I was tired of spending Christmas grieving for mom and feeling sorry for me. I wanted to spend Christmas, ONE Christmas with Christmas being about the day Jesus was born instead of the morning mom died.
I decided to rent me a really nice room and spend all weekend making new memories. I reserved the room, packed days early and was actually looking forward to spending Christmas with mom, in a new way.
I check into the room on Christmas Eve. Gorgeous! Huge bed, nice sitting area and huge, flat screen tv to enjoy all the fantastic NFL and NBA games….hhmm……no NFL Network, no Redzone….*gasp*….figured it was no big deal as I could use my laptop to enjoy the games. Also, I would need my laptop so I could watch Hulu and binge watch ‘This is Us’. Awesome show, by the by.
I set up my laptop, make a big production out of turning it on and preparing to watch my show. Had myself all set up to enjoy, you see. Had this experience already mapped out, in my mind: chillaxing with snacks and ‘This is Us’. Was going to binge watch ALL Christmas Eve evening! Fantastic.
Only problem is the internet had no plans to comply with my wishes. Worse still, the front desk had NO clue how to get things going and really had no inclination of helping in any real way. Four hours later, her only option, and mine, was to give me a refund and I could find another hotel to have my Christmas staycation with.
I sat in that beautiful room, and at my bags, half unpacked, and wanted to cry. Truly, wanted to just burst into tears. I had not allowed myself to get frustrated. Kept taking the high road the whole time. Assured the front desk clerk it was okay, that I was okay and we would get things situated. I didn’t mind the hours wasted, er spent, trying to get set up. Five hours of no ‘This is Us’, for crying out loud!!…..opppppps……ehem….*Cassandra gets back on the high road*….
By 7:15 I was out of options and sitting, in the lobby, with the gorgeous Christmas tree, waiting/fighting to be refunded. Don’t even get me started on THAT story. It was too late to get another hotel. Everything was closed. Couldn’t stop for groceries or eats. Defeated, I drove home. Sat in the car for what seemed like ages. Wondered, what in the world was the point of it all?
I was too tired and disappointed to get angry at God and demand to know why, in the world, He had laid it on my heart to try this, anyway! I could have spared myself days of excitement, and hours of frustration, just by staying home and not getting my hopes up.
DAMMIT, I HAD GOTTEN MY HOPES UP!!
I sat in the car and fumed about all the effort it had taken to try and move beyond my mom grief. Blast it all, I had drug myself out of bed. Crimeny, I had begun to dream of a future with new friends and experiences. Egads, I had even day dreamed of spending Christmas yakking with mom over coffee and football, like we used to. Only, she would be screaming, with Jesus, in Heaven and I would just be hollering in a hotel room, hoping not to get arrested from all the aforementioned screaming at the huge and awesome flat screened tv.
I noisily drag my suitcase up the stairs, sorry neighbors, and flounce in half darkness. I kept my mood lights on so as not to enter in total darkness. I leave the mood lights on the dark/forlorn deep dark blue setting and pout. Yea, I pouted. Had abandoned the high road back in the hotel lobby.
I pouted ALL night. Woke the next morning in full pout mode. My phone had been blowing up, for hours, with folks wanting to reach out and extend love and Christmas greetings. Pride whispered ‘leave the phone be. You didn’t get the experience you wanted. Hang out with me and feel sorry for yourself. Your mom is dead, don’t you know. You are used to your Christmas grief. Hang out with me, Pride, and grief, and leave the world be’.
I asked myself if I was going to allow Pride and the known entity of Christmas grief, to keep me from moving forward and actually making new memories and loving family and friends. It took all of two seconds for me to tell Pride and Christmas grief to both go kick some rocks. Kicked off the covers, snatched up my phone, made a delish cup of coffee and spent two delicious hours making room, in my heart, for loved ones and LET THEM love me.
Life and God were not being mean to me in asking for me to get that hotel room. The purpose was NOT the room. The whole purpose, the moral of the story, the lesson was that life and God was just asking me to try: to make the baby steps, of making ROOM, in my heart, for healing and moving forward.
And, in moving out Pride and Christmas grief. I was making room for other things like love and healing and laughter.
I had my eyes on what I THOUGHT would happen, what I WANTED to happen. I had already pre-determined the outcome for the weekend. I did not allow for unexpected blessings and giftings. In my mind, I was going to that hotel for some healing, dammit. I was going to do this. Life and God was going to do that and I would go home, refreshed.
I spent two hours realizing how much of a moron I had been to folks who truly did care for me. I enjoyed coffee and honest conversation and friendship all from home. I made peace with the fact mom was no longer with me, in body, but was with me in spirit.
Yea, she passed Christmas morning. No getting around that. Yea, I missed her. Will ALWAYS miss her. Yet, I was sitting, alone, drinking coffee and enjoying my spot. It was quiet and I was enjoying today was Jesus’ birthday. Happy birthday, Lord! Felt good to be enjoying His day, WITH mom, not mourning for her. She up in Heaven, kicking it with Jesus, on His Birthday, no less. Awesome.
Having made room, for life and God, to enter my heart and move around some things, such an awesome experience. Such a gift given. One that was received, gladly.
We get in our own way, at times, don’t we? There are things that life and God want to help us heal from. Things that forever get in our way. Yet, we allow pride or grief or anger or fear or all manner of things to keep us from being honest. Being honest, with ourselves. Being honest, with Life. Being honest, with God.
We allow those things to keep us hidden and broken. Life and God wants us free. Wants us free to have an abundant and full life.
God does NOT desire for us to continue beating ourselves up for things we have done or not done. It does NOT please Him that we punish ourselves for not being able to move beyond that, to try this, to go here or not go there.
Life just wants us to try, to make room. God just wants us to try, to make room. Wants us to make room by emptying out those things that are holding us back: fear, anger, doubt, pride, hurt, pain. I could go on and on and on and on.
I write these words, I go first, in hopes that others may find the courage to go, next. Time to make room, beloved. For, life. For, God. For, loved ones. For, YOU. Especially, you. And, time to make room WITHOUT expectation of what Life and God will fill you with. That’s for them, to know. It’s just for you, to do.
Time to do the hard thing: be honest with life, be honest with God. Mostly, be honest, with YOU. As you open gifts, allow Life and God to give you the ultimate gift of giving back you, as you give yourself to them.
Life is short. Time to make room.
making room with you and praying for you til you come,