If EVER anyone calls me before 8am on a Sunday morning, I am ROYALLY irritated. Who does something like that? This morning, I was that person. I called my parents' home and they, still recovering from my dad's rockin' faculty Christmas party the night before, were still asleep. I didn't leave a message. My mom called right back, all bleary-sounding and cozied in her bed (I'm sure.) To add insult to injury, I asked her for a favor. To add salt to the injury (which is like a wound), it was to babysit 4 of my kids this morning while we went to hear Tyler's folks' speak in their ward's sacrament meeting.
Why share so much background? Pretty much, Mom and Pops deserve a shout out (and Uncle Mike, who apparently heard EVERY word the kids spoke while he was trying to sleep in) because they watched our kids this a.m. and THAT deserves an intro. BUT, another reason is to explain this little idea I had for myself during my father-in-law's thoughts. Today is December 13th. That leaves 12 more days until Christmas and I need to do a "12 days of Christmas." However, I decided, since this year we can't do a secret Santa-y one and since I'm just not as well-connected as Andy (from The Office), I was going to make it a personal mission to do something that would allow me the opportunity to FEEL more, to better BE, to more easily DO the Christmas Spirit. I'm not exactly sure WHAT I am going to do each day; I think I will make that a conscious matter of prayer. Mostly my good, sweet friends and family and even my neighbors that I don't really know are on my mind, so I'd like to include them in my own little celebration . . . somehow.
This is a weird year for me, Christmas-wise. I haven't been able to "want" anything for a bit, so the idea of coming up with a list seems kind of foreign and selfish. However, I decided this morning, in that 9am sacrament meeting, that I do want to feel more of the Christmas Spirit. We've eliminated a lot of our hustle and bustle this season (by complete happenstance, not by design) and I have found more quiet time a blessing, unnerving, but in a good way . . . I think.
Anyhow, for the first day of Christmas, I wanted to take time to appreciate my testimony and the opportunity I have to be a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'm grateful for my faith and my relationship with my Heavenly Father and my Savior. Family is such an important aspect of my mortal life, that it just feels right when I broaden those ideas and feelings to an eternal nature. I know, even when (rather, ESPECIALLY when) I struggle, have burdens, or feel low that God cares about me. He does. He hasn't forsaken me because we had to turn off our cable. He sees what our family experiences and goes through and He wants it to be good for us. Further, I believe my elder brother, Jesus Christ, KNOWS how I feel (not that I think he cares that He misses watching Project Runway, but He cares for me and that it makes me a teensy bit sad); that He can relate to me on a level nobody else can. And THAT's who I want to have the strongest relationship with; for that very reason. Today, for our church service at 1pm, Tyler and I took shifts since Brock stayed home sick from church. One of the speakers, a recently returned missionary, talked about having a complete love for our Savior, a love beyond any other relationship we have, and I so appreciated that thought. I thought of all the different relationships I have (wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, etc.) and how they would be so incomplete without the Savior's atonement and without His example.
Anyhow . . . THAT knowledge is precious to me. THAT relationship I have has been confirmed in my life in really sad moments AND in really glad ones too. The whole reason we celebrate this season is BECAUSE we have a Savior, not because we have Santa Claus or ward parties or goody plates on our doorsteps (however, THOSE goody plates and Christmas cards [shameless plug for how much I adore fun holiday mail] are a really great part of the season for me . . . it's like friends and sweets and keeping touch and love and sweets all in one, you know.) I plan on making sure I remember all that this year. I'm going to push past my pride and my bad attitude and REALLY enjoy the next 12 days. Hopefully blogging about it won't feel like eggnog forced down your throat. It really will be a Merry Christmas.