Christmas Eve 2014 {I Flat Out Failed}

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas is hard. 

I know that I am healing and I am content with where my life is at the present but the truth is I failed on Christmas Eve.

Destined to make the Christmas season better than it was last year, I started celebrating early and have felt the holiday cheer for weeks. That is until Christmas Eve. 

I was the co-chair to the dinner feast for my family and in an attempt to make everyone feel included, my best efforts included prepping and partly baking dinner at my house and then transporting it to my parents an hour away. Once there, we would bake the last minute things and dinner would be served with adequate time to spare in order to make it to Christmas Eve service.

The plan in my head played out smoother than reality allowed. Don't I know this all too well. The last few things that needed to bake just refused to fully cook and in frustration I launched them into the microwave while snapping at my optimistic sister. Microwaved potatoes, paired with undercooked carrots, and 'not really hot anymore' chicken was served an hour later than it was to be in the plan I envisioned. The dinner that failed my expectations was graciously scarfed down without time to converse and out the door we sprinted, making it to Christmas Eve service just in the niche of time. All the while, dessert remained unbaked on top of the oven because there was just no time.
My anxiety was through the roof. 
I was frustrated and disappointed with how it all panned out. 
Simply put, I was a gem to be around and truly reflected the joy that is Christmas. 

You see Christmas Eve holds hard memories for me.
It was 7 years ago on Christmas Eve that he proposed. And it was 2 years ago that I opened gifts for my baby girl who was still in my womb and had yet to know her prognosis. And it was last year that I dreadfully gathered around the tree so broken and wishing that I could hide and avoid the season all together.  And so to overcome the seemly broken memories, the perfectly planned dinner was going to swoop in and overshadow the bad, a quick and easy fix. Don't we remember how it played out last time I thought I had a brilliant plan to fix what was broken?

Yet in my head, I envisioned a day where everyone had a chance to enjoy the perfectly executed Christmas Eve dinner and then together we would jaunt off to service so full and jolly. In my head it was perfect. And in my head, it was going to redeem Christmas Eve.

But, that perfect plan flopped. And instead, I internally battled the weight of the day. 
I wallowed in the past and allowed it to rob the joy of the present.

Secretly, I wanted so desperately to make Christmas Eve feel different that instead I allowed my frustration with what I can't change be manifest through a dinner that failed my expectation. I could not fix my marriage nor could I fix my daughter, what I could fix was the most perfect dinner to overshadow deep seeded feelings.
And did it work, of course not.
I can't fully put into words how different I feel now than I did last year. 
There is joy when I didn't think there ever would be. I feel peace and happiness and comfort and contentment. I know He has a plan, I believe it to my core.
But the reality is, those bad days come. Days when the gravity of life just wreck my spirit. And trying to cover it instead of embrace it for what it is didn't work.
So on Christmas morning, when I opened Addy's stocking and found it full of pictures from those who love her most, I sobbed. Bad days come. They come in full force but seeing the stack of photos reminded me how deeply blessed I am.

And so as I have had to do many times before...
I picked myself up, dusted off the bad day, took a deep breath, and looked ahead to the good that lays before me.

Merry Christmas dear friends. 


May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace,
 so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. 
- Romans 15:13

Sharing Addy's Story

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Don't we all have parts of our stories we would change if left to our own accord? 
Don't we think, 'if I were in charge, I would...', only to be reminded that we are indeed not in control. If left to me, my journey would have looked different. But, this is my story and I want to embrace the hope that has enfolded through the hurt. 

I was recently asked to share Addy's story and the healing that I have found through Alexandra's House. I don't need to share nor do I share for me. I agreed to share the hard parts of my story, because I deeply believe that hope brings healing.

You can find the link to the news story here.


And while I am sharing links...Inside Pediatrics: Children's Mercy Kansas City recently aired. 

This six part series follows patients through their medical jounrey. The series hit home for me because it is the very hospital where I work. It made me proud to see the work being done everyday be captured. And, it hit home for me as it follows the journey of the two families who found themselves sitting around the very conference table in the Fetal Health Center just like I once did.

When you have time, you should watch the series. You can find the series here.

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