For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Came to my Couch--The Gifts

Last I saw you it was Christmas Eve and I was propped up on my couch trying to keep my head from exploding. The kids had gone with Chris and Dawna to their children's home for Christmas. It was quiet, and I was amazed by Christmas coming to my couch. I was dozing off when I got a text from WonderBoy. They were making crème brulee, and he was getting to be the torch bearer. He thought this was fabulous.

Then he texted that he and Anna had gotten gifts, which was so very kind of their host family, but somehow, it didn't surprise me at all with this family.

Then came the text:
"People love you."

Me? He and Anna had been the one who had gotten gifts.

"You got gifts, too."

What? But I wasn't there. I was sure the gifts were think-ahead-just-in-case gifts, sort of generic so no one would be without gifts, especially the kids.

I was wrong.

The gifts were thought-filled gifts picked out just for us by people who have never met us, only know us through their parents. They were personal, and if crying wouldn't have made my sinus pain worse, I would have been a mess.

Instead, the kids came home with a box of gifts and yummies, and we sat them on our undecorated table to open Christmas morning.

Except, I cheated.

I peaked into the bag that held mine and saw the envelope, so I pulled out the card and read it.

"We want you to know that you are cared about and love and not forgotten. Keep the faith and keep hanging on. If you ever need anything or just want to talk, we are here. (phone number included)"

If there had been nothing else in that bag, the words of someone who understood would have been gift enough. Kayla had been a single mom after her husband died. Ravi had been a single dad. They know. And they know the perfect gifts.

Painting canvasses and art kits for the kids and a spa-in-a-bag for me. Chocolate, hot chocolate to drink, shower gel, fabulous smelling plug in fragrance, and other goodies. Perfect gifts. Personal gifts.

And there we sat, on the couch, with our perfect personal gifts, with the yummy goodies, and phone numbers from folks who are available to sit at the dentist's office while I have work done or take the kids to a fun place while I sleep or who think about us, understand, and will listen just whenever.

Then the kids made lunch while I gave a few pointers.

My brother came, not because he was getting gifts but to eat lunch and play games.

I took a few naps.

A few friends called and talked to me since I couldn't talk to them.

Pop, Rob's dad, called, which is always a joy. I didn't get to talk to him, but I love that he called, nonetheless.

WonderBoy made the comment to me last week that he thought maybe this Christmas--the low-key, stress free, enjoying the wonder of it--is more what God had in mind than what we normally do. Well, let's see.

A hurting lump that has nothing to offer, whose plans have gone awry, who can't get out to anyone but needs someone to come in to her, who is Throw in some love, perfect gifts from someone we didn't know, invitation to a feast, new experiences, new relationships. Family.

Craziness. But then, God is the King of crazy Christmases. In fact, this whole craziness of gifts to people with nothing to give but having a lot of needs was His idea. So, yeah, I think this is His idea of what Christmas should be.

And it happened right here on my couch.


  1. "A hurting lump that has nothing to offer, whose plans have gone awry, who can't get out to anyone but needs someone to come in to her, who is Throw in some love, perfect gifts from someone we didn't know, invitation to a feast, new experiences, new relationships. Family."
    Do you realise how much this sounds like what I suspect Mary might have felt like at the very first Christmas? I'm pretty sure it wasn't her idea to have her baby far away from her family, in a stable - her plans had definitely gone awry! She needed help from strangers, there were gifts, shepherds arrived unannounced... LOTS of new experiences, and definitely family.
    I'm glad that your Christmas was one that you will remember as one when you felt cared for and loved... even though it wasn't your original plans!

    1. I read your words about how Mary must have felt, and my whole body quivered. No. I had not considered that, but to think of my prayer, "I need Christmas to come to me," and to think Mary might have felt and thought the same things...for me, for the Lord to bless me with that...experience in such a personal way...another lavish gift. Thank you for pointing that out to me. So powerful to me. Truly, thank you.