Even when

I am an anticipator. I like to anticipate. I do not like surprises (unless they sparkle and come in a little blue box). I like to plan and look ahead and imagine what the end result will be. One of the negative aspects of being an anticipator, is that the end result doesn’t always live up to the imagining.

Too often the dream isn’t the reality. The day might start with a rainbow but culminate in a hail storm, with you white knuckling the drive home. Or it might begin with perfectly obedient children and end with you wondering which child you might accidentally on purpose leave at school for the weekend. The dream may look like a beautifully crafted photo book, but the reality might result in a need for marriage counseling when your spouse attempts to edit all of your hard work. 

This time of year lays heavy on the imagination. We breathe in and breathe out anticipation. The fireside and fairy lights cast a glow on this season, tricking us into sugarplum visions when the reality might look more like fruitcake. I know this, and still I dream, I long for, I anticipate.

Even when the gift didn’t get a cheer.

Even when the family photo is blurry.
Even when a loved one feels disappointed.

I’ve learned that even when the vision doesn’t look exactly like I’d hoped, it is still worth the dreaming because grace will cover the rest. I encourage you this Christmas to dream big, but embrace grace. Wrap it up in sparkly paper and a white satin bow, place it under the tree, and anticipate that you will both need to give and receive it.

Even when…