My sweet William is so excited these days that I fear he may explode! The little guy seems to vibrate with excitement and joyful anticipation. There are times when he just can’t contain his excitement any longer and he breaks out into the cutest little happy dance. Seriously – he just starts to boogie! (When was the last time you were so happy that you let yourself dance just for the joy of it?)
The countdown to Christmas is like that when you are just 7 adorable years old. It is all just so very – very exciting. Christmas is coming. His Advent calendar tells him so. (The wild and wooly look in his mommy’s eyes probably tells him so too! As a pastor and a mom – I find Advent and Christmas to be intense . . . sometimes it makes me twitchy . . .)
And our sweet boy has the added fun of having a birthday on the winter solstice! December 21st – isn’t the easiest birthday to have when you are little. It really – really – really adds to the intensity of this time of year. Almost ALL of Will’s gifts come in just a 4 day time span during the year. It means sooooooooooooo much waiting and waiting and waiting.
At least he wasn’t born on his original due date of Christmas Day! I will never forget our doctor sharing that bit of news with Jason and me. A pastor’s child born on Christmas Day . . .
These days of waiting for Will are so – so very exciting and INTENSE! And because Will is who he is – he shares his joy with almost everyone in his life. Our littlest boy – shares his joy. He doesn’t hide his happiness. He doesn’t try to contain what he is feeling or thinking. He lets you know!
I love being a part of Will’s excitement and joy. Just last night when he and I were headed upstairs for the evening I declared – “Will – I want to be YOU – when I grow up!” and I absolutely – positively meant it. In many ways Will is my role model these days.
To which Will replied – “Mom – you can’t be me when you grow up – because you are ALREADY grown-up.”
Oh – bummer! Well – then if I can’t be Will when I grow up – I shall strive to be more like Will.
(Will is so kind – so happy – so joyful – so generous – so completely comfortable in his own skin. Will is so all-in when it comes to living life to the fullest. Our boy LAUGHS – oh can he laugh! My boy is BOLD and brave. He is fun and funny. Yep – I want to be Will when I grow up! He is also strongly opinionated and will let you know exactly what he is thinking – but I love his confidence too. Jason reminds me that this stubborn confidence means he is less likely to be bullied by mean people or to care if he is. William McFarland would never jump off the proverbial bridge because everyone else was. Nope – he might lead them to the bridge – but jump – only if he thought it looked like fun!)
I think in the next few weeks and into the next year my goal shall be to live life more like Will does. I am going to seek to be a whole lot more Will-ish!
I am going to worry less about the stress of preparing for Christmas and focus more on the excitement and the joy. Remember how it felt to be 7 years old and waiting for Christmas? Wasn’t it amazing? It was so much fun. It felt so good to be so excited!
I am going to look for the joy. I am going to enjoy and delight in the people I love. I am going to spontaneously tell my loved ones that I love them. William does this all of the time. Out of the blue Will tells us he loves us all of the time. We should all tell our loved ones that we love them more often. Can you ever tell your spouse or your children or your grandchildren or your friends that you love them too often?
Will expresses his joy. He feels it. He tells terrible jokes – really awful jokes. But his jokes make all of us smile. His joy and his smiles are contagious. His belly laughs are hilarious. I am going to seek joy and share my joy. I am going to keep looking for the good and the lovely and the beautiful in this world. I am going to seek reminders of God’s presence and I am going to tell people about them – OFTEN!
I understand this Christmas for so many of us is going to be different. Christmas 2020 is certainly going to come with many challenges and disappointments and heartaches. Covid-19 keeps bringing more pain and frustration and hurt into our lives. But – there is good here too. Joy can be found. Blessings can be remembered. God is with us. We are never alone. Really – we are never alone. God has promised us this.
“What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
– Romans 8:31-39
You are in my heart, thoughts, and prayers.
In Christ and with Love
– Pastor Kerri