Everyday Liturgy: Episode One – on Christmas Day, 2018

A Hymn for a Parent Who Is Sorting and Assembling a Plethora of Christmas Gifts

It’s 11pm, and we just got home from a whirlwind of holiday festivities, and Lord, you know them
Last week, Ryan worked a closing shift on Monday, so I single-parented
Tuesday was my Christmas concert
Wednesday I taught until 3:45 and then had 2 rehearsals immediately following
Thursday I attended the school board meeting since we’ve been negotiating since April with no results and then did all of my Christmas shopping
Friday I tried to pack
Saturday we had Kneezel family Christmas
Sunday I was on team for 3 services conducting the children’s choir and then
Back for Kneezel Christmas, cont.
Monday was 3 services for Christmas Eve, but I woke at 3:30am with a horribly sore throat.
After the three services, I was running fever, but we went to Hamrick family Christmas
Tuesday, we returned immediately in the morning for Hamrick family Christmas, not really feeling better
Our house, as usual, is a heap of rubbish that stresses me out to look upon
Dirty dishes, piles of wrapping, tons of garbage, 2 dirty diapers randomly lying around instead of thrown away
This is how I live, Lord Jesus, and I am overcome with shame.
I live nearly every moment filled with shame and embarrassment that my family lives like this
I am filled to the brim with heart sickness over how I yell at my kids
And lose patience with them – their tender little souls that are just learning for the first time
And I’m learning for the millionth time and somehow am no better

I told the kids in choir on Sunday that grown-ups need to see them up there singing for Jesus
Because it reminds us of when we were children, and we first met the Lord
I knew how desperately I needed you then,
And I forget, so very often, that I need you just as much now.
Probably more
For I think that I’m competent
But I know that I am not
And I set ridiculous, unrealistic, and unfair standards about how I should be
Based on the expectations and pressure that I feel from society
“You can do it all” doesn’t mean that – it means “you have to do it all”
And then when I can’t,
I feel pressure and shame and unworthy and not good enough and not enough

And then.

And then, Lord Jesus.

I begin sorting through our gifts.
During that crazy week at school, kids brought me little things
“Mrs. Kneezel – you’re a great teacher”…”I love you”…”thank you”
On Saturday at Kneezel family Christmas
Toys and clothes and gift cards and beautiful books
Smiles and hymns and desserts and joy
On Tuesday at Hamrick family Christmas
Toys and clothes and gift cards and jewelry
Laughter and hymns and honey ham and games

Oh, Lord, these precious people that you’ve made mine
And the time they took to think of me
And Ryan
And my kids

I am not enough – not good enough
Terribly incompetent
Always wishing for time I don’t have
Always aching to be somewhere else
Always dreaming of life – different

IMG_1404

In front of me,
Filling my table
Is the way-over-the-top provision from You
That I readily forget as I strive and strive and strive and strive
And strive and strive and strive
And try to control
And try to do do do do do do do
Oh Lord, help my unbelief.

You left
Perfect Glory.
Perfect union with your Father
The Perfect One
To come down
In the humblest form
With basically nothing
To be with us.
Emmanuel

You left
Perfect Light
To come down
Into the darkness
To be with us.
Light of the World.

And I
Forget
That you are still here.

And I
Forget
That you have given me the most incredible life
While I sit dreaming of a different one

You, sweet Jesus,
You came to the lowest.
Glory to God in the highest
And on earth,
Peace.