The crazy weeks of December are now over.
They were thrilling.
But so deliciously full that I have to resist keeping up that exciting pace.
I must, must leave blank spaces on the calendar the next two weeks without feeling selfish.
Even if it means feeling a little lonely. And isolated.
Because I need the quiet to think. And think a melancholic must.
Preferably when it's quiet.
This morning was all about Robert Burns and Pluto and the Kuiper Belt and getting my little one off to speech class. We are squeezing in a week of school before the Christmas break.
I drink up the afternoon quiet while the kids are outside and the sideways sunlight stretches across the room.
Can you hear it?
The quiet is deafening.
Alone with my thoughts, they turn to the long to-do list that grew to an impossible length over the last three weeks:
To the Christmas cards we've been whipping out assembly-line style, when I would rather take the time to write thoughtful notes on each and every one. (If you are on my list, know that you were thought of and prayed for as I wrote your address.)
To the shopping and wrapping and hiding of gifts.
To the giving/donating still on my list and on our hearts.
To the cookies yet to bake.
To the tree yet to decorate.
To parties yet to plan.
To the cat with the bladder infection yet to heal, in spite of a round of antibiotics.
(And what to do with him in the meantime since we can't let him in the house and risk more bloody pee accidents.)
To a new semester yet to plan.
To the end-of-calendar-year self evaluations yet to ponder.
To my temper yet to tame.
To my pettiness yet to subdue.
To my will yet to discipline.
To parenting and all the improvement, education, and prayer it demands.
To my heart yet to be ready for Christ and what He calls me to do, how He asks me to grow.
To all the questions I ask myself during the darkest week of winter:
Am I doing what I am supposed to do when I am supposed to be doing it?
Am I too prideful and prone to entitlement?
Am I spreading our family too thin, letting the Good become the enemy of the Best?
What can we cut, if anything?
Am I giving enough to others? (All the moms I know seem to have at least one thing they organize for others).
Of all the places we go and all the people we see, where do I really fit in?
Should I keep blogging publicly, when most of the people I see in daily life neither know or care about this little blog?
Could I, should I, do without it?
What is God's plan for our family for high school?
Will there ever be enough time in the day to get to everything?
It's an inward spiral, this journey to the solstice and Nativity. It will inevitable spiral back out.
And I will be changed.
After a few moments of quiet, I am changed already.
And I suppose this is why I keep blogging, because it changes me more than it changes you. There's enough out there for you without coming here.
This space is for me, a form of prayer and reflection where thoughts and images and words and connection combine like no other place in my life.
That you are here too - it's a gift to me, and in some way it must be a gift to you too or you wouldn't keep coming here.
So have a blessed Christmas, and I hope you hear the quiet too.