Yesterday was a full day from the moment that the alarm clock rudely smacked me awake. I had a battle plan, I had a list, I had it all planned and ready to go. Even down to having the kids clothes in a bag for them to change after school so we could hop in the car and go. We are heading up to Orlando to surprise the volunteer staff at Z88.3 for their annual Christmas party. I have been excited for weeks now and am so impressed with myself that I am on top of my game in the organization part. I am soooo ahead of schedule that I leisurely go into the office for my two radio interviews and a Magazine interview...I mean after all I have all the time in the world.. I might even have an extra cup o' joe and relax. I should have know by the way it all seemed so smooth that a bump in the road was inevitable..(save the .. oh heather, that is pretty cynical don't you think?.. I am using sarcasm to illustrate my complete sarcastic way of writing...) The turbulence should have been announced like when a captain comes on the intercom while you are 35,000 feet in the air and calmly and almost "Robert Goulet like" says, "ladies and gentlemen I am gonna have to turn on the fasten seat belt sign...seems we are gonna (he says "gonna" to try and sound charmingly calm) hit a pocket of rough air and...." BAM your head goes into the tray table your drink was on and then BAM you are holding onto the strangers head next to you and you try not to act like the fact that he is staring a hole into your face because you are cutting off his circulationis anything out of the ordinary. It is BAD! And your stomach drops and you feel sick..and it is .. well, awful. THIS should have been the announcement I got. I would have then had a few seconds to "buckle my seat belt" if you will.
It all starts with a Staff vs Varsity basketball game(don't ALL good stories start that way.. or is that just on ESPN?) Tim is playing on the staff team. He already has injured his ankle a few weeks ago but thought he was OK to play. I stayed for about 10 minutes of the game but had to leave to run home and pick up one last thing before we took off for Orlando in 30 minutes. We are ON schedule.. I am driving slower than usual, listening to Christmas music, singing out loud at the steering wheel. I get home, go inside and start looking for the bad I am retrieving. I am on the other end of the house and I hear what sound like jingle bells and then a very LOUD ... CRRRRAAAAASSSSSHHHHHH! I stand still for a moment trying to just process what I heard and then BAM my head goes into the tray table... I walk across the house to the family room and there on the floor, and sprawled over the suede couch is our 14 foot REAL Christmas tree. His name is Twinkles..(every year the tree farm names the trees) well, "twinkles" decided to take a nose dive and it was a beauty! Ornaments, some extremely sentimental, shattered, lights scattered, and pine needles flowed like blood from the beast. I stand there mouth gaping... SERIOUSLY!!! I mean SERIOUSLY!! I shout at "twinkles" as if he is going to answer me "why yes, seriously". I look at the clock, we are to leave in 15 minutes in order to stay on schedule. I decide to throw towels on the water and sop up what I can. The tree is so heavy I cannot lift it without help so I leave "twinkles" laying in his mess and run out to the car to head back to the game. I frantically start texting Tim .. something like.. OH MY GOSH! THE TREE FELL.. call me. No answer. I call his phone..no answer. I call 5 more times, text 7.. no answer. I know he is done with the game.. what is going on. I call the office. I then hear.. "Oh, Tim fell and popped his ankle he is in the locker room. (oh boy) I screech into the parking lot. I run over to Tim's office. He is sitting in his chair. Sweat pouring down his head. He is wincing in pain.. BAD pain. His foot is a mangled swollen mess, raised up on his desk. I again say.. SERIOUSLY?! I tell him to stay put and I run over to get the kids from school. (all in 3 inch heeled boots I might add) I grab the kids, grab the guitar(s), grab the other gear get them in the car and go out to the parking lot to meet Corey(my guitar player). I explain to him the situation. I look at my clock.. it is 15 minutes past the time we needed to leave. Ugh. The kids are in the car, I am in the drivers seat, Tim is next to me Corey and the kids are in the back. We head back to the house as Tim has decided the tree cannot just lay on the floor.. I was irritated, but turns out he was right, I had only "sopped up" 10% of the water and so we took another 20 minutes hoisting "twinkles" back up, mopping up the water and having the kids go potty. I look at my watch, we are now a full hour behind schedule. I feel sick. We get in the car and off we go. Needless to say the atmosphere in the car was tense and icky. I was irritated and stressed, Tim was in pain and Corey was in the back with the kids who after being rushed around like maniacs, were a tad hyper. 2 1/2 hour ride laid ahead. About a half an hour into the ride.
Now I have to tell you we were about an hour and a half late from when we wanted to get to the venue. We were frazzled and had to hurry to get a bite to eat. But in all of this hustle and bustle I felt a moment of clarity hit me about 1/2 an hour into the drive up. Why was I so upset about the tree falling, about the being late to start, Why was I so frazzled. I began to think of the venue we were headed towards. I was surprising the volunteer staff at Z88.3 at their CHRISTMAS party. What exactly was CHRISTMAS all about? Well, it certainly is not about a Christmas tree, or lights, tinsel, caroling,parties,games, or even about rushing around to find gifts for our loved ones. It is about the PERFECT gift of JESUS, that HE came down on Christmas as a baby and grew to be a man that gave his life FOR us so that we might be saved. It is all a funny blur this morning the events of yesterday..and in the words of my 5 year old son as he sleepily sat next to me on the couch this morning..."well mom, it's not like it's the end of your world anyway"...out of the mouth of babes.
Here is wishing you and your family a VERY BLESSED CHRISTMAS season. I hope that I can and we all can keep our focus on what it is about and not get too hung up or caught up in the chaos. May this season be a time we find quiet moments to reflect and say thanks for the perfect gift of JESUS.