Tuesday, December 21, 2010


One Friday, not too long ago, I was driving down the road in our minivan. It was mid-morning on a gray and dreary day, and the girls and I were headed out to run some errands. It had been such a long week, a very demanding week, and I was so tired and just done. I could feel tears lurking just behind my eyes, ready to fall at any moment.
Right then, a song came on. We were listening to Christmas music as we drove through town, trying to catch the happy Christmas spirit, and the song was "Silent Night" as sung by Mr. Josh Groban. That's all it took. The tears came. Something about the way he sings that song, and something about the words.... it got me. There I was, tired and overwhelmed, stressed and desperately wanting a break... (and let's be honest, I was probably feeling a bit sorry for myself too. boohoo.) But that song... oh, that song. It was the perfect reminder for me on that morning.

And it's still the perfect reminder for me now, weeks later, as we are only days away from Christmas and things have, if possible, gotten even more hectic and crazy.
As I type right now, I have no less than three baskets of laundry waiting to be folded and put away.
I still have to finish Christmas shopping.
I haven't gotten my baking done yet.
There is not a single present wrapped to put under our tree.
I have four homemade gifts I still need to finish.
There are boxes of gifts waiting to be sent off, which means a trip to the post office.
My Christmas cards still need to be sent out (which I will do, as soon as I actually get them!)
And that, my friends, is really just the short list.
I am overwhelmed.

How many of you are feeling the same way right now? It seems like December always does this to us, doesn't it? The holidays should be such a time of joy and peace and soaking up the sweetness of having loved ones near... a time for rest and reflection, for remembering what's important. But instead, we end up with 10 millions things to do and no time in which to do it, stressed out and frazzled, running around like chickens with our heads cut off while the loveliness of Christmas passes us by... hiding in the bathroom with a book and a piece of chocolate just so you can have a little break, a little peace and quiet.
(you've all done that, right? No? That last one is just me? ahem. nevermind.)

I'm doing my best NOT to let this season pass me by, not to let the craziness and stress swallow me whole and leave me exhausted. I'm hoping and praying that, by God's grace, I will keep myself together and focus on the wonderful things for which I am grateful. I am choosing to be overwhelmed... but in a completely new and different way.

Overwhelmed by my girls, and their childish delight over every little thing that happens in this holiday season. By the fact that I get to spend every day with them, soaking them up and loving them no matter what.
Overwhelmed by the beauty of winter, with its snow and (for us) rain, its quiet peacefulness and somber gentility.
Overwhelmed with thankfulness that, one year after my mom was diagnosed with her lymphoma, she is healthy and fine, here with us and more lovely than ever. And, she and my other family will be here in a matter of days!
Overwhelmed by my husband, who puts up with me and my craziness and grumpiness. I love him.
Overwhelmed by the sheer number of amazing people we have in our lives to love, both friends and family... and by just how really wonderful they are.
Overwhelmed by the loveliness of everything around me, from the sounds of the Christmas music we play to the twinkly lights we string here and there and everywhere.
Overwhelmed by how much I love my pajamas, and by the fact that this time of year is so cozy and I get to wear them quite often, all the time. (I really do love my pajamas. And slippers. We're MFEO.)
Overwhelmed by the goodness of God.
Overwhelmed by thankfulness.
By contentment.
By delight.
By joy, pure and simple.
And most of all, overhwelmed by the truth of what it is that we celebrate in this season, the truth of that silent night so long ago.

Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight,
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavely hosts sing alleluia;
Christ the Saviour, is born!
Christ the Saviour, is born!

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.
just in case I don't get a chance to say it later:
Merry Christmas, to each and every one of you.
I hope you are overwhelmed by joy and delight. :)


molly june. said...

oh, this post. you just had to go there, didn't you. & now i'm crying. you write so beautifully. straight from your heart. and your heart brings my heart joy. i am overwhelmed by God's goodness this year too. He is so good to me. love you! merry christmas, my sweet tal :)

Tristan said...

Beautiful post.

Have a merry CHRISTmas :)

Jerusha Abigail said...

this was SUCH a beautiful post! the way you write is wonderful. It brought some tears to my eyes really. I'm sorry youre feeling so overwhelmed by everything. But I'm also so glad that you have so many wonderful, happy things to be overwhelmed with! We must always remember the reason for the season even when it's hard sometimes when you get caught up in all the hullabaloo. I love you and I'm excited to see you so soon!!

Ari- Audrey Onassis said...

You have a wonderful attitude, Talia! Thanks for sharing with us. :)

Band of Brothers said...

I know just how you feel. that's why i don't really do many handmade gifts at Christmas. too stressful. looks like you found the real meaning of the season though:)

Sunny said...

I'm overwhelmed just about all the time so Christmas busyness just makes it even crazier! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I am sooo happy you have your family with you right now!

Olive Oyl said...

My favorite line...

"Overwhelmed by the goodness of God."

seriously filled my heart with happiness and turned my poor attitude about my day upside down. THANK YOU for that reminder.

Hope things are slowing down after Christmas and you are able to enjoy your sweet girls and your husband and a delicious cup of tea.

p.s. love that you used a S.I.S. quote. Precious.

Chelsea said...

you're such an excellent writer!

What a good god we serve!


Anna said...

What a beautiful post. I am so glad I found this blog. I hope you had a Merry Christmas.