Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Paintings, props and pretend

So, I'll admit it, Christmas has been kind of rough the last couple of years...  I know, and I hate to even whine about it because there are SO MANY people who have such difficult circumstances that I can't even, and never will imagine, and there are so many people who don't have what I DO have, but maybe my little thoughts will mean someone....

Have you ever heard the phrase, " of a Norman Rockwell painting"?  

I've used that expression all my life because others did and it made sense.  I grew up in a Norman Rockwell painting, with Christmases like this

 and this

 and this

But what I'm really wondering is, did anyone ever feel like this?

I think we all probably did at some point.  I wonder if we pretended and painted on smiles when inside there was hurt and shame smoothed over and covered up by sparkly lights and glittery presents, good food and nice phrases?

  Why the mood 4 days before Christmas, you ask?  Well, I'll tell you, the funniest thing happened to me today that got me thinking about this very mood, this sad little funk I was in!

I saw a picture on a blog of an office I loved, I mean loved!.  You know, perfectly designed, warm yet functional, edgy yet useful, great accessories, pretty fabrics... so I went to pin it on Pinterest.  I couldn't find the original "owner" of the picture and wanted to give credit where credit is due, so I went back and back and back and back on each blog that tagged it until I found it's original owner and guess what?  It wasn't anyone's real office at all!  It was a picture taken from a blogger who does props and staging!  Isn't that hilarious?  Do you see what I see?  I was in love with something that wasn't even real!  It never was!  No one lives there, it was just a prop, a farce, a figment of my imagination!

So then I that what all this "crying over spilt milk" is doing to me?  All this "those were the days", "things were happier then" thoughts I've been processing for the last week? Have they led me to discover that we all probably live in paintings, props and pretend?  

So when does this post get cheerful you ask?  Right now!  Because in all of that, here's what I remembered and rediscovered...(thank God!)....
                                                          Christmas isn't now, and never was about how I feel or really even who I'm with..  It's always and forever about the very person my Norman-Rockwell-painting-or-not dad and mom and grandmother always and diligently taught me to remember in this season:


                                the Christ-child,
                                    the One who though came as a child,
                                         was purposed to

                                                        "bind up the brokenhearted, (MY broken heart!)
                                                        to proclaim freedom for the captives
                                                        and release from darkness for the prisoners,
                                                        to bestow on them a crown of beauty  instead of ashes,
                                                        the oil of joy instead of mourning, (MY mourning!)
                                                        and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair..."
                                                                                                                    Isaiah 61

And it doesn't end there.  HE SHALL BE CALLED

                                              Wonderful Counselor

                                                                                Mighty God
                                                                                                  Everlasting Father

                                                                                                                                  Prince of Peace

Norman Rockwell or not...

Merry, merry, sweet merry Christmas!