Monday, December 24, 2012

Love came down... Christmas Eve...

If I'm being honest, going to infusion Christmas Eve morning hasn't left me feeling very Christmas-y. And even though I am surrendered to it- it is what it is-I haven't quite figured out how to honor the spirit of Christmas with chemo, infusion, or cancer.  

I've also alluded to some of the changes coming our way.  We've carefully considered and weighed all of our options.  In order to continue to keep up with the high cost of treatment and our ongoing obligations, we have decided to move Rick's office to our home.  It was a difficult decision to make, but we are stepping forward in faith that eventually this will simplify our lives and reduce expenses.  We've also listed our van on Craigslist.  And Rick has sold some of his cameras and other photo gear.  

None of this is because we aren't able to manage just fine right now.  But we need to be realistic about the uncertain nature of the future and be as fiscally responsible as we can right now.  

Making these decisions has honestly been the toughest part- its been far easier to execute and move forward with the decisions behind us.  


But with all of these serious decisions chasing us down- how do we capture the joy and wonder of the Christmas season?  Especially when I start off the day at infusion?

I think the answer trudged right through my front door in a series of blessings. While I was caught up in the frenzied loads of office equipment arriving daily and the stacks of clutter and mess shoved to the corners of our living room, the answers were there for me when I was ready to see.


I ordered this tealight holder online through a special offer from Dayspring.  Taking full advantage of the offer, I bought several, and delighted in giving some to friends.  Its sturdy, solid and heavy- a substantial piece, with an even more substantial message.   



The birth story of baby Jesus in Luke 2 1-20. 


I absent- mindedly forgot to order a Christmas wreath for us this year, but this was a welcome fill-in.  The fragrant branches and beautiful colors filled our house with Christmas cheer.  Thank you Stavenger family!  



It was superman who found this lying in the snow in our driveway.  It had been duct taped to something and the wind must have lifted it off.  Not only was it a beautiful card- but it had Christmas money and an anonymous note from a friend of our youngest sons.  Thank you- neighborhood angel- your gift gave me more than you could possibly know! 



I think the message in this "Clinging Cross," could not have been more timely.  Thank you to our angel  - Jennifer- my friend from far away.  


There have been platters of goodies, oodles of cards and a steady stream of abundance.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to deliver some Christmas cheer to our door! 


But it's remained true- I've been caught in the midst of chasing down the "perfect" Christmas.  With all of the tradition, the decorating, the baking, the magic-making I could muster- amongst the chaos of our life. 

And chemo was messing up my idea of perfect.  

But I kept being drawn back to my Star and its message- Love came down.

 I finally sat down and read Luke 2 1-20.  

I sat looking at the handmade card with 
Baby Jesus...

And I was reminded of the humble beginnings of the tiny babe.  Mary and Joseph would have perhaps preferred a room at the Inn, with a bed and a midwife.  

Plus, a cradle, rather than a cattle trough or manger for their newborn.  

I wonder how anxious they might have been.  Worried, frightened, alone perhaps.  

And yet...

They got a drummer boy, and 3 wise men.  They got a stable, and swaddling cloths for warmth and hay for softness maybe.

Some would say they were blessed.

And I wonder, how many of us forget about the blessings in the hay, when we find ourselves in the stable instead of the inn?  

Perfect does not exist in CHRISTmas.  

Christmas is about God's perfect love for us given through the birth of baby Jesus.




Wishing you Christmas Blessings!  

















28 comments:

  1. My sweet Vicky,

    I wish you a merry, merry Christmas! Love, Light and wonderfull moments in the future and you know ... our trip to the mountain top and a visit at the Munich Hofbräuhaus with Obatzda and Brezn!!!

    Many Bussal from Germany
    Mimi

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    Replies
    1. My dear friend- Merry Christmas to you and yours! I wish you a blessed holiday season filled with wonderful memories and lots of time to be with your loved ones! And yes- I haven't forgotten our trip- ahhh I can smell the Obatzda already!!

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  2. The clinging cross wrapped in your hand did it for me.
    The tears were there, ready to emerge...and then the photo of the cross in your hand appeared. My tears fell.
    Thank you, Jesus, for coming here, living among us, and dying for me.
    Love,
    Jackie

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    1. Sweet words Jackie from my sweet friend. Love you- Merry Christmas!

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  3. Vicky,
    I was supposed to have my second chemo treatment today too. However, they wanted me to see Dr. Steen first and lucky for me, he is out until Thursday. All the wonderful gifts you've received are signs from the Lord above letting you know he is by your side. You are in my thoughts and prayers today and I am sending many blessings your way.

    Luv, Kristin Erickson (Nancy's sister-in-law)

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  4. Vicky,
    I was supposed to have my second chemo treatment today too. However, they wanted me to see Dr. Steen first and lucky for me, he is out until Thursday. All the wonderful gifts you've received are signs from the Lord above letting you know he is by your side. You are in my thoughts and prayers today and I am sending many blessings your way.

