savoring the year: the miracles in front of us {11/365}

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5:00 AM

Has there ever been a time when you almost missed something extraordinary, caught up in your own anxiety or pain? How did you push yourself back into the present, out of your own head?

For Christmas, on a year with hardly a budget to spend, I splurged and bought Ricardo a new game he had been wanting. He had been busy between working full time and finishing up his BS and a superfluous amount of group projects and helping with the youth group and easing in to parenthood, I thought it would give him something to enjoy between semesters. It had been on an end cap at Target and in the giving mood, it made its way in to the cart and home with me.

I cannot recall exactly how it transpired anymore but my mom had also purchased the game, on a different platform and told me ahead of time. Knowing this, I wrapped the game up and tucked it under the tree with the intentions of letting him chose which would be the one he liked best and returning the other.

As the package was unwrapped and the title excitedly exposed, I let him know of the choice and he made it, deciding on the other platform, agreeing we would return the one I had purchased. My mom brought the game over later, as we exchanged a few gifts and hugs and cinnamon rolls, enjoying Penny's first Christmas.

And finally, Ricardo's family from out of state came by with presents and laughter and more exchanging of cinnamon rolls. Conversations went on and in talking with his brother both of the games were opened. I sat there in disbelief and frustration, as we agreed we would return one.

You said you wanted the other one. I reminded Ricardo. We were going to return that one.
His brother just looked at me, game in hand, unable to be returned.

I tried not to let it bother me. His brother had no idea what was going on, nor did my in laws but clearly the tension could be cut with a knife as the packaging plastic was unraveled from around the case.

My chest tightened and frustration set in as I regretted my whimsical decision to purchase the game. I could have let my mom exchange the one she had for the one he wanted if he decided on the other platform. He could have waited one more day to play it. Thoughts ran over in my head.

I hardly remember the rest of the visit, as I settled in to frustration over the situation, not wanting to give in to it but not knowing how to let go of the annoyance and money lost.

After my in laws left, we sat on the floor in Penny's room as she crawled around in the burgundy dress I had sewn for her that matched the bow headband I had crocheted for her to wear on her first Christmas. This was not how I had hoped or thought it would be celebrated.

Confrontation between us is not common and this one surfaced so quickly it caught me off guard, like a few years before when he accidentally threw our clothes away during our Weird California inspired road trip, mistaking them for garbage at our first campsite.

There on the floor, he apologized and reminded me of the my choice to be frustrated or to forgive and enjoy the rest of the day, in his usual calm and collected manor. Reminding me I had a choice to shut down and be angry or carpe diem and savor what was left. And so I tried my best to let it dissolve as we drove over to the Christmas celebration with his extended family, still a little mad but not letting it determine the remainder of the day.

I almost missed out on the joy of Penny's first Christmas because of a silly game and its monetary value. I almost missed out on the celebration of Jesus' birth and rare quality time with family because of one decision and miscommunication.


Perspective and people and listening have a way of getting us out of our own heads and of course God continuing to work in us. It also helps to have a husband who can see the bigger picture (most of the time) who can remind of better things. 

Here's to getting out of our own heads and past anxiety and pain.
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This is part of a 365 day blogging series through Savor by Shauna Niequist. If you would like to blog along, whether daily or weekly, I would love to have you for the journey; be sure to link back to the post. And if you are not a blogger, you can join along, too. Just leave your response and answers in the comments.
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