There are boxes everywhere. Some labeled and sealed, others half-packed and yet others opened and rifled through.
My suitcases sit half unpacked at the foot of our bed. I have no where to put the stuff away...as everything else I own seems to be in a box.
We are staring down the barrel of cancer as we pray for my aunt. She battles daily the effects of chemo, infection, and cancer. Three thousand miles away there's nothing we can do but call and pray, and sit helplessly by as we wait for a miracle.
Most years I love Christmas. The day after Thanksgiving the decorations go up, the music comes on and we begin to celebrate. We being anyone who is in listening, seeing, playing distance of me.
There's a tree up and stockings are hung...more out of guilt than want. There's no music playing, a few cookies baked and no Christmas spirit twinkling in my eyes.
And yet, I wait. I pray. I hope.
I want to "find" Christmas this year. To yearn for my God, to celebrate the birth of my Savior, to find excitement and wonder in the snow, lights and gifts. I haven't.
For more than a year I've prayed the same prayer...women's ministry God, give me a place. The prayer went unanswered or at times it seemed like a no. I gave up. I'll find away when life calms back down. When I know where we'll be living this week and next or when family drama settles down. I stopped praying the prayer.
In small steps I've been obedient (or at least tried). I'm going to lead a women's Bible study in January. It seems like too much, even now, but I know that God has lit the path, opened a location and is even calling the women...I can follow Him there.
And almost in reward my tiny little step in a time when I am hurt, angry, confused, overwhelmed and trying desperately not to recoil from the community of God....God moved. A door is opened....a meeting on the horizon about women's ministry. And even as I draw in a breath and wonder how I can do any of it, I am smiling.
I recently got the new Wii Fit Plus game for our Wii. One of the games is to stand on the balance board with the controllers in your hand. On the screen you are balancing on a ball while trying to catch the balls others are throwing at you so you can juggle three balls.
Much of life seems to be this sort of balancing act while you catch and juggle the things the world throws at you. Especially this time of year. But God is good and in control. If you let Him, He'll show you the keys to balance and lob you the things He wants you to juggle.
So even in my world of cardboard boxes, agonizing prayers, and uncertain addresses God is still answering prayer and on the move.
Perhaps this year I'm supposed to sit quietly and celebrate the wonder of a baby born when so many were busy, wondering what life would hold for them and asking where there God was. How many had stopped praying for a Savior? How many weren't talking to God? How many were recoiling from Him and those He put around them? How many were aware that God was still moving?