No Joy Stealing This Christmas

I was walking out of the bathroom stall at Walmart when the woman next to me said, “I loved hearing you whistling!  That means we are doing okay right??”


I was whistling?

Like seriously?  Who whistles?  I literally had no idea that I was in the bathroom stall, Sammy in the stroller with me, Faith in the stall next to me, and whistle peeing.  Whistle peeing I tell you, I am happy.  Like really happy.  It’s kinda fun.

It got me thinking about something Dave has been saying to me lately.  Over the past couple of months if I was down and out for some reason he would say, “Ya know, we are just not in that season right now.  We are not in the middle of a storm so lets not act like we are.”  That’s a wise man I think.

I am not going to lie, Gideon is on the brain a ton this time of year.  Every song on the radio, every ornament, he is in it all but this Christmas we give recognition to our loss and we still overflow joy.  Abundant joy I tell you!  These days are good.  These days are true, they are to be soaked up and enjoyed.

Which got me thinking to another thing.  Christmas guilt.  You ever have any?  Put it right on the same shelf with Mommy Guilt, Friend Guilt, I Suck At House Cleaning Guilt.  That shelf.  The guilt shelf.

The Christmas guilt that goes…

Did I get too many presents?

Did I not get enough?

Should our family do Santa?

Should our family shun Santa?

That elf on the shelf thing, what is that? 

Real tree or fake?

Salvation army bin again, shoot out of change!

Are we spoiling our children?  Are we ruining them?

Ya know what, forget it.  Forget it all.  I ain’t worrying about any of it no more.  These days are too short.  Innocent minutes of childhood too little.  Whatever brings joy to our family this season, we are going to do that thing whatever that thing might be.  Because Dave is right, they aren’t going to be children forever.  Someday they are going to grow up and have a “guilt shelf” and a job and bills and responsibility.  But, for now, its Christmas time and I am going to whistle pee at Walmart because this year I get to watch my children gleefully skip to put presents under the tree that they just wrapped themselves.  No joy stealing this Christmas for my family.

Then my mind drifts to my friends, so so many close friends who are having different type Christmases this year.   And though I know for quite sure they might not find themselves whistling this season, I know that there is joy there still.

Lindy, still awaiting that kidney transplant has seen God move in her favor in so many ways.  And although she would have never wanted her transplant moved back 4 times, God is teaching her so much through reliance upon Him.  Christmas Joy.

Sweet Titus.  Chemo every week still, a wound that won’t fully heal, days that continually seem to bring “if it could go wrong it will”…BUT as of today he is Leukemia free!  He is back at home with his family and though there is nothing easy about their lives right now the Cooney’s are fixated on a Heavenly Father who loves them and wants good things for them.  Christmas Joy.

Kittery and Artie (my heart stops for a second at even writing their names) 40 weeks pregnant with baby Arthur who they know will not live past minutes, hours maybe.  He will be here any day.  By the time this posts, he just might be here.  And yet somehow she smiles?  The day before Arthur’s due date there she is, Momma near a Christmas tree smiling.  The pain runs deep, yet joy can still be found in a life given over to the reason we celebrate Christmas at all.  Christmas Joy.

I don’t know what your Christmas looks like right now.  I don’t know if you are crying or laughing.  I don’t know if you are moving your Elf on the Shelf around or wondering what the “right” way is to do Christmas with your kids.  But I do know God stirred in me this week to seek joy first.  Above all else.  Waaaaaaaay above cleaning by the way, seeking joy was far far far more important than that.  And though the flu hit and off went my family to the mountain escape that I thought was going to be for us all…there it was…Christmas Joy.

May you find yours too.  And may you once, maybe once, whistle pee this Christmas season.

This was one of those times I was so proud of my husband and kids.  They did it, and they did it without me.  I missed them so so much, they headed up to Windy Gap, had and amazing time, and it was such an immense blessing for me to see them thrive.
I’ll take the flu if I still get to have this guy.  Glasses, pjs, snuggles and all.




One thought on “No Joy Stealing This Christmas

  1. Oh great, you have me smiling when I pee..I will worry when I start whistling..Maria you touch my heart every week..Love you much

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