Last Monday we had Brandon’s second Remicade infusion. Everything went great! We were thrilled that there were no adverse side effects (other than being a little more worn out than usual) and we were encouraged because we felt like things were well on their way to “normal.”
Ha. I got a flat tire on the way home.
It wasn’t really that funny at the time. Brandon was tired (and a little cranky that I had managed to “find” another nail) and wasn’t in the mood to play games with the air-filler-upper-machine at the gas station, that oh yeah, didn’t work and we wasted a lot of money on it and had to drive to another gas station and used that air-filler-upper-machine and a can of fix-a-flat.
Don’t worry, we got home safe and Brittney was able to pick up the boys from daycare, and only one child had a fever.
And all this after having gone to the doctor and having an x-ray on my back because I’d been in extreme pain all weekend. Yaaaaay.
Anywho. Tuesday. Tuesday was great. I hosted a “make-and-take” roller bottle remedy party where we all made our own essential oil roller bottles and it was so much fun! Plus, really cool to be able to mix these recipes up. If you weren’t able to come, we’re going to do another one again, don’t worry!
Wednesday was great. Thursday was great. Etc etc etc. Saturday was awesome because we did everything Christmas that day! I made the boys Christmas pancakes for breakfast, then we made Christmas cookies and went to the Christmas parade and that night Brandon and I went to a Christmas party. Seriously a great day.
Sunday morning Brandon spoke at church and did an amazing job. The best message I’ve heard him preach in a long time. I’m not saying that to downplay his other messages, I’m saying this to emphasize what a great job he did. He spent a lot of time preparing and I was captivated the whole time. I was so proud of him. It was one of those moments where I wanted to stand up and say to everyone, “That’s my husband! Isn’t he awesome?!” You know those moments, almost like a “Santaaaaa! I know him!!” moment where you’re bursting with pride and excitement and sunshine is threatening to spill out of your ears.
Yesterday evening Brittney and I went to teach our first essential oils class together. Well, technically our second, but this was our first on our own, and boy was it reminiscent of the good ole Penny Filled Pantry coupon class days! We had a great time. We seem to just jive when we’re teaching classes and things just flow and its lots of fun and we end up laughing a lot. It was a great class and a really fun evening. Sup Monday. Whatchu got? Boom.
Today was going to be great. Today I had my department’s Christmas lunch at a nice restaurant in Greensboro and then I was going to go right to my Orthopedic doctor’s appointment for my back and they were going to tell me that “yep, just a few more days of rest and 2 weeks at the chiropractor aught to do it, and you’ll be good to go!” (Yeaaaaah, he didn’t say that.)
We finished lunch up a little early and I had about an hour until my appointment so I decided to run a quick errand. When I pulled into the parking lot I heard a funny noise that I thought might be my car, and sure enough, it was. There was smoke coming out from under the hood, too. That was fun.
The one thing that kept ringing in my ears was “Do NOT let a little car trouble ruin your day!” because I’m bound and determined that the devil is not gonna win. Not with me anyway! I mean, its CHRISTMAS, people!
I love Christmas, as I’m sure most of you do. And as Brandon spoke on Sunday, I realized that we spend far too much time worrying about traditions and lists and gifts during this time, and far too little time reflecting on the catalyst for the whole holiday season anyway. Brandon read an excerpt Sunday that described a young girl – a first-time mom – dirty and weary, with a new babe wrapped in scraps of cloth. I’ve thought about that over and over since he first read it to me last week.
If I let myself, I imagine a girl about my size, but much younger, with long mousy brown hair, and I can feel the pain she feels with each contraction. If I close my eyes, I actually feel my heart rate speed up with the anticipation of the next contraction. I remember how scared I was when I was laboring with each of my children, and I imagine that fear was multiplied for Mary, alone and in a strange, uncomfortable place. I didn’t give birth with dirt under my feet and bits of straw poking through my clothes and sticking in my hair. I gave birth surrounded by medical staff and all the people in the world who could comfort me. It was not outside, in the dark, in unsanitary conditions with the stench of animal waste nearby.
Our Savior had a most humble birth. He was brought into the world without sweeping grandeur and by the soft light of the stars above. We celebrate this quietly beautiful scene with gobs of red and green, to-do lists and frantically remembering to move that silly elf each day, and for some, credit card bills to boot. When I think about my own actions over this holiday season, I realize I’ve been much too focused on all the ups and downs and stressing about fitting in all our traditions and holiday clothes and how everything will come together just right.
Have you spent too much time focused on all the wrong things this month? And not that any of those things are wrong, but when I pause and picture that weary girl propped up against the rough edges of a wooden manger, and imagine the Savior of the world wrapped in dirty cloths – the first of countless times that He would humble himself – I realize that I’ve maybe lost my focus a little.
The back pain and the infusions and the car trouble are all background noise and a distant hum, when I think about the magnitude of the One who steers my path. The car can be repaired, and the other distractions can all just take a backseat for this girl’s Christmas season, because today, I choose to give thanks that a God who loves me, was willing to have his son enter this life in such a humble way and with the sole intention of saving the world.