Thursday, December 05, 2013

Watering Trees

I love Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas. The lights, the excitement, the wonder--the music, the warmth, the smells--the memories of old and the realization that sweet ones are being actively made.

But it takes work.
Weeks of shopping, followed by hours of wrapping.
Decorating.
Baking.
Planning.
Making.
And don't get me started on addressing, stamping and stuffing Christmas cards.

Christmas can get a bad rap for the toll it takes on schedules and our pocketbooks. And yet, even when we work to be intentional about our activities and expenditures--to honor God in it all--that can be incredibly time/emotion consuming as well.

But it is worth it.

When I sit in front of the fireplace watching a Christmas special with my kiddos--the scent of evergreen in the air and twinkling lights casting a glow to the room-- I count all the work as a worthwhile investment.

When my trio squeal with delight as they bound down the stairs to discover a visit from our silly elves, I am no longer counting the cost. I am reveling in the payout.

The thought struck me this morning when I was doing my least favorite Christmas chore...watering the trees.

I love a fresh, live tree. The scent is an essential part of the season for me...but I abhor the contortionism it requires to get those things watered. Every few days in December I find myself prostrate on the floor, prickly branches near my eyeballs, stray pine needles in my hair, precariously close to spilling water on presents and floors.
I'm not sure what's stranger...that I asked my daughter to photograph this or that I posted it on the Internet.
It is a less than glamorous perspective of Christmas.  Yet, when I climb out, stand up, brush off the pine needles and step back I know that even this lowly, awkward job has a purpose.

This is a true first world problem...but it serves as a metaphor for so much more. I thought about Mary...surely she could not comprehend how a virgin pregnancy, a painful camel ride at full term or childbirth in a stable would look from the perspective of history.

And I thought more practically about daily wife/motherhood duties. Nursing little ones through stomach bugs, the monotony of nitty gritty housecleaning, taking out the trash, teaching life lessons to little wounded hearts...it is all part of the often thankless and unglamorous job.

But when we step back and survey the landscape--how little ones are maturing in their faiths and their lives--how a house is embraced as a haven from the world--how our hearts are being changed as the Lord guides us through loving theirs--it is a perspective that changes everything.

Let's go water some trees!


8 comments:

Anne said...

I like your metaphor BUT I have a practical suggestion for watering your trees. PVC pipe, cut and aimed through the back of the tree to the tree stand. It has changed my life! ;)

Marcia Kucaba said...

Can I help make your life a bit easier (although I love the metaphor too) - http://www.keystone-wholesale.com/santas-magic-christmas-tree-water-spout.aspx

Hugs to Ryland-Marcia

JMom said...

Hooray for helpful tips. Thank you!!
(And Merry Christmas!)

Love Being A Nonny said...

love this post!!! merry merry christmas jennmom!

amandaglink said...

You don't need to buy anything! Just water your tree with ice cubes. If one plops out just throw it in the tree stand.

Denise Ross said...

Love this post. Been reading about Mary and giving ones all for Christ as Mary gave her body for God and her life dreams up to do as God willed for her life. Offering up myself as a living sacrifice for Gods glory.
Merry Christmas Jen to you and yours x

Denise Ross said...

Love this post. Been reading about Mary and giving ones all for Christ as Mary gave her body for God and her life dreams up to do as God willed for her life. Offering up myself as a living sacrifice for Gods glory.
Merry Christmas Jen to you and yours x

Helen said...

As usual, a wonderful post putting life in perspective, thank you.

I think it's more strange that you get in that prostrate position at all!!! That's a kid's job in my house.