According to my calendar I am scheduled to pick my children up from school in a couple of hours to begin their Christmas Break. My agenda indicates that I am then to hand them off to my in-laws for a spend the night party in Atlanta while I host my husband's surgical partners and their wives for a nice dinner in my home.
And then there's real life.
My P has been sleeping for 13 straight hours because he is battling the flu. My K is dealing with a different diagnosis--cat scratch fever--with daily temp spikes to 102. And, apparently, just to keep things interesting, R started vomiting around 2:30 this morning.
So, the party has been moved to a local restaurant. My husband will be attending solo--because, really, what babysitter would want to walk into this petri dish of germs? Christmas break started a little early for us this year--and unfortunately it is marked by more BLAH than FALALALA.
And although it is inconvenient, things are strangely well with my soul. These are the moments when I know my faith is real. This stinks...but it is OK.
I confess there was a moment late yesterday afternoon when I had a mini breakdown. I found my lab puppy playing with what I thought was a stuffed animal--only to discover it was my traumatized kitten. The children and I rushed little Leo to the vet and after a few fearful minutes were reassured that he was going to be fine.
As I glanced around the exam room I laughed out loud like a crazy woman. R in his school uniform, K in an odd combination of sick day lounging clothes with hair that hadn't seen a brush in days--and sweet P, glassy eyed and wearing his flu mask. I was in yoga pants I'd been in for two straight days. And our dazed little kitty was purring loudly in the midst of it all. It was a picture of real life--fraught with unplanned circumstances and unexpected detours.
We can try to fight it--or we can lean in--and realize that God did not send Jesus into the picture perfect Christmas card pose. No, our little Lord came to enter our mess. The unplanned. The plans interrupted. To make the sick well and the blind see. He came to meet us where we really are, knee deep in life.
I have been (somewhat pridefully) 'finished' with my Christmas prep for a couple of weeks. I thought it was so we could enjoy all the sights and sounds of the season...turns out it was so I could be fully present with my under-the-weather people.
I certainly did not plan to deck the halls vomit, Purell and a Motrin/Tylenol schedule...but in the end it is just a season. Truly, this is small stuff. We've been forced to slow down. Together. And as I have been reminded the Christmas story itself begins with "And it came to pass..."