Preoccupied With Promise Blog

Stir Sticks For The Soul

when the holidays don’t go as planned

Cute, isn’t it?


Well, cute as it may be, if I do say so myself, there’s only one of them. That’s right, the reality behind this little place setting is that there is ONE, not EIGHT of these beauties. This one “perfect” vignette is in the middle of a table runner wih the tag still on it, the runner draped vertically to make room for wrapping paper. I’m sure there’s a sock or two. Scattered remnants of the other place settings frame the finished one. The others were never made.


The events of November and December just snowballed. As fun as they were, it just flew. This week was my pinnacle of the joyous side of hustle and bustle. Hunter had the chance to read the Christmas story at an event in Brenham to a group of churches Sunday night. We came home–excited we made it to this event we had on the calendar for almost a year. And then, it happened. The middle of the night, blood-curdling scream of my little one–tummy bug. She was terrified.


The next day, after an intense faith-filled prayer and nurturing time with her, she recovered. But as you know, even though a little one recovers, the rest of the house may not bouce back too quickly. I sat at my desk Monday afternoon, the wake of it all surrouded me. I wearily turned to Luke 10. Because I knew I had some Martha simmering in me. I just couldn’t shake what hadn’t been done. The undelivered gifts, some of my favorites treasures just personalized and waiting for delivery. The Christmas Eve meal I love to plan out and prepare for (complete with eight place settings in a perfect world). The other set of Christmas cards that suddenly got a New Year’s time stamp for some very special people. Ah. The possibility that we may be smelling clorox and not evergreen spray. They say “it’s the little things.” And sometimes, it is.


Before you click off the page because you think you can’t relate, rest assured that there are quite a few other more serious and dismal examples I could write here. But I don’t have a cute picture to accompany. So the place setting will have to do. 🙂


While I refocused at my desk on Luke 10, the story of Mary and Martha, the Lord plainly spoke to my heart:


“Don’t let a frustration of today distract you of yesterday’s miracle.”


So much truth. Frustration=a small thing. Miracle=a big thing. The truth about the frustration being a total DISTRACTION. That’s exactly what it is. How quickly had I forgot the miracle of my little daughter stopping her symptoms after intense prayer the morning before? Not to mention, if I flip back into this year, I must have forgotten my mom’s cancer-free check up, my uncle’s clear cancer diagnosis, the hope*full event goal, the way our marriage has grown, and unexpected encouraging emails. Maybe you do the same. Maybe we’ve forgotten it’s really been that long since our little one has had a seizure. Maybe your family too, received a good cancer prognosis. Maybe the child who was not expected to come into this world made somebody a mommy.


Then I was in tears as I saw this little piece of paper on my dresser. In the midst of turmoil, and days after days of what did not look like what I planned for our sweet days out of school together:



He still hoped. Absolutely hoped. Nothing changed in his pure mind. Christmas was coming. Even better, Christmas simply was.


I have a bit of a problem with those movies titled “Someone/Something Saves Christmas.” Not the movies themselves. Josh knows the “saver” in me wouldn’t give up cable because it meant saying goodbye to my beloved Hallmark movies all about the starving artists at the local toy company who need to help Santa and the following romance plot follows depicting the SAME STORYLINE everytime. Just being honest, here. But I don’t like the title. “Saving Christmas” just isn’t the right wording. Unless, it’s Kirk Cameron Saving Christmas, which is an entirely legitmate and different script. As much as I wanted Thieves spray to save my Christmas this year, Christmas has no need to be saved. Because Christmas is not so much about what is coming (as if a problem at the Pole or even in your house could “mess it up”). Christmas is about what has already happened. Maybe you don’t have any good things to say about this year. You might very well be in the same place as you were this time last year. And it’s killing you. That’s where the hope lies. Christmas can’t be messed up because of something that surprises us. No matter what this season brings, it’s about what was done 2,015 yaers ago that defines Christmas. The spirit cannot die and the promise never changes. Christmas is. For you. Period. Christmas never did and never will need saving. We needed saving. And He was sent and it was done, and that is why we can put a secure period after Christmas is.


Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that it would be the WORST if something happened at Christmas. And, I admit, it’s bad. Awful. But, over the past few months, I have attemted to drive home to my kids something taught to me by one of the greatest women of the faith, Sandie Montgomery. She told us in high school, “If you are a Christiam, the worst thing that could ever happen to you can never happen.” The worst thing ever is to be apart from God. And it can NEVER happen. I still bank on that one in my adult life.


I don’t know when or if the place settings will ever be made or used. Maybe later this weekend. Maybe next year. Maybe never. I’ll treasure the one. After all, it only took one, as the booklet says, “He is Born.”


Psalm 63:1-3 “O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory.”


For years, written next to verse three in my BIble I have noted, “David was acting on a memory of God’s faithfulness.”

Remember the past of God’s faithfulness. It will dissolve the frustrations.


Merry Christmas Eve,




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