It’s funny. I took these photos just a few days after Christmas. These beautiful cards I’d purchased long before Advent, so proud of myself for being prepared and ready to savor the build up to Christmas. I was going to hang them from my mantle, taking one down to read to the girls each day, spending time reflecting and re-focusing what often feels like the craziest of weeks on the calendar each year.
But days after Christmas there they sat, still wrapped in the priority mail envelope, tucked in the windowsill of my kitchen, with the bills and the holiday cards and the other reminders of things I needed to do but neatly cleared off my kitchen island and temporarily out of my mind.
My heart just wasn’t in it this year.
I couldn’t quite put a finger on what it was. But I also knew it was coming from a number of things weighing on my mind.
But once the dust settled around Christmas I woke up one morning with the thought that I could give myself a do over. That the spirit of this season wasn’t confined to the weeks before it arrived. That these things were meant to spill over into the coming year. Yes, the decorations are packed away and the tree is outside playing scratching post to the barn cats but I could still press the rewind button for myself.
And that’s what I’ve been doing. In little teeny tiny steps I’ve been giving myself a do over. Revisiting the things I wanted to read, still taking the time I wanted to set aside even though the calendar tells me Advent is done.
But today, I’m looking at these photographs and words and they are filled with a completely different meaning. One that I would not have discovered during Advent had I hung them from my mantle and had my perfectly put together plan. One I would not have grasped had these been tucked away in the attic with the decorations. Because I need these words more now than I did then.
Just days ago we found out that my oldest sister has cancer. Stage 4. It was sudden and not what anyone expected. It is strange and surreal. Life is suddenly about family conference calls. And sitting in the driveway sending teary texts to your sister. And frantically planning a last-minute trip, just us girls, my mom. Somewhere warm* where we can savor each other and maybe temporarily ignore what’s to come. And waiting. Lots of waiting.
And while I was silently beating myself up for what I took to be my disorganized Advent, God knew. Maybe I floated through those weeks feeling untethered and unfocused, but today His words have found me, grounded me and encouraged me. Exactly where I am. Where we are. He is here.
Friends, I’m just throwing this out there. I am searching unsuccessfully for somewhere to escape with my sisters and mom. Somewhere warm, most likely Florida for the shorter plane ride. Somewhere private, with a warm pool for her to swim in–something she loves. If you have any suggestions, have stayed somewhere that you loved, or have a recommendation, would you shoot me a message? Under the circumstances we are trying to turn this around in the next 2-3 weeks, tops. And we’re coming up empty. I’m grateful for any ideas. xo. We found a place on the Barrier Islands, just what we were looking for. Thank you all for the emails and messages. xox.
10 comments on “Here I am”
I think you should look at Palm Springs, CA. Beautiful weather, low key atmosphere and loads of private homes to rent with great pools and lovely yards to enjoy one another.
Very sorry to hear about your sister. Cancer sucks.
Have you checked VRBO? Lots of rental houses in Florida have pools, so you might find something there.
Something like this: https://www.vrbo.com/3994229ha
This one is a little pricey though.
I was just thinking about you when your post popped up in Google. So sorry to hear about your sister. Please know that you, your sister and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Sorry I don’t have any Florida recommendations- I hope something comes through for you.
I am so sorry to read this news about your sister. Have you looked into Home Away. I have friends who live in Melbourne, Florida and they absolutely love it. If I was going visiting Florida I would want to check it out.
Oh, Molly, I am so sorry to hear this. It sounds like you have found a place. I hope it is a wonderful getaway for all of you. Sending lots of love and keeping you and your sister in my prayers.
Oh Molly. So sorry to read this. The love and support for your sister comes forth strongly through your words and your faith. I love that your family is gathering around your sister and not just to support her, but to build new memories. Family is so important. My sister was my rock when I had cancer. Thinking about you all and wishing you the best.
Molly, I don’t know you except through blogging and instagram (and our mutual friend Hannah) but please know that I’m praying for you and your family as you maneuver these days. May they be filled with much grace and love and time together.
oh Molly, I am sending so much love your way right now. Wrapping up your entire family in it and putting my prayers out there hoping they find their way to you. Please let me know if there is ANYTHING, anything at all I can do.
Just reading this, and holding your family in my thoughts. Peace and light.