Christmas Eve Service

Tonight as I sat with my family in our church’s Christmas Eve Candlelight service I had different thoughts running through my head:
Would Darth light someone on fire with her candle or just herself?
Would the oldest push someone down to get the good spot close to the pastor during story time?
Would the youngest son pick his nose & wipe the boogers under his seat or on the person in front of him?
Are my children driving everyone around us crazy, or is that just my paranoia?

Then I was hit with an incredible clear memory of a Christmas Eve service just a few years ago. It was before we had kids. It was in that season of desperation where jealousy & inadequacy were running rampant in my life. Baby showers & birth announcements were my kryptonite. And here I was sitting in our church for Christmas Eve with my husband & the in-laws, about to hear a sermon about the most famous pregnant woman I know. Twas the season of envy!

We sit down and I immediately notice the family in front of us: Mom is beautiful, Dad is handsome, and they had four precious young children, who were all impeccably dressed for the holiday season. Mom and Dad spent the entire service patrolling their troupe. Bathroom breaks, separating siblings when frustrations arose, wiping noses with kleenex before a fancy sleeve became the victim, and generally keeping peace in their family. The parents kept a vigilant watch over the kids: pointing their faces to the front of the service, for the kids to listen & sing along to the Christmas carols, and try to capture the real reason for the season. It was such a beautiful site to see.

Afterwards I remember my father-in-law leaning forward, and telling the couple that their kids had done great & that they were doing a great job. I wasn’t jealous of these parents, but more entranced with how full a life could be. Parenting was busy, messy, and a sacrifice, but my goodness that Mom looked happy and that Dad so proud.

When we got the call about 5 kids I didn’t agree to it immediately. The husband did, he said absolutely, sign us up, when can we go get them!! I didn’t I was scared. Scared of how it would inconvenience my life. Scared of screwing up 5 people. Scared of failing. I told the husband I would need to pray about it. I got a reminder about 2wks later when I saw that mom at church & was taken back to that Christmas Eve service.

Fearless is letting your toddler hold an open flame next to a woman who has used a whole can of hairspray to create a certain bouffant. Failing is staying home because your kids may not behave perfectly during a church service. Inconvenience is taking your kids to the bathroom every 5min. But happiness is being present with your family.

Thankful for that family who was doing what God had asked them to do, it was a brave witness to me, and encouraged me to accept the calling to adopt our kids.

And in case you were wondering, no fires were started, oldest sat with his brothers & took ownership so there was no need to push, and the youngest wiped the booger on his pants. We were definitely a distraction, but we were where we were supposed to be.

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At the dinnermesa,
Beth

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2 thoughts on “Christmas Eve Service

  1. Roma says:

    Amen! A beautifully written story about a life being well-lived. Thank you for sharing. A very Merry Christmas to your whole family.

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