Can I just be real honest here and say that I’m a little tired? This season of our life has been wonderfully exhausting. No one can keep up the levels of excitement we’ve been experiencing while caring for young children forever. It just can’t be done. But seasons change and relief comes and I have been graced with rest and friendship that I simply must acknowledge here.
A friend invited me and my children over last week to build and decorate gingerbread houses and eat homemade pizza. I thanked her before hand for the invitation and I thanked her afterward for the hospitality, because truthfully, I haven’t had nearly the energy or enthusiasm for “Christmas” yet this season. (By putting “Christmas” in quotes, I just mean creating the atmosphere and providing the magic for my kids, not the actual event of Christ’s birth. There’s always energy for appreciating that amazing gift.) It felt so nice to take part in something delightful that I didn’t have to plan or host. Anyway, her words back to me have gripped my heart. She answered simply, “We’re so happy to fold you in.”
I cannot even express how many times I have felt the beauty and comfort of those words throughout the past months. I’m beyond grateful for the simple lunch invitations, play dates, errands run or responsibilities assumed on my behalf. Timely text conversations with a buddy far away when I needed a moment of sanity have been little gifts. Even my house guests and children have been bright spots of grace and understanding to set my heart at ease. My family and friends have understood all the times when plans have changed at the last minute or when I forgot to do something I was supposed to do. Even when I’ve felt like a total flake, I’ve most certainly been “folded in” and I won’t soon forget it.
It’s been a happy, busy year for our family. But when you opt out of certain traditional activities with your kids or community because they require an effort from you that you simply cannot muster, there is a lot of guilt that creeps in. A mama can certainly torment herself about what all she’s NOT doing for her kids. It took everything in me to put up a tree this year, because I couldn’t bear the thought of how much work it would be to put it all away again. We put it up, but I didn’t unpack a single ornament. This post from The Nester inspired me to cover it in snowflakes and call it a day. It might be my most favorite tree ever. And there are paper snowflakes stuck to every window, which seems just right.
This beautiful post from my dear friend Julie was also perfectly timed. There couldn’t have been a better time for me to have read it than during this week before Christmas. Instead of experiencing panic and dismay about everything I haven’t done or won’t accomplish, I’m learning that being “folded in” is a treasure. Even those words from a friend far away about her own worries enveloped me with peace, which I can tuck away and pass along to my little family in so many tangible ways. Grateful is an understatement.
Have you experienced the joy of being “folded in?” Take a moment to appreciate the beauty of such a gift.