Tuesday, December 24, 2013
My prayer this Christmas Eve
First of all, I thank you for all the blessings you have given me this past year that I often overlook. The blessings that many don't have - like healthy kids. A solid roof over over my head. A job that interests and challenges me each day. Enough money to make ends meet on most days. And about a billion other wonderful,basic things that I have that some don't.
Deep down, I know I'm blessed beyond measure. But on this Christmas Eve, when my emotions seem to be running amok, if you could find it in your heart to afford me a few more.
Please bless me with the ability to be happy for others. Please don't make me so jaded that I look upon the success of someone's child, the loving thoughtfulness of someone's spouse or significant other or the realization of someone's career dream with envy instead of congratulations.
I have realized long ago that I am not going to be the other half of that happy couple. Nor will I be proudly wandering around prestigious colleges looking for "just the right fit" for my scholarly son. And there will always be that fire inside me to do a certain job that my life just doesn't fit into right now, and probably never will. Please grant me peace with this.
Please make me appreciate the fact that my kids can spend each Christmas day with both their mom and their dad, even though each year I wonder, "When will I get to spend it with my soulmate?" In that same vein, please help me stop the feelings that make me wistful for days gone by. My mom and dad are still here to celebrate Christmas as a family. That is a fact. Please help me to not feel so sad that mom is not bustling around the kitchen this year, making sure the bows on the packages are tied just so, and ensuring we all come to the house at the appropriate time.
Please give my dad, my sister and I patience with her confusion as we almost desperately struggle to correct her in the hopes that she will somehow realize reality all the time. Please help her realize that her move from skilled care to assisted living is a bridge to home, not a barrier. And Lord, please, let her come home soon.
Please give me the strength that my dad has, and give him all that he needs and more. This is tough for him, Lord, and there is only so much we can do for him. He feels the loss, especially this Christmas, as he struggles to try to make everything as normal as possible, down to being hell bent on making Mom's traditional Yule Log. Let him know we don't need all the traditions to make it Christmas. We just need to be together.
Give me patience when it comes to my children, Lord. Just because I am neurotic enough to think that I can make a perfect Christmas doesn't mean they're on board, too. Please keep me well in the boundaries of understanding their limitations, and stop me from expecting capacities beyond their means. Help me to be flexible enough to switch from one child yelling at me one moment to asking me for a plate of cookies in the next breath. Slow me down when they finally ask if I'll sit down and watch The Polar Express in the middle of the afternoon, even though I have a thousand things to do, all of which will make no more of a perfect Christmas than they would if I didn't do any of them.
Give me understanding of my family, Lord, and those who have chosen for whatever reason not to be with us on Christmas Day. Let them know I love them and I wish them peace. Help me keep my few strong family bonds strong in the next year, especially with my sister and older brother, for they mean the world to me.
Also help me in the coming year, Lord, to come to terms with my life and what it is, good and bad. Help me to learn to put my problems in their place, and when someone asks "How are you?" to simply say, "Fine." Keep me from dragging others into my pain, help me keep it in check, and realize that everyone has their crosses to bear. Help me to offer my shoulder to them, for I know that nothing helps one who is struggling more than being there for another who is struggling.
Finally, Lord, and I know this is a lot to ask, but please just give me a teeny, tiny glimpse into your plan for me. I am trying so very hard, Lord, and this year has been a true test of my strength and my faith. Show me that my work and sacrifice has not all been for naught. Bless my mother with her memory and her health so she can go home. Bless my father with continued good health so he can take care of himself and of her. Bless my older son with the ability to make conscious, good choices and to come to the realization that I do what I do for him because I love him. Bless my younger son with peace to overcome his worry and anxiety; burdens too big for a child.
Bless my sister and give her moments of peace as she works so hard for my parents, at her job, and with her family. Bless my older brother as he moves through life so far away, because deep down I know he'd like to be closer during this time. Bless my younger brother that he will find a way to manage the feelings he has about everything that has happened this past year, and give him the realization that family is now and forever.
Help me to stop thinking back to where I was a year ago, and look forward to where I may be a year from now. And most of all, please, please, please stay with me, Lord. I cannot do this without you.