Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Joy and Sorrow

Last night I wrapped Christmas presents with my eight year old son, Alex.

He is so eager for Christmas. Our Christmas celebrating begins Friday evening at a friend’s Christmas party. Then Saturday evening at my sister’s house for supper. Sunday morning Alex plays bongos with the other boys for a Christmas song...then the kids are having pizza and ice cream, he told me he can hardly wait.He is eager for Christmas Eve, to go to the candlelight service at VCC and light a candle while we sing ‘Silent Night’...at his age he senses something sacred about the Christmas Eve candlelight service…then home to open one gift before going to bed. He is very excited for Christmas morning... then it continues with brunch at one of our kids’ homes with all the Swetman kids and grandchildren…then we finish with dinner at my cousin’s house with family and games. It’s a darn good thing that Rich and I are both extroverts!

This is my favorite time of year. I have always loved the Christmas season. A couple of years ago, Rich and I had to redo our tradition around our growing family but now that we have that worked out it is good…

On another note…

Yesterday I had an email from a woman asking me to pray for her son, Dylan. He is being deployed to Iraq this week. On Sunday, a woman in our congregation told us through tears that her brother is going from Afghanistan to Iraq.

I know of two families that are still out of power. The outage has taken a toll on them financially as they have to eat out once a day. They don't know when their power will be turned on and rumor has it another windstorm might visit us tonight.

My cousin found out one of her best friends has brain cancer. The prognosis is not good. She has another friend who tried to commit suicide and is in a psyche ward.

I am watching some people struggle in their marriages…I don’t know if they will make it through 2007.

I have family members that are estranged…it seems too broken to ever repair…

I am watching friends navigate the waters of relationship with mentally ill and addicted adult children…

Lately, I have been meditating a large amount on holding joy and sorrow together in my heart. I have a book from Joyce Rupp, The Cup of Our Life, she says that "joy and sorrow are sisters and they live in the same house." This statement speaks volumes to me. It is so true of my life. I experience so much joy in my family, in relationship with my friends; in the church I serve and so many other areas…I also experience so much sorrow. Sorrow so deep that if I was not a person of faith I don’t think I could have excavated and allowed that part of me to be exposed.
Sorrow watching the people I serve and love go through horrible sorrow themselves…sorrow when I watch the evening news and see the result of war and poverty and every injustice under the sun…

My prayer for these next few days when we will be celebrating the birth of our God that came to us; Emmanuel…is that somehow each one of us can open our hearts to receive the grace that enables us to hold joy and sorrow while at the same time experience moments of peace and hope in the midst or our very real lives.

Merry Christmas

4 comments:

Yadah said...

Merry Christmas to you too, Rose! Recently discovering your blog, I have been encouraged by your comments. May your blogging continue in the New Year. The fellowship of His suffering does go hand in hand with the unsurpassing greatness of knowing Christ. I look forward to reading more of your writing!

Jim Watters said...

Merry Christmas Rose - Peace and Blessings to You and Your Family.
Jim

Gary Means said...

I read this on the day after Christmas. I hope that your celebration was special. May you, and all those you love, have a blessed Christmas season. And may God work powerfully and beautifully in and through you. AMEN

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