Monday, December 24, 2007

Let go of Rockwell

Life happens. Even at Christmas time. Each year, especially since I've started a family, I've had this little vision of a Norman Rockwell painting for the holiday--family gathered around ethereal-looking Christmas lights, joyous smiles, presents perfectly wrapped, everyone dressed nicely, children behaving....then I snap back to reality.

Kids and parents get sick. Arguments abound. Screaming. Crying. Pulling of hair. The presents are not perfectly wrapped. Some don't get wrapped at all. Christmas candies and cookies don't look like the picture in the cookbook and some aren't prepared at all.

Troubles outside of the family loom as well. Friends and family sick and in the hospital. Estranged family. Tensions. Work problems. Money tight.

It's not Rockwell, but it's beautiful all the same. My husband and I just watched "The Nativity Story". If you haven't watched it, please try to do so. It's so touching and moving, seeing how Jesus, Lord of all creation, humbled himself to be born into a poor family in a stable, among parents who weren't even supposed to have children yet. The movie dramatized the struggles Mary and Joseph may have faced as they learned of the impending birth, then the journey to Bethlehem. We don't know for sure if it happened the way it did in the movie, but we can be sure that life was hard. He wasn't born into luxury. He wasn't born into a Rockwell scene. His parents were scared, unsure, tired, and frustrated, and I'd say much more so than most of us.

I've reminded myself the last few days to let go of the Rockwell vision and embrace the gift that came with that humble birth. Life happens. Perfection comes only in that gift, that hope--knowing that we were bought with the price of that humble life.

We tried to get Megan to watch the movie--she was much more interested in watching cartoons with Zoe in the other room. But we did get her to watch a few important parts. Although the whole family didn't gather serenely around, watching the story of Jesus' birth, we were able to communicate the importance of the season. We also listened to Megan telling us how she was a shepherd, then a wise man, yesterday in a Sunday School re-enactment of the birth...interrupting the movie, of course...but what did I expect? Rockwell? :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love your blog. I stumbled upon it this past summer while googling Lifeway VBS crafts and have bookmarked it and check back often. I can relate to a lot of your posts being a other of two preschoolers, ages 4 and 2. I have boys but your antics with your girls sound similar to our life. Hope you'll check out my blog sometime.