It's when I'm alone and quiet on the outside that I realize how loud the rustling is on the inside.
Maybe I feel a little like a bird, constantly ruffling it's feathers trying to arrange them just right, trying to find the perfect spot to settle into. Only I keep on rustling and shuffling because nothing seems quite right or quite perfect.
I think I feel this especially around Christmas because it's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. And I really, really don't want to miss out on the wonder.
I've bought egg nog, I've sat admiring our Christmas tree, I've bought Evie a Christmas outfit, I've started reading Bible verses about Jesus, I've painted my nails in festive red and gold sparkly paint, we've sent out Christmas cards (on time, I might add), I've listened to many a Christmas tune, and I have baked cookies.
Yet the rustling is there still, and with its presence, joy is in absence.
I think part of the rustling is because of aching I have going on in my heart.
And because of the aches, I sense a different, not wonderful, kind of wondering taking root inside of me.
I am so blessed, and I know this is true. Recently, I think I've been doing a decent job at recognizing and appreciating my blessings. But like most people do, I have things happening in my life that threaten to steal away joy. Big or small, they are there. And I rustle because they poke and jab me as I try to nestle into this season.
I was struggling the other day in the car. One particular ache that has been especially thorny this year is wrestling with the character of Jesus. Sometimes things turn out a certain way, and I just don't understand. Sometimes I pray fervently for a desire from a deep place in my heart, and it's denied. Sometimes people we love go through pain, and we cannot make sense of it. And sometimes, we just have a lot going on, and we get overwhelmed and stressed and lose sight of what matters. Too many presents to buy and projects to take on and Christmasy things to make sure we partake in.
When I'm wondering about all of these things, it's hard for me to recall why Jesus is trustworthy.
As I'm driving and crying and doing all this heavy wondering, a certain Christmas song comes on the radio and reminds me.
He walked on water and calmed a storm with his hands...
I remember how nothing is too great for him to accomplish.
He gave sight to a blind man...
I remember he is compassionate.
He came to save our sons and daughters...
I remember that we matter to him.
He came to make us new...
I remember that he is the one who restores.
He delivers us...
I remember he sees our hurt and our confusion and our doubt and meets us right there in the midst.
He is Lord of all creation...
I remember that nothing comes to us without passing through his hands first.
With my remembering, my rustling quiets a bit. My shifting stills, and my wondering finds some peace.
I'm not completely nestled, but I'm finding comfort because, though Jesus is sometimes hard to understand, he is always good and wise. I believe this is true, even when I don't have answers.
And I believe holding onto what is true is the key to wondering in the wonderful kind of way this Christmas.
To wondering in thankfulness while laughing and eating too many cookies with our families. To wondering in awe at the gift of beauty all around us during this season. To wondering in humility at the love of a savior who came to us humbly, in the form of a tiny baby.
If we can somehow manage to leave behind the other kind of wondering, we'll be able to enjoy a Christmas where our souls feel just as we hoped they would.
Where all is calm and all is bright.
"When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul" - Horatio G. Spafford