A joyful mascot can refresh the screen of chaos, and offer comfort in a state of limbo.
“Tico Taco, ya ya ya-Tico Taco, ya ya ya!” The brief jaunt to school each dawn is consumed in chaos. Especially the day Tico Taco (our trusty plastic parrot car mascot) had just been ceremonially crowned with appropriate attire for the Christmas season. The countdown to Christmas Vacation had begun, and I couldn’t help but turn the volume up.
Christmas is my favorite.
“BWEE!!!!!!!” My youngest screened, her feet pressed into the back of my seat only to endanger the steaming coffee I balanced in one hand as I juggled a spelling word list and the steering wheel in the other. “I WANT TO HUG MOM FIRST!!!!” Her older sister retorted, as she stiff-armed her little sister whilst her face mangled into a crazed bout of competition.
I took a deep breath of concentration as I rounded the drop off curve, and then let my guard down just enough to let an “uh-oh” escape my mouth at maximum volume. Looking shocked as if someone had stolen their mommy and put another weirdo in the driver’s seat, my little Lo said…
“Mommy, it is NOT NICE to say shut-up.” Opportunistic little munchkin, isn’t she?
I apologized to my girls and let the guilt of dropping them off to school on such a sour note, after having them home for two weeks, eat at me until the tears were about to roll out of my eyelids. I return home to straighten their beds, tidy their rooms, and put Christmas away.
I miss my kids when they go. I love every chaotic minute of destruction and laziness that we craft together when they are home. Paper scraps cover the floor, markers lose thier caps, mountains of stuffed animals hog the couch, laundry bins are filled with Jammie’s…
Christmas is my favorite. And when it’s all over, I’m left feeling wind blown and little sad.
Lingering in the stark silence of limbo, another season in life tucked into the past, my eyes scanned a strategically straightened desk to fall upon the neatly written list of New Year’s resolutions I had carefully crafted. I felt a stark sting of irony over the recent work-space relocation from the top of the stairs to the bottom.
I determined not to be defeated by fear of the undone, and recalled that morning’s walk while swiping through the images I snapped. I strolled through my morning journal full of fluorescent yellow text meant to encourage my heart. I can do this, because I don’t have to do all of this,” I told myself. And I don’t. God has never led me into a season in life that He hasn’t prepared me for, and I know He’ll be there to sustain my resolve to further His agenda.
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” -2Chronicles 16:9
I was not the first one to park in the pick up line that day, but I aimed to be. My sweet little angels barreled into the backseat much in the way they fought their way out of it eight hours earlier.
“How was your day-I missed you!!!!!” I screeched in delight!
“BWEE!!!!!” the little one hollered…“LLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” the other whinnied.
Oh, how sweet the sound.
Did you know that God feels the same way about you?
Even though we get in and out of the car kicking and screaming, He can’t wait until we come back …and He’s loving us …and thinking about us… The entire time we’re gone. Though the strong presence of the Christmas season has passed, His gaze for you has not faded at all.
“But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15
As we move on from the sparkle of the Christmas season and into the stark dead of winter here in the Midwest, I hope you know that God wants ALL of your days to be merry ….and bright.
Happy Holiday Packing Away…