It’s early Monday morning and I’m enjoying a few small moments of peace and quiet. Perhaps I’m sipping a delicious artisan cold-brewed coffee and eating an ethically sourced bagel while calmly review the day ahead after a few hours of prayerful meditation.
Who am I kidding? It’s January 2nd and I’m lying as still as the grave in bed hoping not to trigger the ingrained alarms of the two tiny humans next to me while desperately trying to remember if there’s a doctor in the house—Dr. Pepper, that is. My internal alarm has gone off at my usual wake up time and not allowed me a few extra hours of much needed sleep after an exhausting holiday week. For fun this year we decided to pack in the Christmas holiday with strange work schedules, visiting family, and a Baptism to top it all off. My natural introvert is craving peace and quiet. I’ve done little these last few days except provide food and stimulus to so many people I’ve lost track and my mind is screaming for a break.
I want a break. In modern lingo I suppose you could say that I need to “recharge” or focus on some “me-time”. I desperately want this recharge this morning, but I’m not going to get it. In a matter of minutes the baby stirs and the child reacts and we’ve started our day running. Within minutes my son has announced he has no one to play with after days of grandparents, uncles and friends coming and out of the house and that today is quite possibly the worst day ever. Any attempts to do something outside of the baby’s visual contact is met by deep, wracking sobs as my little social butterfly doesn’t understand why she’s not constantly in someone’s arms like she has been for days. Twenty minutes into the old routine (and we haven’t even added back-in-school and work into the mix) and already it’s hard, really hard.
By noon I’ve announced that I’m probably the worst mother in existence and, what’s more, I don’t care anymore. Nothing is getting done, no one is in a good mood and I’m already touched out by a baby who currently is holding me hostage on the couch in a deep slumber oblivious to my selfish grumblings. I’m pretty sure my son has eaten at least three cupcakes for breakfast in between meltdowns of the kind only the post-holiday sugar crash can provide. I’m ready to cancel next Christmas and become a recluse somewhere far away from clinging babies, mounds of laundry and never ending requests for food.
Hebrews tells us to boldly, confidently approach the throne of Grace, but today there is nothing beautiful about my approach. I am skidding and sliding along the end of the runway and landing at God’s feet, battered and bruised, tossed around by the turbulence of post-holiday re-entry. Of everything I’m lacking today – patience, understanding and a long fuse—Grace seems the furthest away and that’s when I know it’s time to remember God.
It’s surprising that only a few days after the holidays I’ve already, in a sense, forgotten God, but it happens to many of us. Only a few days after celebrating His joyous birth and trying our best to live his commandments to the fullest we’ve already forgotten that He is here and we are His. Only a few days and I’ve forgotten that my home is gift, my children are a blessing, my marriage is a vocation and my work is a mission. I’ve already forgotten about God, but thankfully He will never forget about me and it only takes one small moment for him to work in me; to remind me to cast my cares upon him and to align all my tribulations, big or small, with His will. While the holidays are a wonderful reminder of the joy of God’s love for us it’s the reentry that is the real lesson.
These next few days or maybe even weeks are a reminder to seek to do God’s work on the regular days, the boring days and the hard days and a reminder that, in a world that tells us otherwise, we are meant to be Christians all year long. We need the turbulence of re-entry to remind us that living our faith is not just something we do when it’s advertised in the media or when it has the prettiest trappings. These rocky days are here to remind us to continue to seek Him and to serve Him in the good times and the bad. There is Grace in the reentry days and while it might not be a Grace easily found it is a Grace abundantly given just when we need it most.