Thursday, December 17, 2009

Advent Miscellany

Lets see, what's been going on around here? Busy with scouting activities. We had our city-wide American Hertiage Girls Mother/Daughter Tea last Sunday afternoon. I had to miss Sunday morning Church because A. had pink eye, but the doctor said that by the afternoon she would have been on her eye drops long enough to go to the tea. Our troop leader surprised me and asked me to speak about Christmas in Switzerland. So, I got up on stage and told about Christmas in Switzerland. That was a surprise, and fun to do. My preaching training came in handy, and I did get a few laughs from the audience. I told about the Fast of St. Nicholas, and other various things, as well as giving a synopsis of who St. Nicholas was in real life. Most of the audience had never heard of the real St. Nicholas. And of course I talked about other Swiss Christmas traditions as well: The nativity plays, the Chirst Child being celebrated, all the Christian carols and hymns.

On Monday we baked Christmas cookies: Sugar cookie cutouts with decorations (my son is at that age when he likes do to things like make the gingerbread man shaped cookies have various bodily injuries...fuuun.) Chocolate crinkle cookies and ginger snaps. The cookies went into the freezer to await the Nativity. Well, most of them did. ;-)

Christmas shopping: Hardly started. We have an Amazon order in, and plan on spending Saturday amidst the crowds in some brick and mortar stores. The kids are worried and we are making jokes about having invisible presents this year.

B. is sleeping better. She is doing well on her meds, until she gets tired and then she's a blubbering mess. Fifteen hits hormones hits autism hits schizophrenia: A perfect storm. Any and all prayers on her behalf are very welcome and needed on an ongoing basis. It is never easy living with mental illness. God have mercy.

Christmas time brings of so many memories of two years ago when B was hospitalized during the first part of the month of December. That Christmas was difficult. She was not OK when we brought her home. Just barely well enough to eat. But mentally she was still pretty much out of her mind and was for months. I suppose it's good to remember, and to be so very grateful about how much better she is now than then.

Living with this, I realize I carry with me a deep sadness. All the time. I think everyone has their own deep sadnesses. I think the best we can do is offer those up to God.

I keep having the phrase "born to die" in my head, as I meditate on the incarnation of God. And this old Advent carol, on my mind:

O Come, O Come Emmanuel
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice, rejoice! Emmanuel
has come to thee O Israel.


elizabeth said...

Christmas seems always to be a hard time of year. Yes, everyone carries within them a deep sadness.

My love and prayers.

thegeekywife said...

What does it mean to "offer it to the Lord"? I hear ppl say that but I'm clueless as to what it means.

That Christmas carol is one of my favorites, but I had forgotten about it.

Elisabeth said...

I will pray for you and your family. We do all carry our own sadness, some are better at hiding it than others, sometimes even from themselves. Christmas is a hard time because we are often reminded of memories, sometimes ones of people now gone, sometimes of things that once were commonplace in our lives but are gone now.

I do not know what it is like to live with schizophrenia or watch a loved one suffer from it, but I do know bi polar disorder, alcholism, depression and others. None of it is easy. But I fully believe God never gives us more than we can handle. We ourselves may not realize we can handle it but God, the all knowing, He knows we can.

@ thegeekywife
I think it could have different meanings for different people, but for me, it means to turn it over to God's will, to acknowledge that it is in His hands and no one else's, He alone can help you with your turmoils.

Alana said...

"Offer it to the Lord"...what Elizabeth said. It's an acknowledgement that THIS (whatever this is) is the arena of my battle to win a crown. And that this life can only be lived by with and through God's grace.