The day after Christmas may be my favorite, especially if it welcomes slow. After all the buzzing around for weeks and days leading up to the actual day before and day of, it feels refreshing just to sit and not have that impending list of “to do’s” singing in your head. Instead, post holiday looks a lot like – eat, sleep, cuddle, organize– finding a home for the new things received while weeding out the old and prioritizing what goes and what stays– then it’s all about repeat, repeat, repeat!
. . . . . and letting the magic of the holiday sink in and simmer, offering light, hope, and anew.
We attended church on Christmas Eve day in the late afternoon. My parents and grandmother, in-laws, Aaron and I, along with our flock of little ladies took up one large pew that sat just two rows from the very back. The family sitting in front of us just so happened to have three girls as well, only they were in their pre-teen and teen years. Mom and dad sat at each end with their daughters in the middle (just like Aaron and I). At first I didn’t think much of it as I watched this family sit before us, celebrating with the congregation, taking in the service just as we. Aaron and I were busy doing our usual ‘pass the baby’ as our littlest two bounced between our laps, while trying to catch the message in the day’s sermon. The girls in front of us sat nicely between their parents, exchanged secrets from time to time that ended in them smiling back at one another, while I wished mine would just sit still for thirty seconds. And then by surprise a gift of hope in the form of a smile, exchanged between a mother of three older daughters and a mother of three little daughters, that said something like, “I see you. That was me not long ago”.
Sitting in church with little ones is like performing a delicate, classical dance. It’s familiar to those parents who have grown children, just as it feels routine for the parents in the midst of it. But it’s the unspoken understanding between the two, the parents that have once treaded these waters and the parents currently in it, that add a touch of hope and love, even a bit of magic. That smile was the hope and love and even a bit of magic that I needed in that very moment.
. . . . . . “that’s God’s love right there”
The sermon on this year’s Christmas Eve was all about God’s work in all the things– “That He is found in the difficult, the deepest yearning, the suffering, the hallway of a bully, in the one that doesn’t have much and in the one that has more than enough to give, in the smiles of strangers and of someone that has been there”. . . . how symbolic were these words that were spoken while at the same time experiencing the exchange before me? As I juggled both my littlest ones fighting over my lap, getting louder by the second, this overwhelming feeling came over me as if God himself had wrapped his arms around me and whispered, “it’s my love right here. in the smile of this stranger and in your very own lap.”
(insert goosebumps + happy tears)
You see, I really believe that magic is in the air all the time. It’s all around us if we give the time to pay attention. In a world of distraction. In a world of busy, we can tend to miss gifts like the one I shared in this story. I share this story– that may not even make much sense or even flow together very well–with you because I truly believe that messages alike are in the very air that we breathe all the time. Much like the sermon that was spoken on this Christmas Eve day, “The holy is in the air. That every time we breathe, we’re breathing in start dust. Literally taking in the heavens into our bodies. It’s how we exhale, that is the difference… ”
Magic is in the air all the time, dears.
We are all worthy.
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe in that glorious start dust and let it shine like the bright star that you are.
I hope that no matter where or how or with whom you spent this holiday season with that you know that you are always worthy, no matter what. Keeping breathing in the star dust, it will light your way.
And with that . . . . I close with some random photos from our long weekend.