This Advent season was full of messiness, gifts, surprises, joy, pain, laughter, tears, and many feelings.
Reflecting over it, I am grateful for the gift of friends and the kind ways that they stepped up and in to help me through the turbulence.
Meaningful moments this season included a friend dropping off a balloon for me and coloring books for the girls one afternoon as I napped.
This balloon symbolizes being seen, heard, and understood, as this friend and I had met in the Dollar Tree earlier. We exchanged hugs and heart checks and emotional temperatures. She gets the fact that it is hard for me to stay engaged and easy to want to just emotionally float away.
We laughed about the helium-filled balloons clustered in a cage in the corner of the store, all neatly contained. She said she would reach up and pull me down if I started to float away. She asked about recovery plans for my heart after all of the holiday hooplah has passed.
So when I woke from my nap to the news that a friend had stopped by with a balloon and coloring books, I knew.
I am anchored and tethered by love. I can be present. I am held securely.
Another friend called asking when she could deliver a gift. She made it clear that there were no expectations on her end, but that she had something for me. Was now a good time?
She stopped over, and I pulled this custom-made mug from a gift bag. My throat caught. So much about this gift was right and got me. To think that she had planned it out and had it made was almost too much for my heart to handle, but I practiced receiving the gift with grace.
So many more moments presented themselves, helping me through.
Food showed up.
Texts lit up my phone.
Thank you, Friends. Each one of you. You know who you are and how you love and how much you mean. May you be blessed with rest and recovery and hope and joy as you process and ponder all of these things in YOUR hearts. You certainly are a blessing to MINE.