It’s a Wonderful Life

A month and a half ago, we were feeling pretty worried.  Kareem had lost his job due to circumstances of the business that had nothing to do with him, but it felt so terrible because we were just a few weeks from the most wonderful time of the year.  I remember feeling like I should be freaking out, but I felt pretty calm.  Surely it would take no time to get a job.

Depending on when you talked to me over the past month and a half, I was either feeling very hopeful or during those moments of worry, I was feeling very concerned.  I told Kareem, you’re with me now and we’re a miracle.  It’s going to be okay.  But there were those moments where I was like, oh shoot.

Moving into this season of hope, joy, love, and peace, we have had to accept some realities of our circumstance.  Not just financially, but also being a blended family has raised some challenges, mostly in the scheduling department.  Many people cannot relate to this, but imagine how you schedule your holiday plans around your family and your in-law’s family…. Now add in four additional family schedules and blend with some complicated feelings, and well, your annual traditions just might not be happening the way you always do them.  That is mostly okay with me, but this year, it has been more difficult for me to accept.  I think because of the additional challenges we were facing.  I was like, geez is there something that I can control?  Answer: nope.  Not at this time.  🙂

Now that Christmas is right around the corner, I wanted to pause and reflect.  This has so far been my favorite holiday season to date.  It has been simplified in a sense, and not because we haven’t had the money.  More because of the scheduling aspect.  I have been more intentional about how we are spending our time, prioritizing differently, and spending lots of family time.  We also did gratitude reflections everyday during November, which is something I did while going through my divorce but haven’t done it with such frequency since.  It made all of this into a bit of an It’s a Wonderful Life moment- “Oh look at this wonderful old drafty house, Mary!”  That was us everyday.

I heard my six year old girl singing “Count Your Blessings” on her own, to herself last night.  It brought a tear to my eye.  Here in the midst of our mess, she’s reminding me to count my blessings.  This past month, I told Kareem, we are not going to get down and in our feelings about this.  We are going to serve others, lose ourselves in the service of others.  There were moments when we had opportunities to give time or gifts or of ourselves this past month and either one or both of us thought we couldn’t do it.  So we did it anyway.  And I will tell you what, it has been such a blessing to us in every way.

We experienced so many tender mercies during this trial.  And no, it’s not over yet.  But it is amazing how when you’re expecting something to look a certain way or have one specific solution in mind for a problem, you sometimes don’t see the incredible blessings that are getting you closer to that dream or hope or solving that problem that you are working on.  Our Christmas season has been made so merry through love and care of our family and friends.  Our kids’ dreams are going to come true one way or another, and the season has been simplified through circumstance.  We have had get togethers with friends that cost zero dollars, spent movie nights and fire nights and looked at Christmas lights all for free.  We got invited to do cool things with friends and family, attended family parties, and have just had a merry old time despite thinking we may not be able to.

I have also been so blessed by hearing from people in my life, both past and present, who share such uplifting things.  They remind me of what’s important and what life is all about.  It’s all very “It’s a Wonderful Life,” as I eluded to earlier.  All in all, I am so grateful for this Christmas season, and I am full of hope and peace for this season of our lives and what’s to come, which is really what it’s all about anyway.