I had a great time.
But I didn't.
Isn't it funny how one can experience the exact opposite emotions almost simultaneously? I loved being with my family. I loved how excited Grace was. She couldn't keep her hands out of the ornament box. I loved hearing Graham say "Christmas tree" and see him bend over to look for his name on his ornaments. I love how my tree has a gazillion ornaments about three feet off the ground and right smack dab in the middle.
But, I didn't love finding Ella's stocking that I bought at the end of the season last year. I didn't love unpacking a small bag of "First Christmas" onesies that I found for a steal. I didn't love laughing one second and crying the next.
It's not the way I wanted it.
I made an ornament for her this summer. It's small and round and has one of my favorite pictures of her on the front. I have been waiting to put it up. It was the last ornament to go on our tree.
I've been working on going to the Lord first with my sadness. It's easier and my first tendency to talk to Shane or call a friend but as I learned last week in my Bible study, if I believe that the creator of this world is in charge and control of everything, He most certainly should be the first one I turn to.
I am so grateful that this is not forever. All of this. The sadness will get better. It already has gotten so much better. I know that this whole first year without here will be the hardest. My missing her will never end but it won't be so sharp. And I won't be going forever without seeing her. This world is just a blink of an eye in relation to how long we'll be together in heaven.
A locally known pastor and camp supporter passed away this week. He is in heaven now. He is healed of all of his pain and sickness. I've been thinking of his family so often and praying that they are being comforted. I feel so acutely aware of the balance of joy and sorrow. On one hand we grieve so deeply for loved ones here on earth. We will miss them here. But on the other hand, we KNOW that they are celebrating with Jesus. What an amazing, amazing thing. I told Shane last week- it's so easy to forget that we were not meant for this world. We were not meant for this to be all there is. We were made for more than this. I am so thankful for reminders like that. I am also so thankful for family memories like Christmas trees, lights, and the joy on the faces of my littles.