work, we risk a car accident for example) but when something like this comes along it goes a long way to reminding us that He is looking out for us.

    I'm also no-where near ready for Christmas in terms of gifts, food and cleaning - but like you said, Christmas will come anyway. My folks are coming tomorrow, and I'm stressed about getting the house clean, gifts wrapped, groceries purchased, etc. But I need to remember to be grateful that we are all healthy, that although they are getting older they are fitter than ever, and that we all have this time to spend together.

    1123 days ago
    Thank you for your beautiful blog. Miracles still happen. Merry Christmas! emoticon
    1123 days ago
    So wonderfully said. You should be SO PROUD of your accomplishments health-wise, and yet (just like us all) your spirit and wisdom is the true jewel of who you are. I am grateful that I have met you and look forward to learning more from you this year. I, too, am 100 pounds lighter than I was at my highest weight. Although I still have more than 100 to go to be, at least on the BMI scale, at my healthiest weight. I am excited about the journey this year and know that I, too, will be blogging this time next year about maintenance! Thanks for inspiring me. Merry Christmas!
    1123 days ago
    What a wonderful blog
    1123 days ago
    Your prayer "May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you." brings to mind an experience with a friend in which a response welled up from within me and the words "The only thing lost is life is love not shared." emerged from me. It's an experience neither one of us has forgotten. It occurred over 20 years ago. She'd just had surgery for ovarian cancer. I'd driven over 5 hours to be with her and she was astounded to see me. Much to her doctor's dismay she remains with us despite not following the recommend conventional rounds of chemotherapy and radiation post surgery. Many people love her and freely express and share it.

    As I read your prayer for us, I prayed it for you. Thank for your sharing your love, Ramona.
    1123 days ago
    Merry Christmas🎄🎅🏿🤶🏾
    1123 days ago
    Merry Christmas
    1123 days ago
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