The Christmas season is such a magical time and we have so many things we love to do with our family this time of year. We all go to a Christmas Cantata the first weekend in December to kick off the season and it stays busy with events from then on out. Luke and I were so lucky to get to go with friends to the Prestonwood Christmas program this past Sunday. It was such a precious experience to be there with him. This year Luke is really starting to understand that Christmas is more than just Santa Claus and presents. It warms my heart to hear the thoughts that come from his innocent little mind as he is taking it all in this year. I love hearing him say anything about “baby Jesus.” So sweet!!
We also love Christmas music, but I really try my best to wait until after Thanksgiving to listen to it. I did cheat a little and listen to my favorite Christmas line up during a few workouts before Thanksgiving, but we didn’t start playing it in the car until after Thanksgiving because as Luke liked to say this year “it’s still fall why are there Christmas lights up?” But ever since Thanksgiving Day finished up we have been listening to our favorite Christmas CDs and radio stations.
As much as I love the music and can’t wait to hear my favorite songs, I do have feel a little twinge when Christmas music starts each season. It can momentarily transport my mind to some very emotional places. The first year after the boys were born – when things were pretty much at the lowest point we have and hope to ever experience in our life - with Preston and my Dad’s surgeries, the boys failure to thrive and hospitalization and Randy’s father passing - I just really could not listen that year.
The year before when I was in the hospital trying to put a halt to pre-term labor time and time again, many times on magnesium unable to get up and being pumped full of drugs, we would just sit and listen to KLTY playing Christmas music through the day and night. One night in particular it was just before my Dad’s birthday – Dec 15th – I was unable to sleep from the magnesium and stadol (kind of like morphine) combo that were making me an itchy crazy person. Ashley and my Mom were sleeping on a pull out couch bed and Randy was in a recliner chair. The Christmas music kept me company that whole night while I lay in that hospital bed praying.
It had been another scary day but we were starting to get a little used to it – well at least I was and Randy wasn't nearly fainting each time the doctors came in with news so I think he was too. Also, by this point I was around 27 weeks so viability was not as risky as it had been in the weeks earlier. I was unable to sleep and feeling pretty crummy and the Christmas music was playing in the background of this darkened labor and delivery room. The only lights were from the IV pump, and the monitors I was on and the radio across the room with the red numbers 94.9 shining on the display. I can still see the image of those glowing numbers in my mind. I remember feeling the boys rolling around inside me and just sitting and listening to the soft music play as the hours passed by. I have always had a love for Christmas music but this year sitting in that room not knowing what was ahead for my little family I felt such a peace hearing songs about the birth of our savior. These two songs in particular I remember hearing played again and again as the night went on. They are precious songs about Jesus that to me as so touching -
I don't think I was never as scared as Randy was, especially in the beginning, I think the Lord was protecting my heart to in turn protect the babies. But this night I was struggling with what might lie ahead and I think the drugs and the situation were starting to wear on me. I just listened to these two songs over and over as they played through the night and I felt a comfort that can only come from the Lord.
Like I said the next year, we were in the hospital again but this time I had two babies in my arms that were not well and it was so much more real. Preston’s head was coming down from its bowling ball sized swelling from his cranial vault remodel, but his vomiting was up to 8 times a day. Luke was only eating 10 oz total a day, my Dad was home recovering from his heart attack and surgery but he was still very weak and we were all still so worried about him. Randy and I had just returned from Ohio after attending his father’s funeral after his sudden passing right before Thanksgiving. We were not in a good place mentally and emotionally. We were in the lowest place I have ever been and most definitely Randy has ever been. We checked in to Children’s Medical Center with both boys through the ER in early Dec and did not leave until Christmas Eve afternoon. Those day were scary and really days no parent wants to go through with their child. At that point Christmas music just made my heart hurt worse, ….until the day we finally got to go home – Christmas Eve! Things were still rocky, Preston was sent home with an NG tube in place, all our head were still in a fog and we would be back in the hospital not to many days after Christmas, but we were all going home together – for Christmas. We were sitting in our living room, – Randy, the boys and I, Ashley, my Mom and Dad with the only presents we had were 3 for the boys from some very sweet friends. As we sat there, most of us on the floor, I absolutely didn’t care about presents or the perfect wrapping paper or Christmas plans or meals. I just thanked God we were all still together, able to sit in that room and all just be with each other. I listened to these two favorite songs and just cried in thankfulness for Christ’s birth, the salvation He brings us, the hope He gives us, the miracle I witnessed with my Dad and the fact that we will still see our family of believers again someday. That gave me strength to know no matter what the days ahead brought us – there was hope.
Now we fast forward 5 years from those days in L&D and we have two amazing little boys who are full of energy and life - one of whom loves Christmas music like his Mama. We love to sing and dance in the car listening to Christmas music. Luke likes more of the typical kid songs, like Jingle Bells and Up on the Roof Top, but Preston, oh Preston loves my favorite two songs. Car rides are the some of hardest times for Preston and his communication. He is usually pretty quiet or repetitive with his words in the car unless you can find music that really interests him. Now he likes me to put it on my burned Christmas CD of my favorite songs and he will say “new song” until we get to “this one” Joseph's Lullaby or “this one” Here with Us and then that is followed by the sweetest question of “want to sing?” During the song Here with Us I'll even catch him swinging his arms in the air from side to side. It will practically melt your heart! He doesn’t really know the words so much but he likes to sing like he does. The sentences are still so new for him that they are very precious to us and really so amazing to hear. Now he may love these two song because I play them a lot, but I like to think it’s because when he wasn't born yet and we were all praying they would stay put a little longer, I listened to these two songs over and over as they played on KLTY through the night praying for the Lord to protect my babies.
So each season when the Christmas music starts my heart can feel a little pain from the past but it also feels a lot of thankfulness for the things God has brought us through, along with hope and peace for what’s to come. Isn't that what Jesus brought the world that night so long ago when he was born in a manager??? May your Christmas be filled with many blessings and precious time with family and your new year full of the hope that only Christ can bring!!!