Christmas is coming.

5:07 PM

   I've found the longer you go without doing something, the harder it becomes to start up again.  Like a long hiatus from the gym and that first grueling set of cardio and weights.  You drag your feet, wasting time doing other things and distracting yourself with other interests.  You try not to think too much about it, because it makes you feel guilty for not just getting it over with already.  And when you finally do face the music?  Everything feels off.  Your muscles and bones creak and groan in protest, and the next morning your legs insist on staying in bed for another day or two.  Everything comes clumsily and awkwardly, and your sweat drops and breath huffs and you kind of can't wait to be done 10 seconds after you begin.

So it is with writing.

   I find it harder and harder to return to this space.  With the time lapsing in between posts only serving to alienate me farther from what used to flow so naturally.  I could just shut it down but I  suppose that is hard for me to do too...and so for now I guess it is slightly easier to just ignore it, than take any drastic measures against it.

   Much like the couple that slowly drifts apart, as opposed to the couple with the loud, messy divorce.  In one scenario, emotions are raw and words are flung, everything is loud and angry and makes a big scene.   In the other scenario, no one even knows for sure what happened or when it started...they just stopped "showing up" every day.  And that is how I feel about this blog.

   I suppose there are some very good reasons for it.  Having a baby and being busy raising children would, I suppose, be a good enough explanation for anyone as to why I don't blog anymore.  But I know myself better than that.  And I know when I truly "don't have time" and when I am just hiding.  And lately, it's been more the latter.

   Lately I have felt such a burning drive and desire to accomplish something.  And I don't mean stay on top of the laundry or cook a mean pot of chili.  I mean REALLY accomplish something.  Something that makes me feel like all of the gears and gizmos in my psyche are whirring in harmony and I'm actually using all of my God-given gifts and strengths, and it all matters or makes a difference somehow.  The only problem, I don't know what that IS.

   And so I find myself searching, and reaching, and coming up with fistfuls of air.  So I withdraw from things that become a little bit painful, like writing.  Which used to feel like an outlet for me at one time, but now feels more like a reminder of something that's not really going anywhere.   And I'm not writing this for pity.  Please, just, no.  I'm writing this because I need to, and that's all.

   This year I am not involved in our church's Christmas pageant, and I underestimated how hard that would be for me to step back from.  It was, after all, only once a year, but it was at least 3 months out of the year that I participated in, and thoroughly enjoyed, something I felt like I really could actually DO.  It was glorious, being part of something like that.  I drank it up, and it was chicken broth for my soul.  It energized me and fed me and I poured all of myself back out into it, giving my time and energy and thought and emotion and absolutely living for those moments.

  But this year, that's all different.  And it feels as if a part of me has died.  And I know that sounds dramatic, (it is DRAMA, after all) but it's true.  But I suppose all unused gifts feel that way if they lie dormant long enough.  Still and silent on the shelf, gathering dust and rust from neglect.

  It has been hard to get in the Christmas spirit this year.  And I feel silly and childish admitting that, and at the same time, I feel like I can understand that basic human concept that Christmas just isn't Christmas without certain things.  I always thought it was a little ridiculous that all some people care about during Christmas is the presents or the shopping or the lights, when Christmas is really so so so much more.  But now I understand.  I know how it feels to feel like if something isn't the way it has been for a long time, and isn't the way you'd like for it to be, than Christmas can't really come.

  And of course the moment I think it, I feel crushing guilt. Guilt for trying to teach my children what Christmas is "really all about" when so often in my own life, I act as if I don't even know.  Or guilt that somewhere, parents are facing a Christmas without a child that they've lost, or a child is facing Christmas without a home.  Who am I to not get in the Christmas spirit when others have had to face so, SO much more?

   But it can feel that way none-the-less.  So I guess for a while now I have felt my creative gifts go on a hiatus.  Not with any extreme, showy, display of emotion, but just a quiet packing of their bags, and leaving without saying goodbye.  And I think they'll be back, or at least I hope so, but in the meantime it feels different without them around.  I feel different.

   My dreaming hasn't gone on hiatus though.  Thank goodness I still have her.  And so I find myself, often thinking to myself in writing form, much like blogging on an invisible screen, typing keys in the air.  The words just never make it to an actual page.

   And perhaps the hiatus has been for the best, because it has made me feel alone, which has caused me to reach out to a couple of friends until I found someone who is wanting to do something with her creative gifts too.   I think something really amazing could come out of our creative collaboration, and if it does, I guess it will all have been worth it.  Actually, even if it doesn't it will have been worth it, because it will have made me TRY again.

   I was able to sing Oh Holy Night with a group on Sunday, and it felt so good to sing again that I could have cried.  And like all Christmas songs, that particular one can get almost mind-numbingly familiar, and so it is easy to miss the magic of the words....but this time, something stood out to me.

O holy night the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
  And even though I've heard those words a thousand times, it was like hearing them for the first time.  I realized that I too, had been laying in sin and error, pining.  Pining around for a hope or a purpose or a fulfillment outside of Him.  And it isn't until Jesus shows up, that our soul can feel worthy of something.  But when He does?  Hope.  Our weary heart can rejoice again.  And boy, have I felt weary.
And just around the corner?  A glorious sunrise signals a brand-new day. 

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