Words to Live and Write by

I am willing to fall Because I have learned how to rise.

I craft Love from heartbreak, Compassion from shame, Grace from disappointment, Courage from failure.

I am among the brave and brokenhearted, and I am rising strong.

(credit to Brene Brown)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Card Season

 


It's the time of year for Christmas and holiday cards. These cards are actually one of my favorite parts of Christmas. I love to see all the familiar faces from near and far, old friends and new ones. They all get pinned up next to each other and I see a beautiful collection of people who know us and love us enough to include us on their holiday list. All that love is something magical for me. Nothing brightens my spirits more than being remembered as someone's friend—even if time and distance keep us from regular contact.
So if you were debating whether to send us a card, or if you'd forgotten us from your list, please send us one! I LOVE them! It's one of the simplest, sweetest gifts you can send me, and I will cherish it because it means "love."

This year, unfortunately, brings a bit of melancholy for me. (I'll explain, but first, don't you dare take me off your list. I mean it when I say I love and want to see your faces!) Melancholy because I see how families keep growing. There are always a few new additions to friends' family pictures. Mine is the same this year. While each member of my family is a little bigger (and my doctor says that's a good thing in my case), the number 3 isn't getting any bigger.
Three is lovely, really. I appreciate three. I have a miracle child who fills our lives and home with laughter and love and temper tantrums and learning and frustration and JOY. (Joy is capital letters because it's really too big an emotion to be contained in a word.) When will I ever have such opportunity to give my full attention to my child? When will I ever again be able to contain both my offspring and some groceries in a single, normal cart? When else will I know a child is "up to something" because the house falls silent? When again will I have just one bedtime, just one bath time,  just one child in diapers, just one car seat, just one of—well, a lot of things.
And yet, it's that "just one" that pulls on my heart as I see my friends' families grow.
Even now we're travelling that long road that ends, hopefully, in number two. But I forgot how agonizingly long the road is. No, "forget" is the wrong word; I surely remember that journey. But this is a new road and so the emotions along it are fresh.
Six months and nothing. This spring, God told us very clearly and unequivocally to make way for another child, and quickly. In one of my most terrifying leaps of faith, we did. I just can't understand the reason for the urgency we felt in the spring if now, at the end of the year, we've got nothing to show for it.  God works in mysterious ways, but sometimes I hate all the mystery.
So as I see friends welcome numbers 3, 4, and 5, I wonder: where's my 2? And that annoying voice of pessimism in my head is stuck on repeat, saying, "Maybe you don't get a two. Maybe you don't deserve a two. Are you even good with one? Why should anyone give you a two? You will always number less than—and be less than—them." The voice is wrong, and I know it, but it sure is persistent. I'm trying really, really hard not to fall into its trap; that way lies depression, and we've had enough of that for a while.
So send me your cards and pictures, please! And as you do, take a moment as you stick that expensive little stamp on the envelope to say a tiny prayer for us. Tell God or the universe that next year, you'd really love to see a Trujillo picture with four.
'Tis the season to be merry, and as they say, "the more the merrier." (Except there's no way we're passing the number six in our family; I'm pretty sure that would kill me.)