Our Cock-Eyed Christmas

This month I’m taking a break from my This Odd House writing project. Instead, I’m sharing a few little Christmas-related stories, linked up to “Tuesdays Unwrapped” at Emily Freeman‘s chattingatthesky.com. Go to her website to find the links to many more tales of Grace from her community. My plan is to pick back up on the This Odd House writing the first week in January and to post every Tuesday from then on. Feel free to keep me accountable.

In the  meantime, here is a little peek at Our Cock-Eyed Christmas.

Christmas tree

A couple of years ago we bought a new Christmas tree stand. The sign said that it would save our marriage, so of course it was worth the $29.95 investment. It is one of those foolproof sort of stands. After you cut down the tree, the gentlemen who bundle the tree also drill a hole up into the trunk. That way, when you get the tree home, all you have to do is slide the trunk down onto the stand. And presto—the tree stands straight and tall.

This year, however, the tree-bundling/hole-drilling gentlemen threw us a curve ball. They drilled a cock-eyed hole into the trunk of our tree. Of course, we had no idea, until we got the tree home, set it onto the stand, and saw…this.

It sat there then. Crooked and bare. For two days. While we regrouped and considered our options.

We thought about returning it. Strapping the tree back onto the car, driving it back to the farm, marching it up to the desk, and demanding our money back. We thought about trying to fix it. Taking our own drill and saw to the thing, but we envisioned all the ways we could make it worse.

So we choose option number three. Embrace it. Go with it. Let it be.

Maybe this is a new version of Worrall. Maybe now we are just that chill. Maybe now our marriage is just that strong.

And maybe this crooked tree fits in This Odd House. Perfectly. Maybe it is a suitable reminder of what 2013 has been about. Sharing more of our cock-eyed lives in this space. Leaning heavily into Brokenness. Acceptance. Surrender. Receiving a greater measure of Grace. And extending it.

Some friends have expressed concern. Understandably. The tree could fall over. The ornaments could break. It is a risky business. Existing so openly off-balance.

Then, as if a crooked tree wasn’t enough, our tree-topper gave us trouble as well. The LOML climbed the painting ladder and settled the illuminated star onto its precarious perch. No sooner had he returned the ladder to the basement, than the silly star swung open on its hinge. Yes, we left that as well. Is that a problem? Another irritation? Or an expression of Grace upon Grace shining down?

It’s all in the perspective.

star

 

How is God giving you a fresh perspective this Christmas season?

Categories: Holidays, Spiritual Growth

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12 Comments »

  1. This reminds me of Marcel Duchamp’s ‘The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even’. A fascinating, if not disturbing piece of artwork sandwiched between two panes of glass. When it was shattered in transport, Duchamp painstakingly repaired it and commented it was now complete. Should we all be so openminded, to believe that only through distruction and change can we become whole.

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    • Thanks, Alex. I do believe that we often have to be torn apart in order to be put back together in the way God intends. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about that. And when people ask me what “This Odd House” is about, the phrase I’ve landed on is this: “the role of brokenness is spiritual growth.”

      I hope the Powells have a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year!

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    • Thanks, Lori! I hear you on the brown and brittle stage. We have typically put the tree up on Thanksgiving weekend and then we spend Christmas Day with a very sad-looking tree. This year we couldn’t get to the tree farm until a week later. So I’m crossing my fingers that she may still look ok next week. Have a blessed Christmas!

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  2. Om Gosh – love this. We received a wedding present that we still display – broken. It was a small, framed verse of I Thes. 5:18 “In everything give thanks.” We were so disappointed when we opened the present to find the glass cracked straight across the whole thing… until we realized it had even greater meaning this way. It feels so good to live in an honest/broken way – true freedom in Christ – allowing him to be the perfection in our lives. And only Him. ❤ ~g

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