This morning as I was playing with Ava near the Christmas tree - I got all sentimental, as I normally do, as I noticed each of the ornaments we have on our 3 ft tree. Every ornament has been a gift, something homemade, or simply something that has great value to us. Nothing has been expensive or put on there without thought and this includes the actual tree, too.
Two Christmases ago I felt like my world was falling apart. You can read about that in earlier blog posts from 2007...but to sum it all up... I had miscarried Dec. 3rd and really had no joy about Christmas or traveling to see family or anything. We had an 18 hour drive to IA coming up to see Brad's family, I was in physical and mental/spiritual pain and I just wanted this whole Christmas thing to go away. I'm sure Brad was completely bewildered with what to do with me. While he was feeling pain of our loss as well, its different for guys, obviously. My hormones and emotions felt so out of control - I cried a lot and our house def. did not have any signs of "Christmas Cheer" by way of decorations, music or anything. Looking back... I know that was okay. It was ok to mourn and grieve, and I also now know how much Brad supported ALL of that time in our lives. Love him! Anyway, that Christmas will always been very tender and dear to me. Despite our pain... Brad snuck out one night and purchased this little 3 ft plastic Christmas tree. He knew how badly I was hurting and how torn I felt about it being Christmas but balancing this pain, too. So, this tree was set up and we started to decorate it. We only had a few ornaments, mostly, "Our first Christmas" themed ones, but...it was prelit and beautiful. I remember once we finished how I just sat there in front of it like a child and sobbed. Brad sat with me, quietly, and I just let his love for me (and Christ's) heal my soul. I would survive.
Fast forward one year later. Ava's original due date was Dec. 3rd. How WEIRD is that?! But, after another ultrasound they moved her to the 9th...and she still didn't come til the 16th anyway, but... still, cool story. That year was SO dramatically different. We had gone from extreme loss to extreme gain. I remember bringing Ava home and that little 3 ft tree just stood there shining...with our ornaments on it, and of course, I sobbed again. I think I always will. These tears were a combination of memories past and memories in the making. I held my little bundle of baby girl one night sitting in front of it - remembering and experiencing God's grace and mercy in our lives. We hung some "baby's first Christmas" ornaments up and just reveled in the glory of our JUST God. I had survived, and I would still.All this to say - this tree, and the ornaments on it are so special to me. Many people make out trees to be a negative Christmas thing, and for some it probably is a distraction from the REAL reason for Christmas, being Christ himself. But for us, for me, this tree represents Christ in our lives. It represents all of the grace He has shown us, the bounty and even the loss we experience during our walk with Him. This morning I felt overwhelmed and bathed in the Love of my Heavenly Father. Looking at each ornament, and holding my almost 1 year old at the same time... this walk is not always easy, but it is always good. On my tree, I guess you could say, I wear my heart. :)