Monday, December 1, 2014

Strongholds, Spaghetti, and a Savior

One white Christmas tree. That's all it takes for everything to hit in full force. It's been nearly 17 years since I had a white Christmas tree. The last one will forever hold a special place in my heart.

I was three years old and we had arrived home with our real tree (everyone is normally using artificial trees these days, including ours. Such a shame really). I was so excited, I loved our Christmas tree. Dad got it all set up: stand, skirt, water, all the fixings. Then he pulled these cans out of this white bag and asked if I like snow. It gets a little cloudy, but the next memory I have is of being really high up. Dad is holding me and I'm sitting almost on his shoulder. There is white snow everywhere, and our tree is beginning to be more white than green. My laughter and his laughter mixing is what I remember more than anything. His rich, boisterous laugh that would make anyone else laugh too. The head-rearing, beautiful laughter that only comes from true joy. That's all I remember from my man-made snow night. Love and laughter. 

Flash-forward to November 30, 2014. I am home with my little people, Lauren, Alexis, and Cody, my siblings. Mom's out visiting a friend. Its a Sunday night and everything is cozy and just feels like home. I'm in the kitchen making turkey spaghetti, Cody's sitting on the counter visiting with me about his weekend, the girls are cackling like two hens in the living room. It suddenly dawns on me. I remember the white Christmas tree that Mom and Dad had bought on clearance after last Christmas. I leave Cody to stirring the sauce, and I hustle my way outside to get the tree from the shed. Lugging it into the living room, I call for all my siblings to come help me. Before I know it, we are all trying to get this artificial, snow covered tree situated in our living room. I hurry to the kitchen to stir my sauce, and I hear it. That care-free, loving, happy laughter that only comes from total happiness. And it's coming straight from my three siblings. Lu, Lex, and Codyman are everything that Dad was. I hear the tone of his voice, the teasing jests, the love. I'm overwhelmed with the beauty of the moment. 

I won't lie to you. I miss my dad more than a simple blog post could ever describe. I miss the way the gold flecks in his eyes would dance when he was happy. I miss the casual way he would wink at me when I was getting a lecture form mom. I miss every single on of his, at-the-time, repetitive lectures. I miss the way we use to play phone-tag. I miss calling him about classes. I miss his loud boisterous laugh that made me feel like I actually could say something funny. I miss him telling me that my brown eyes were beautiful...with a tad bit of mascara. I miss the way he would hug me so tight that my jaw would pop. I miss how he would cover me up with a blanket when I feel asleep reading a novel. I miss him making me watch those tear-jerking classics. I miss him crying with me in them. I miss him telling me goodnight, every single night. 

There are countless things, situations, hugs that I miss, but in that one moment with my siblings I realized that there is a part of him in each one of us. Although he is physically gone, there is something about each one of his kids that will always be him. 

I know the holidays are going to be difficult for a lot of different people in a variety of ways. Thanksgiving was its own unusual day, and Christmas will be like that this year too. All of the firsts will be difficult, and that is okay. As Matthew West (singer, songwriter) says, "I'm not strong enough to be everything that I'm supposed to be, I give up. I'm not strong enough, hands of mercy won't you cover me. Lord right now, I'm asking you to be strong enough, strong enough, for both of us." And the beautiful part of that, is that God is completely and totally strong enough for everything. If we give our lives, our bodies, our minds, then we armed with everything that we need in Him. He'll bring us through to a better day. He'll bring light to the darkness. He'll bring love in the midst of anger. He'll bring faith in a day of doubt. I encourage everyone to give their moments of hardships, sadness, difficulties, and doubts to our Great Creator and let Him be strong enough for both of you.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2. 

1 comment:

  1. Sabrina: I am sitting here at the computer just crying my eyes out. You have such a way with words that grab me from the first sentence. You are very gifted. I have so many friends who are going through all these "firsts" also. It's a very hard time, but you know that God will see you through every single minute. God bless you and your family as you travel this road.