Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bring It On!

By Kari Diane Pike

It all started because I wanted to set up the Christmas tree. The couch sat in the only spot the tree would fit. I couldn’t move the couch until I got rid of the oversized Lazy Boy bequeathed to me by my father. I didn’t care for the chair, but I couldn’t give it away. My soon-to-be married son staked his claim on the chair as soon as he saw it. But, in order to move the chair, I needed to clean the garage.

I just stood there staring. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t think. I felt stuck. I didn’t have time to clean the garage. I needed the time to send Christmas cards, bake cookies, shop for gifts, and take my psychology final. Aurgh!

After a silent prayer, and a stern talking to myself, I finally wrote out a plan. First, take the final. While I technically had until after Christmas to take the test, the testing center would close the week before Christmas. Besides, getting that out of the way would relieve some stress and allow me to put away the clutter of my books. After the final, I could tackle the garage, get the chair out of the front room, move the couch, and set up the tree. I could see the light. I didn’t hear the distant rumbling telling me it was really an on oncoming train!

I wanted to be ready for Christmas. I wanted everything to be perfect…perfect house…perfect gifts…perfect tree, all perfectly organized. Instead, I found myself greeting unexpected guests, filling numerous orders for food and commodities, and shuttling children and their friends to games and holiday events. When the missionaries called and asked if I would attend a discussion they were having with a new investigator, I couldn’t believe I heard myself say I would be happy to be there! I just didn’t have any more time to spare. And why, oh why, did I buy those tickets to see “The Forgotten Carols?” I still had too much to do to get ready for the holidays.

I attended the discussion with the missionaries. The gifts of the Spirit were so strong. My life was forever changed as I shared my testimony of the gospel with a new friend. Later that night, sitting with my husband and parents, Michael McLean’s music filled my soul with joy. I expressed these feelings as Doug and I finally crawled into bed. I think the words I used were, “I may not be physically prepared, but my heart is prepared for Christmas. Bring it on!”

I need to be more careful about what I say. I thought I had today and tomorrow to catch up on cleaning and shopping and getting ready to have all 23 children, spouses, and grandchildren in our home for the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s. Unexpectedly, at 6:00am this morning, seven of them walked in my front door. All I can say is,

“A very Merry Christmas to all of you…and a great and joyous New Year!”

4 comments:

  1. Oh how we can all empathize with you. I'm always planning that this Christmas will be different. Somehow or other, it never is. I'm never ready with everything. But like you, the spirit takes over and I'm happy to go with the flow. Thanks for the great description of the sort of things that fill our lives. Wouldn't it get boring if there were no obstacles?

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  2. Kari, I'll keep this brief! Your spirit is Christmas already wrapped and ready to give to anyone in that crosses your lentel. You need no more.

    Have a Joyous Christmas with ALL of your family - that's the spirit of Christmas right there!

    Love ya!

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  3. Kari,

    Isn't it amazing how, at our times of greatest stress, we can hear the words, "I'd love to!" flowing out of our mouths in the most cheerful of tones, only to find ourselves kicking ourselves the moment they're out? And yet, like you, I always find myself blessed for those words in the end!

    (Which is not to say that I hope to hear myself saying them again today on Christmas Eve! :-} )

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  4. They say that life is what happens while we're making other plans. I'm learning to love the unexpected. Merry Christmas, Kari. Family and mayhem. It doesn't get any better than that.

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