With Christmas a couple days away, it’s time for me to sign off for the year. I’ve debated taking a few days off from the blog, or taking all of next week off too. What should I do? I take a moment to be still and listen to my heart. The answer is clear. Ladies, I’m going to take all of next week off too and meet you on the other side of the New Year. Some call it going dark, I’m calling it rest. 🙂 Therefore, I hope you don’t mind that this post is a little longer than normal since it’s my last of the year.
Pascaline’s had the stomach flu this week. When she was throwing up yesterday, she said that this was the first time she’s thrown up since we had Dengue Fever in Thailand. Dengue Fever, ugh. There’s no question, this year has given us extreme highs and extreme lows. Somehow we have made it this far, and even more amazing, our family is closer–stronger–than it’s ever been (my dad and I especially–amazing).
And then there was and is The Nate Berkus Show–definitely one of the BIGGEST gifts this year–but the challenge of having ALL my insecurities challenged at MAXIMUM equals scary, thrilling, hard, rewarding work all wrapped in one. Just remembering that feeling of walking through the curtain the first time–it will always be unforgettable and so special–such a turning point in much more to come.
Just yesterday, Brian described our life as completely thrilling and terrifying at the same time. I wouldn’t want it any other way, but terrifying often has a capital T if you know what I mean? I could do with that lowercase t any time now.
In it all ladies, I wonder if you connect with this. I think that all the challenges the year has shown me that I’m much stronger than I realize. And even though many tears were shed, I know in my heart that I’m a strong woman–I know it on a much deeper level than I’ve ever been able to embrace before.
The truth is I often feel like the most “unlikely” character of my own story. Does anyone relate? I think that’s why I love Christmas so much. If you are feeling unsure, alone, or afraid, this is the most comforting holiday of all. In some ways, it can feel the opposite because of all the holiday hype surrounding us. But even counselors say this is their busiest time of year. I’m deeply thankful that under the holiday hype is a story that changed the world.
Whether Jesus’ life is your belief, a prophet or incredible story, His story offers inspiration to us all. The fact that a baby, born in a stable, would grow into a legacy that we would recall two thousand years later is simply amazing. Talk about unlikely beginnings. Do you ever feel like your future dreams are impossible because of your unlikely beginnings? For example, isn’t a great photographer born with a passion for photography, rather than a mom who discovers a camera in the midst of motherhood? Oh sisters, we could talk all day about unlikely beginnings.
But that is why I love the Bible–if I might add. It’s a big collection of unlikely characters whose stories come to hold greater meaning than they could ever imagine. Whether it’s St. Peter’s hot temper in his early days to later become a model of perseverance and patience admist overwhelming trials. The transformation of his life alone gives me hope. He is the very man who would cry “I believe. Help my unbelief.” Or Doubting Thomas who was the only one brave enough to say something to the affect of, I need to touch the scars in your hands and feet to really believe you have risen from the dead. And the ever so gentle and loving response Jesus gave him. Doubting Thomas’ honesty and Jesus’ gentle response will always remind me that God is not disappointed with my constant need to see proof of His love for me–and even better–this need is not the end of my story. And Mary, how often I’ve thought of Mary this month.
Mary is the woman who would ride a donkey for days on end in her last hours of pregnancy. I wonder if she ever hit a place of such exhaustion that her desire to no longer be pregnant overshadowed anything that tomorrow held. How often I have been pregnant with visions and dreams that seem to keep me in what feels like an “overdue” state of pregnancy, wondering if the time for their birth will ever come. And then to go even lower in my faith–to go to a place of losing passion for the dream because all I really want is to be done being pregnant.
When the angel came and told Mary she would give birth to Jesus, her first reaction was unbelief. Thank you Lord. Thank you for showing me that it’s okay to have unbelief first. But then to hear the angel comfort her and say “Nothing is impossible with God.” Thank you Lord. Thank you for the impossible being possible whether I am full of belief or suffocating with fear.
If you ever felt like an unlikely character in your own story, may you be comforted this Christmas by a history of unlikely characters. A collection of misfits. It seems that over and over again, every character became known for their incredible strength–but it is their humble beginnings of great weakness that give me hope. What is your biggest weakness? Can you imagine being known someday for that weakness being your biggest strength? A strength that your loved ones could stand on? May this holiday cast a vision of your impossibles being possible. After all, nothing is impossible with God. (I believe, help my unbelief.)
May you and your family have the most wonderful holidays. May your next ten days bring you pockets of sweet rest. May unexpected moments of joy refresh your spirit. May you feel beautiful and know you are worthy of love–so much love. May your heart reveal what you have gained among the losses you endured this year, and may these truths be a strength that guides you into the New Year!
I will see you there!
p.s. SOAR! Amazon GC Winners! Miranda Queener is a QUEEN! She earned the most points for all the many ways she spread the word about SOAR! Thank you so much Miranda! A $50 GC to Amazon is being emailed to YOU! And the winner of the drawing for $100 GC to Amazon is Laurie Phan! Laurie, we appreciate your help so much. I want extend a big thank you to every one for supporting the SOAR! Scholarship launch this year. In 2011, all the seeds you’ve sewn will bloom–and wow, what a sight it’s going to be!
When the holiday bustle gets too crazy, grab a cup of tea and sit down with your sisters, the 2010 SOAR! Entries, these ladies will lift your heart in unexpected ways.
All my love.