This Christmas

It’s December! The cold has arrived…kind of…snow has fallen…a little…Christmas lights are going up all over the neighborhood, the shopping has begun, the Christmas worship rehearsals have begun…goodbye lazy Sunday afternoons as a family…and the plans for Christmas Day have begun.

So far, this holiday season has been the hardest on my boy. I don’t know if it’s because it will be just the three of us this Christmas…no big trips to London or grandparents visiting…or if it’s because he’s getting older and emotionally processing the losses he’s experienced differently…or if it’s simply because with time he’s finally allowing himself to remember and to miss those he’s lost.

All I know is that my boy misses mom #2.

She LOVED Christmas! She loved decorating, went all out with décor and throw pillows and lights all over the house.

I am just not that person.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, I’m just not a major decorator. I have some simple decorations I put around the house…and then forget about and leave out the whole year…sometimes we put some lights around outside…but I don’t have throw pillows and garlands don’t hang gracefully from my ceiling.

Andrew misses that. He misses the decorations and the garlands and Christmas throw blankets…because they remind him of his mom and his Grandma…and they are who he really misses. He wishes he could have just one more Christmas with them. One more Christmas full of tradition and routine…because his Christmases now are anything but routine and we have weird traditions…

As mom #3 I find myself in this awkward place of being fully mom…but also not…sometimes I find myself wondering what mom #2 would have done…if she would have been better at handling a situation…and this Christmas I have found myself wondering if I should be better at decorating to fill that spot in his hurting heart.

I want to help his hurts, to fix his pains…but these are hurts that can not be fixed, they can heal but they will forever leave scars, they will forever be tender spots in his heart…even if our house turns into Santa’s workshop it will still hurt…it may even make it hurt worse, because it would be me pretending to be her

So instead I bought him a tree for his bedroom…I set it up for him so that when he came home from school it was there and ready to be decorated…because I wanted him to know I love him and I wanted his heart to find comfort, and I thought that instead of me pretending if it was him finding joy in decorating his space it might be healing…he loved it!

But then…

I get all ugly on him because he wants lights to hang all over his room, and he wants to use lights I had planned for decorating the porch…yeah right like that will happen…and he asks if he can get some of those $3 wired lights from the dollar spot at Target and I suddenly transform from loving mom to selfish beast…I grinched outwhy would I buy more lights when we have a box downstairs that work perfectly fine you just don’t like the color and you’ll just have to use what’s there…he leaves to go back upstairs and “make do” with what we have.

He doesn’t give me attitude or get yucky back at me, he just says ok and walks away…but I can see the disappointment on his face.

And that’s when the quite, peaceful, and loving voice inside me starts to talk to me…why did you do that? Isn’t it the most important thing that he knows you care, that you see his pain and that you are a place of comfort? Are your things and plans really more important to you than bringing his heart joy? Just spend the $9 to make his heart glad!

So, we went and got him lights and now it looks like Christmas exploded inside of his room!

As mom #3 I recognize how easy it would have been for this child to take the stance that he already has a mom…two in fact…and to lock me out of his heart.

I am so grateful for my boy who has a heart open to all three of his moms. He calls us all mom…he says things like my mom before this, or my birth mom, or this mom so casually it both blesses and breaks my heart…he loves us all for different reasons and in different ways, but he loves us all as his moms…and the weight of this is not lost on me…even when I have grinchy moments!

“A child born to another woman calls me mommy. The magnitude of that tragedy & depth of that privilege are not lost on me.”
-Joy Landers

the Tiffi

As I gear up for the big launch…which is in a WEEK…I am going to up my blogging game. My goal is to have at least 3 more of my dedication pages written and posted for you guys…this way you get a sneak peak at the jewelry AND you get to hear the story behind the pieces.

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This bracelet reminds me of bubble gum…it’s happy and fun and there’s something soft about it…and at the same time it reminds me of boulders…strong with smooth sides changed but not destroyed by weather…It’s inspired by one of my dearest friends…Tiffani!

You know how in old cartoons sometimes a little tiny devil and angel would pop up on the shoulders of someone…well Tiffani is kind of like my little shoulder angel. We’ve been friends for a long time…possibly the longest I’ve had a friend…we’ve laughed, cried, moved away from each other, moved back to each other, traveled the world together, she even stood by my side at my wedding…in a beautiful purple dress….And when things get hard in my life, or I find myself lacking joy it’s like she pops up on my shoulder and starts giving me a pep talk, encouraging me to remember Who God is, His promises, His love…and to find joy in those things.

Tiff and I first became friends when she started hosting a bible study at her house, I was new in my walk with the Lord and super excited to be a part of a group of young women who wanted to study the Bible…actually I was so excited I came a week early to the first one! 

I continued the tradition of coming early every week…but I showed up an hour early instead of a week…to make the tea and coffee so that she could clean…which I didn’t really understand because her house was always SO clean…we would spend our time chatting, but secretly I was watching her, studying her.

You see, Tiffani is joyful, like really really joyful. If you asked me to describe her in just a few words joyful and bubbly come to mind…also tough, but we will get to that…and sometimes I use to wonder if it was real or not, if she was really that full of joy.

Being in her home, seeing her prepare for these young women to come over, watching her interact with them, this joy was always there…it wasn’t an act! She was the same person in her home when it was just the two of us as she was out in the world.

Over the years I have continued to watch her. I have seen her walk through trials and great challenges in her life…many of which have not been joyful…yet there was always joy. Sometimes the joy has been a choice…some conversations I’ve had with her have felt a lot like her giving herself a pep talk to rejoice through every situation…and at times it has literally just flowed from her.

But it’s always been there!

I think that constant presence of joy is what makes her so tough. She is determined to rejoice, to hope, to love people, to worship God with her life and her interactions with others no matter what life throws at her. And it hasn’t always been easy…there’s even been seasons where it feels as if it’s NEVER been easy…but she has always chosen to rejoice.

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Tiff has influenced me in so many ways, and I see this determination in my own life…the choice to trust and hope and rejoice…and I know that it is something I learned from her, something she modeled for me. I also think she’s a big part of why I have decided to live a transparent life…with people welcomed into our home and our family so freely and being honest about the things we go through in life…because seeing that she was the same person in front of people and behind closed doors made such a huge impact on my life.

She doesn’t know that I’m writing this…and she doesn’t even know that I designed a piece of jewelry that is inspired by her. But I did, and it is…because she has made such a huge impact on my life, and even though we don’t get to spend near enough time with each other these days she is still one of the most important people in my life!

Thanks Tiffi!

Shop the Tiffi

 

Don’t forget the big launch is happening next week

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