    Luv, Kristin Erickson (Nancy's sister-in-law)

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    1. Kristin- so fun to see you show up here :) I am so happy you get to wait till Thursday! I was in and out in just over an hour and it was really peaceful and quiet today. I think what you've said is true- the Lord has been by my side the entire time! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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  5. I can imagine all too well how chemo on Christmas Eve just stinks. I am glad that you are feeling loved and taken care of, and am praying that you will feel well tomorrow especially.

    Oh, and I just got a text from Becky, and they're on their way. When we went to bed last night, we thought there was no way they could travel because of Xavier's high fever, but he's better this morning. :)

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    1. Yay!! That just makes my whole day-so happy for you and Becky! Can't wait to see all that you do. Please give her a hug from me! Merry Christmas to you and hugs to the kiddos too please :)

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  6. The clinging cross is a thing of beauty, I have never heard of it. May you and your family share a blessed Christmas- I'll be praying for a happy, healthy year for all of us - X0

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    1. Merry Christmas to you and yours Karen- thinking of you during this time of mourning and loss. Prayers to you and wishing you peace.

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  7. Heartfelt tears streaming down my face as I read your amazing post full of love, hope & the great reminder that "perfect does not exist in Christmas".

    Sometimes people, myself included, go through the motions during the Christmas season. I know God's perfect love for us is baby Jesus, but reading this post this morning just gave me different perspective & appreciation for CHRISTmas.

    I know I have endless blessings in my life, thank you for reminding me to be more appreciative & grateful.

    Blessings to you & your family Vicky, I hope chemo goes well this morning.

    Merry Christmas,
    Cheri

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  8. Heartfelt tears streaming down my face as I read your amazing post full of love, hope & the great reminder that "perfect does not exist in Christmas".

    Sometimes people, myself included, go through the motions during the Christmas season. I know God's perfect love for us is baby Jesus, but reading this post this morning just gave me different perspective & appreciation for CHRISTmas.

    I know I have endless blessings in my life, thank you for reminding me to be more appreciative & grateful.

    Blessings to you & your family Vicky, I hope chemo goes well this morning.

    Merry Christmas,
    Cheri

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    1. I'm so honored Cheri, anytime, anyone can have a bit of a take away from something I've said or experienced. Thanks for the blessing of your sweet words! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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  9. Beautiful just like you. Merry CHRISTmas!
    Love

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    1. Aww, thank you Kelly- Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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  10. ah yes so true Vicky -- this year I too have had to let go of perfect or what I think makes a perfect Christmas and let go and let His love be all that matters.

    Sending lots of love and blessings for good health!!

    xoxoTiffany

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    1. Thank you Tiffany- lots of love to you and yours. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope you and the kiddos have lots of fun celebrating the season together!

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  11. You and your family are heavy on my heart and in our prayers! May God give you strength and send you a Blessed family Christmas time together! Went to the Christmas Eve service this evening and it helped us realize how Good our God is to us! Giving us his son to take away our sins. How precious. Merry Christmas to you and your family! Love you.

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    1. Thank you for the sweet blessing of your words and prayers Verna! I wish you a joyous holiday season and lots of fun with those sweet grandchildren! Love to you and yours!

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  12. I love the clinging cross. Sending you and your family
    lots of hope and blessings this year for a Merry Christmas.
    Hope your fusion goes well with good results and that you may continue
    celebrating life and family and friends as you are very blessed
    in their love and support.
    You are in my prayers Vicky

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  13. Oh Vicky, I think about you so often and wish I could put my arms around you. Your honesty in your writings has taught me a lot. I want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas. Be strong sister....all our prayers will keep coming to you.

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  14. "Simply to Thy cross I cling ..."

    I hope your day has gone well and that your strength will be renewed. Blessings for you and yours, dear Vicky.

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  15. Christmas blessings to you too sweet friend and peace in your heart. You are so strong to be able to flow with all the changes affecting your daily life and so wise to remember that perfect has nothing to do with Christmas. Sending you love and blessings and hugging you so tight hoping to give you loving energy xo

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  16. Beautiful as always! I love the clinging cross!
    Merry Christmas and much more love and beauty and counting thankfulness in the days ahead :)
    Love
    Kris

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  17. Dear Vicky, I've been thinking about you. I thought about all of those in my life who have felt a bit estranged from Christmas this year, including my dad, who remains in a Bismarck hospital and didn't have any interest in opening the presents my mom brought him yesterday, and friends who have big challenges before them. I thought about all this as I cried my heart out for the fact that we missed Christmas Mass because we got the time wrong, and there weren't any other options in a small town. The climactic moment...and I couldn't grasp it. So, I will have to cling to it instead, like you and your cross. Like you, I am trying to make the best of it and move forward, not with the Christmas I'd envisioned but the one I got and is nevertheless blessed. :)

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  18. At times we can't change the circumstances. But we can change our perspective. I am heartened to know you had the strength to do that. I wish you excellent health and complete remission in the days to come. Loads of love

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  19. You are so uplifting and inspiring, sweet Vicky. I'm thinking of you and hope each day you are feeling better and better. Sending hugs!

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I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

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