a reflection, a reminder

Right after Christmas, I confessed it, that I was over it, but when I took the tree down, the nativity to its box, all three of our boys cried. The next day it snowed, and they ran down to me, said, ” now, can it be Christmas again?” They cried at my “no.” In protest, they sing about Jesus in a manger, and they sing We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Still, weeks later, they’re singing. 

My 2 year old, Ian, pretends an action-packed nativity with his robots and transformers. Sometimes, Mary dies in his story, but that’s beside the point. Jesus is always born. He has entered the scene with his own imagination, a gift He brings to the Father by nature of pure response.

I say all this to explain that Christmas Change was hard for me this year. Never have I felt more selfish and needy, a little forgotten and insecure. I couldn’t tell if my kids were hearing me, if anyone was hearing me, and I struggled with my sin of fear to not be heard.

I was very ill a week before Christmas, and even now I’m bearing it, going to the doctor today to see if I have pneumonia. I was over Christmas and out of the energy needed to do Christmas,

but now as I explain to the boys the stories that lead from the manger to the cross, how we’re glad the story moves beyond, they still sing, they hold a little more loosely to their toys, and they welcome Easter. Lessons of grace turn fireworks in me because of them and how the story leads them and calls them and enters them.


For more reflections on Christmas Change and to read an encouraging post from Lora Lynn of Vitafamiliae, check out the CC blog, and consider adding your own thoughts – even if you, too, are so over Christmas.

About me


The Need to Look In
October 10, 2013
inventing love
November 11, 2010
on soul rest and how the dreams change
July 14, 2010
on travel and time
January 26, 2010
on communion, community, and imagination
March 01, 2009


Boy Crazy (@claritychaos)
Reply January 7, 2010

Amber, I admire so much your honesty and your ability to humble yourself in order to share the lessons you're learning, the challenges that send you stumbling.

I want to let you know how glad I am that I discovered your blog months ago. Your writing inspires me (both in message and the craft itself), I relate to your life with three little boys, and I have discovered so many other wonderful women through your site who I now feel grateful to call friends.

Just wanted to let you know, my dear.

xo elizabeth

Lora Lynn
Reply January 7, 2010

Ah, boys. Somehow in the middle of all that play and destruction lurks hearts of understanding. Usually, anyway...

Reply January 7, 2010

I'm so sorry you're still so sick :( Continuing to pray for you.

And I continue to resonate with so many of your thoughts...looking forward to talking when you feel better.

Reply January 7, 2010

Still sick? Did you gargle salt water? My grandmother thinks that cures anything ;) Will I maybe see you when you are in nashvegas?

Reply January 7, 2010

Love this: "Sometimes, Mary dies in his story, but that’s beside the point. Jesus is always born. He has entered the scene with his own imagination, a gift He brings to the Father by nature of pure response."
xoxox hope you feel better.

Reply January 7, 2010

I wanted to be able to have comments to say to your posts this year. I'm still being left speechless, though. Maybe it's because I'm still learning from you, and I'm just supposed to be quiet most of the time and listen.

Praying you get better soon. Keep us updated!

Reply January 7, 2010

Seriously, you guys are my friends. Thank you for loving me even in my raw.

Here's the update: I've started my 4th antibiotic and a number of other things. The doctor explained to me that 4 weeks of sinusitis is why I can't think of certain easy words and phrases. I thought I had dementia. Seth said I had so much more color in my face today, and I didn't have the heart to tell him that I had put on make-up to visit the doctor.

Really, though, I think tomorrow is the day I'll break free from the lung freak-outs. They've been wanting to turn inside out, but NO MORE, I say. Tonight? Sweet sweet cough medicine.

Muthering Heights
Reply January 7, 2010

That is the most wonderful thing, isn't it?

Reply January 8, 2010

Never have I felt more selfish and needy, a little forgotten and insecure. .. so beautifully captured..

Reply January 8, 2010

Praise the Lord for modern medicine!

Reply January 8, 2010

Oh my... feel better! I'm so sorry it's lingered this long.
(I am so glad someone else's kids are still singing Christmas songs! Fynn keeps wishing everyone we see a Merry Christmas, and breaks into Jingle Bells!)

Reply January 8, 2010

I get what you are saying. I, too, was sick the week before Christmas and was over Christmas early as well. My heart is a bit sad, but I've been trying to focus on Jesus. It's not easy to do, sometimes.

Reply January 10, 2010

You write so beautifully. This was a very strange Christmas for me, and yet I was not ready to let it go. I think I was hoping something more would come forth and redeem the strangeness. Alas, the tree is gone and the needles are vacuumed and still it was strange. So onward we go...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *