We’re on that fast train called December, hurtling along, express style, toward 2023.
It always takes me by surprise. One minute we’re in September and I’m catching my breath from the summer, settling into a routine for what feels like the first time all year, and the next minute it’s almost over.
Time presses us, doesn’t it? It heals wounds and brings growth, and it cuts short and signals death. Forty of these ever-flowing weeks brings us to the birth of a new baby while simultaneously carrying me along, ever closer to my end.
But were time and money infinite, we would find ourselves lost in a sea of priorities with no urgency to actually choose any. Instead, they are anything but infinite. We are anything but infinite, and don’t we know it, deep in our souls. And so each tick of the clock is a crossroads, a decision point: what will be the things that matters to us? (There is a Kingdom outside of Time, whose rule is infinite, and investment therein brings eternal rewards. I highly recommend, with each movement of the second hand: choose Jesus.)
This past week we said goodbye to November, full of thankful hearts as we gathered the Sinclair clan for food and fun. Pilgrims and pumpkins were packed away, Diana Krall began her yearly reign from our kitchen speaker, and Christmas appeared.
We decorated, made cookies, prepared dozens of teacher/CFA volunteer gifts, watched Christmas movies, lit candles, got our tree, ironed holiday clothes, and inaugurated the season with the kids’ CFA Christmas concert.
We also got hit with a tummy bug, several days of a fever for Percival, horrible rainy weather instead of snow, had gobs of study for Greek finals, basketball practices, and had to cancel our very first holiday gathering.
Our “tree day” summed up what so much of this fall has felt like: not quite to plan, not exactly how we’ve usually done it, plenty of divide and conquer, with Ryan and I trying to keep the big picture in mind as we work with a new set of variables. And it also summed up the goodness of God I’ve been basking in: years of working very hard to build a family where love, servanthood, and right priorities shape us, and now seeing those values genuinely take root in the lives of our older children. Suddenly a day can seem to go awry and yet stay absolutely on course because we are pulling together, smiling, serving, keeping our eyes on the prize. And so, when that tree was vertical and watered, lit and decorated, and we all sat together eating rum logs, although the day had lacked “magic,” what we ended up with was even better. We had persevered together, repenting along the way as needed… and by George, we’d gotten that tree up!
And so here we are: a month to celebrate well, purposely carving out time to reflect, enjoy, beautify, and create. May we all serve and bless as we go, giving generously, and receiving the small blessings that surround us and the staggering blessing available to us all through the kindness of Christ, our Savior and Friend.