So it came and went and she didn’t get it all done.
And the basement was a mess and two of the boys got into a squabble and there was no ham, only soup, and somebody slammed a door — hard.
And she’d smiled thinly… and then smiled relief.
The One coming to the manger, is the Messiah who assures you: It. Is. Finished.
He came to do it all… so you don’t have to have to stress at all.
She exhaled — The point of Christmas — the truth that ushers you into the New Year — is exactly that: you can rest in His perfection— because He embraces you in your imperfection.
Her greatest gift was He loved her just for being — not for doing.
Come Boxing Day, the days after, she stood in her kitchen with pots all over the counter, and burnt pans soaking in the sink and just decided:
She wouldn’t let anything ever come box up the wonder that God. Is. With. Us.
He entered the world right at a muck pile — so we wouldn’t ever be left alone in ours.
That’s what she preached to herself: Whatever mess I am in… I can exhale relief: I have a Messiah who meets me in it, won’t leave me in it, will carry me through it.
There is nothing to fear: God. is. Here.
Christmas — Christ. with. Me. — is just beginning… the greatest gift that always fits, that never goes out of style, never wears out or breaks down or ever, ever fails. That’s why we get to re-joy-ce and re-joy-ce now, always.
“Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
So she picked up the scrubber and that burnt pan and she murmured thanks, just for one gift at a time.
And it was in this attitude of gratitude that she could feel the grace of it:
Yesterday …. was our Lord’s grace.
Tomorrow…. is our Lord willing.
Today…. is our Lord’s gift —
which is why everyone, everywhere, calls right now the present.