A Haines Home Companion: Christmastime
It’s not really that we’re counting down to Christmas Day. It’s that slow week of being together that we love, sitting in the lights and eating foods we’ll regret later. Leading up to the starry night, we take in the story. I love the way each of us relishes a different way.
This time around, joy isn’t this conjured-up thing from the depths of my soul. I’ve let go. Stopped trying. It’s what they call surrender, I think. Freedom. Satisfaction is an eternal thing, and then there’s this temporary meantime where I let my matryoshka santa dolls make me happy and also the pencil sharpener on the desk. I’m letting myself be okay with my excitement for the Christmas toffee, and I’m singing songs just because of happiness. It doesn’t all have to be deep stinging complex.
Joy, on the other hand of happiness, it’s directly tied to faith. It’s the eternal happy that sees 10,000 miles over circumstance. This season comes with so many reminders of JOY.
We’ve been in a season of rest. When we told our circles that we were pulling in and finding rest, it took us maybe four weeks to even feel like we had slowed the ball down, as if the ball had been rolling full steam. Now we’ve been at a near stop for a few weeks, and things look different from here. I’m relearning discipline. Seth and I are craving time together, long for it.
An interesting thing to note is that we rarely fight, though we often aggravate one another. As we began to slow down, we began arguing on a regular basis, and it scared me, left us both frustrated all the time. Slowing down was extremely uncomfortable. Now that we’re slow, I feel like we’re better than ever. I feel like I know him and he knows me.
We learned that community is not community because we’re there. Real friends are still friends when we can’t manage dinner dates for a while, and pretty much everyone is in this hard stage, fighting to see their own children and to keep their marriages healthy. There are a close few who have come to make sure we’ve worshipped together, the ones who know we need to laugh and do all our verbal processing.
In our culture, Christmastime seems an odd one in which to slow down. It’s easy to fail expectations – the gifts, parties, cookie-making, and decorated houses. I guess having a sick one has made things a touch clearer. I just want to see you healthy, Christ bringing peace and JOY. That’s really all there is.
Titus had his hernia surgery on Wednesday, and he only needed one dose of tylenol afterward to bring him back to his cheerful self. He’s already climbing on the dining room table.
The day we left for that cystic fibrosis test/, after we realized he hadn’t grown at all in 8 weeks, so many of you began praying. I got emails from strangers and texts from long-lost friends. So many were praying. The sweat test didn’t work because he didn’t sweat, and I was so discouraged, but the next day he had gained 5 ounces. Friends, over the following two weeks, he gained an entire pound!
A while ago, I wrote here that we had found out that his immune system isn’t working, and we chose to immunize him again to see if somehow his body would create an immune response. We prayed for healing and had to keep away from church and community, anyone who could be sick.
We retested for his immune response this week, and y’all, it’s working perfectly fine. He now has an immune system! We can be together as a family anywhere we want to be! I hope I won’t take it for granted again.
I don’t know what else to call it but healing, especially of my own heart.
I pray it for you, too. Tidings of Comfort and JOY.