My Christmas Battle

Typical. Just typical. The power would go out on Christmas Eve. This is the one week we have to relax and just be a family.

The dangerous thoughts spread through my mind like poison as we sat there in the darkness.

So much for getting the boys to sleep. No fan to muffle the Christmas celebrations outside. And no blanket for Noah since the washer’s locked. This should be fun.

Leyton’s whimpering snapped me out of my selfish, gloomy reverie for a moment.

“Don’t cry, buddy – Daddy bought some new candles. We’ll be able to see in no time.”

Seriously. No electricity – tonight of all nights?! And right when I’m heating up dinner…

I listened as Scott fumbled in the drawer for the matches. And the guilt settled in.

C’mon, Ang. What a horrible attitude. You’re going to be mad about a simple power outage? This happens all the time. It’s Christmas Eve. Take advantage of these moments with your babies.

The match striking against the box brought me back from my raging, internal mind battle. A small light stabbed out into the night. I paused to stare at the tiny, flickering flame in front of me.

What verse have you been drilling into your kindergartners over the last month, Ang? Could you really have forgotten so quickly?

Then I almost heard the little batey voices shouting out in unison.

Luke 2:11. For unto you is born this day…

Scott lit another candle. Light radiated throughout the kitchen.

… in the city of David…

A third flame. More darkness obliterated.

… a Savior which is Christ the Lord.

Another shining candle. Each new light drowned out more of the shadows that had been lurking in the dining room – and in my heart.

The tea lights in the living room were glowing. I looked around at the bits of brightness that had collectively served to remedy my negative thoughts. My heart was humble and full. My eyes locked on my babies sitting patiently at the table.

“Wow, boys! Look at all the candles! Now we can see!”

“See!” Leyton repeated perfectly in his sweet, high-pitched voice.

“OK – sit tight! Dinner’s coming soon.”

My leftovers-in-the-microwave-for-dinner game plan changed to a gas-stove strategy. As I continued preparing the food, I was left to my thoughts once again.

Lord, are you really trying to teach me this simple lesson? Surely I’ve learned it by now. I know Christmas isn’t about the turkey dinners and the lights and the perfectly planned parties and the presents. I know tonight isn’t about my Christmas Eve plans complete with electricity. Or… do I?

The candlelight danced across the oven backsplash as visions of a tiny Baby in a dingy, dirty manger waltzed through my mind. And I thanked my Savior anew for setting aside His throne, putting on flesh, and willingly laying down His life. For me.

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