Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What I need you to know about Christmas cards...

My triplets were babies in a world before digital photography. When I desperately wanted a cute Christmas card photo, I would go through roll after roll of film. Anxiously hoping to have ONE where all three looked at least amused if not out and out happy.

My triplets were babies before Facebook or blogging -- which probably worked out nicely for you since I would no doubt have been an overload-sharer about every single milestone!

But here's the thing: Way back when my littles were actually you know, little, I was completely desperate to show off all that they were, all they COULD do and dreadfully anxious to have photos that didn't look like they had Cerebral Palsy.

Please take a minute to hear my heart. I had one shot all year long to show who these beautiful babies were to our friends and family who didn't get a chance to see them often (or ever). I had one chance to give them a visual of who my trio were aside from the prayer requests they received via email and via grandparents for various surgeries, therapies and procedures. One shot.

I wanted the joy of my babies to be apparent. I wanted to share the abilities. I so very much wanted everyone to KNOW them for their smiles, their antics and their intellect...not their disabilities.

And so my husband and children grew into thinking that I was completely militant about Christmas cards. They would painfully grin through the arranged photo shoots. And really, nothing says Merry Christmas like gritting your teeth and screaming "SMILE FOR THIS PICTURE. IT IS ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!!"

You know, just the merriest of moments.

But it wasn't just our friends and family that I needed to show how much we COULD do: Every single Christmas that we lived in Minnesota (from 2 year - 7 year old triplets) I insisted we trek out to the Christmas tree farm to chop down our own tree. Yes. Chop. Yes, we carted three preschoolers, two walkers, a camera tripod, a camera and don't forget the axe out on the wagon the farm provided so that we could pick a tree, chop it down, snap several photos (praying one was good cause was FILM!) and then make the trek back to the wagon and parking lot carrying all of the above PLUS a full grown TREE!

I wanted a Christmas memory like my friends could make. I wanted to ignore the obstacles. Overcome, I thought. Overcome.

Or stress out, Mom. Stress every single member of the family completely out. Sigh. In my defense, the kids only remember the furry little bunnies they got to hold on the wagon ride. They are not too scarred. And my dear Wade. Well, he loves me still. And gives me credit for wising up our last year in Minnesota when we rode the wagon out around the farm, circled back on it to the tree lot and picked an already chopped tree that could easily be loaded! (I learn, people, eventually, I learn.)

And today, I am telling you all of this, because it is Christmas card season. My mailbox has been offering the sweetest of treats for the last couple of weeks. I love love seeing all the faces, the smiles, the friends that God has brought into our lives all around the country!

But those days can be hard for the Mama desperate to have a Christmas-card-worthy-moment. You know the jump on the beach shot that we will never have. The hiking-the-Grand-Canyon photo that will escape us all our days. Posing photos around a wheelchair, crutches and four kids can be tricky. Getting a shot that screams how amazing my kids are can be almost impossible.

So, for mamas everywhere, I am asking us to give grace during this season. You know that mom who  seemingly-brags for pages on end. I think perhaps she just needs you to KNOW her children. Her one shot at helping you see past their differences.

Or can we offer grace to the Mom who can not bear to send you a card because she is so busy juggling therapies, surgeries and doctor visits that there is no time to make merry. Please send her one any way.

I beg you to look at the sweet faces on every card you receive and KNOW that each child has immeasurable gifts. Immeasurable. Don't judge the card based on some standard that Pinterest has set, look instead at the faces that love you enough to include you this year.

Because those faces -- the ones playing instruments, hiking mountains, breaking athletic records, or sitting in their wheelchairs, balancing with their power sticks or fighting sensory over stimulation to have their photo snapped at all -- are precious in the sight of the baby we truly celebrate this season. Every single face, precious to the savior born in a manger on a night void of cameras -- film or digital -- Facebook or internet. And yet His is the name we celebrate more than two thousand years later.

His is the name that matters most -- Jesus.

I'm praying for your heart this season. Praying that you will enjoy the cards -- those you send and those you receive -- celebrating that each should represent joy and love and a wish from your loved one to you:

For a Merry Christmas and a Christ-filled New Year!!


andre pizon said...

Merry Christmas and a happy new year