can't force magic

it's one of those days i wake up begging for something, anything that brings more peace than yesterday. that brings more understanding. i wake thirsty. i do not feel particularly hopeful or confident and yet it's new year's day and everything tells me i should be cheery and optimistic. so i beg to feel it too.

this Christmas break was one of the hardest in my memory. going into it we were heavy enough.  we were not able to afford flying to the east coast to be with the Osters crew for Christmas as planned or to swing by Charlotte for curing hugs. we decided to have our first Christmas at home as the three of us.

on Christmas Eve, i went to the doctor for the third time in 5 weeks to let them know i was still sick. i have felt so fatigued and had endless congestion. finally, an antibiotic was offered. five days later i finished the antibiotic and am really feeling myself again for the first time in a month and that evening beginning at 2:30am, i start throwing up with the stomach flu. 7 of the 10 of the Wilson crew got the stomach flu over the course of the holidays. On this particular night, Hannah and i both got it at seemingly the same time and i was literally stepping over her throw up on the floor to get to the potty and throw up. Stephen there to try to care for both of us as we got up throughout the night with this awful flu. it occurs to me even while i am getting sick that this means that the plans we were so excited about for New Years Eve with our friends the Vaughans while Hannah stayed with Ba and Susu were going to have to be canceled.

And this was just a tiny bit of what happened for us, but truth is it seemed hardship was on every side for my family. i just kept thinking... surely we will come up for air, surely peace is close. intense life with tangible pain seemed to be on every side in every person. and you could tell that even in the incredibly beautiful lake house mom and dad got as a gift to us all that we could not force the magic we SO SO desired.

BUT we can't help it, we are WILSONS for peet sake. we love magic. we love Christmas. you can't have problems on Christmas. Rudolph CANNOT leave a note for children saying Santa's sleigh is one day behind to assure that Uncle Beebs feels better (he had the flu on the original 2nd "Christmas" day).Hannah hardly flinched with the note and appreciated the Lalaloopsy remote control car that Rudolph left. As i watched Hannah, i asked my mom if our Christmases were as good as i remember them. Because now that i am adult, i can't imagine there wasn't dysfunction but i promise you, what i remember is really good. It's lots of gifts with clues and guessing, lots of food, lots of games and playing with cousins, lots of football. i don't remember wanting for more and I always remember feeling loved. i honestly remember the Christmas mornings bursting out to receive stockings (and Evie's Come on Ring Those Bells) and Santa's gifts as magical indeed.

So, i left Christmas wondering if we are too conscious now or our expectations are too high? Neither exactly magical questions. So i round the corner at new years with a few thoughts brimming. A. Hardships and all, i am still aware that my Christmas had more love and magic than over half the world and for that I am truly thankful. B I gotta regroup. 2013 is here. I'm lost. i need to reorient what the heck is going on in our lives, or more like all that isn't going on. C. i'll get there, but for sure, optimism feels like a stretch.

The Wilson crew feels a bit rag tag over the last year or so but i will also say our hearts for one another expand every time we are together. we don't want to give up. without saying it we all know that most of life is spent choosing the company you keep, but the relationship so very God given, so, so chosen for me was my family. This brother and this sister; and these parents. and now this man and this daughter (and my wonderful brother in law, nieces and nephew). they are my God-given peeps and vomiting or not, we will rally for one another.

And on top of that, as much as we may try to force the magic, it seems God has especially chosen to tell us we can't pull it off. It's all Him. We gotta give it over. And when we do, He always shows up. Like huge, fluffy white snowflakes that came down on 2nd 2nd Christmas morning. They left us in awe. They brought joy, wonder, and levity. And magic.