Took the kids to the dentist, cleaned the kitchen, did the laundry…always laundry. Made the grocery list and screamed at the kids to clean their room and take out the trash.
It was only two days after Christmas and already back to the grind. Two days after the presents. Two days after family and friends gathered around our large farm table for the scripture reading of the birth of our Savior. Two days after the eating and the cooking and the celebrating. Only two days, and I long for Christmas to begin again.
Through the darkness of the night as I tucked my eight-year-old in his bed, he whispers, “Is Christmas over?”
My worn-out self-answered back, “Yes.”
“So everything will pretty much be normal tomorrow?” he murmured.
I know that feeling. Every year after Christmas I struggle with the sad feeling of not wanting the wonder and anticipation to end. Even in the mist of the chaos of wrapping, buying, decorating, and preparing, we all enjoy the joy and anticipation December brings.
Every year when Christmas comes to a close, I fight wanting to return to “normal.” I feel as if a dam is released and my heart begins to flood with emotion. Many tears are usually shed, and I ache to escape this “normal” I seem to live. It’s as if the holidays somehow mask the ache, and deep down I yearn to experience Christmas all year long.
You can want to change the world and find meaning within the normal. You can want to live a life worthy of the call and rest in God’s love. You can want to be present and make every moment count. But life happens, time slips away, and you forget you were made for more.
As the years pass on, I am beginning to believe the more is found right smack in the middle of “normal.” We can experience more of God in the midst of everyday life. In the midst of changing diapers, cleaning floors, driving kids, and yes even in the midst of piles of laundry. Encountering God in the middle of our “normal” allows our hearts to experience the joy and wonder of Christmas all year long.
Christmas Eve, I stayed up late reading by the twinkling of the lights from the tree, savoring the silence and journaling thoughts of the coming year. A whole year can escape us before we even know it.
I write the word “Be.” A word the Lord had dropped in my spirit earlier in the week for the coming year. For the past two years, I have asked the Lord for one word to encompass the upcoming year. The last two years he has given me the same word, “Rest.”