Tag Archives: Christmas

we love each other too much to let each other go – “to be with you”

Tonight was family Christmas on my mother’s side. Each year we celebrate by exchanging sock gifts for a person we have drawn the year before. We all come together open gifts, spend time together, eat cheese and veggie dips and soups for dinner. As a child these celebrations were magical times of gift opening and waiting in anticipation for my turn. We always went in order from youngest to oldest which meant that  I was always number four (the first girl). At that time Grandma filled our socks and we each opened our two presents from Grandma and Grandpa. Since we have started the name draw instead of Grandma and Grandpa filling each sock the person who drew our name does so.  This means that each year the presents are unique to that gift giver and it is (supposed to be) a surprise to who had us. I’m much older so I’m not breathless with anticipation to open my sock gifts but I do look forward to it eyeing my sock and trying to gauge who it’s from and what is in it. I like to watch the person who I had shopped for open their sock and discover what I found for them.

This year was a little different. Our gathering was smaller than normal as my family more than twenty-five is scattered far and wide but we still held our sock exchange, laughed at the little girls, admired baby Kinely who is less than a week old and enjoyed each other’s company. I was also blessed to have my Grandmom (my father’s mother) here from Denver. She joined our gathering and I loved knowing that many of the people I loved were in the same room or represented by the socks they had sent.

One thing that has become apparent to me this year as the family has continued to scatter is that it takes work to be a family. Especially, an extended family. It takes dedication. Love, yes but also dedication, a dash of stubbornness and a huge amount of commitment. When you live far from someone you love it is easy to let a relationship go. I’ve watched my father work to continue his relationship with my Grandmom, calling every night even when they may not have lots to talk about. It works. They are close and they have a bond. Without those phone calls and the decision to communicate the relationship could easily have been lost. And now for the first time as my mother’s side of the family begins to truly scatter it marks a change and it requires something new from all of us. A new form of loyalty, love and effort. But I have no doubt we have it in us. We love each other too much to let each other go.

And now….my normal Sunday song. This songs means a lot to me this year as I am home for the first time in four years and my grandmother from Denver who I have not seen in years joins us for Christmas. It is called “To Be With You”.

We come in from our travels
Lay our gifts beneath the tree
my mothers in the kitchen
the parade is on tv
my father’s with his father
their setting out some toys
the kids all want the train he’s had
since he was a boy

to be with you
to be with you
i love this time of year
it always brings me here
to be with you

I fall in with my sisters
just like when we were young
my grandma holds the baby
she rocks and softly hums
we gather round the table
we close our eyes and sing
Praise God from whom all blessings flow

to be with you
to be with you
i love this time of year
it always brings me here
to be with you

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

We set our milk and cookies
the kids are quick to bed
they know St. Nick is coming
and nothing need be said
we gather by the fire
reminiscing by it’s light
the kids will be up early
but it’s hard to say goodnight

to be with you
to be with you
i love this time of year
it always brings me here
to be with you




Filed under faith, family, Hope, life events, music, New Life, Recovery, Sunday Songs

“the great awakening”

Today for my Sunday song I chose “The Great Awakening” by Leeland. In this last week before Christmas I thought it was a fitting song.


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“you gotta get up it’s Christmas morning”

I’m in Washington DC probably having a very unconventional Christmas. I can say from experience as I write this before I leave that it will be hard. It will be my third Christmas away from home. I’m on my way to healing, yes, but at times like these it is a painful process. Having said that, this is my favorite Christmas song. Please enjoy and Merry Christmas!!!!

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“do they know it’s Christmas” – Sunday Song

Each year my family makes a Christmas CD. We each pick four of five of our favorite songs from that year (no duplicates from the year before) and compile them on one  CD. We then cruely make our family guess whose song is whose. I always like to pick songs that aren’t traditional and have some sort of meaning to them (hint family hint). One year I chose “Do They  Know It’s Christmas” by BandAid. If you want to know more about BandAid feel free to read this article.

I wanted to share this song with you as it is still one of my favorites. Enjoy it and these last few days before Christmas!

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i could have had a baby…

Yesterday (ironically also Thanksgiving) was my nine month anniversary of being in recovery. Nine months. Almost a year and long enough to have a lot of things change in my life (one was not having a baby but you know it was physically possible…). I struggled with whether to count this day as an anniversary. I have been struggling lately. Not with eating disorder symptoms. Surprisingly, those are more than under control. The thoughts have intensified but not my actions. I have been struggling quite severely with depression and the actions that (for me) come with that.

I spent some time last week in the hospital to be mentally and emotionally stabilized. . I was blessed enough to meet a new friend, L ,and have my new doctor following my progress so while there were many ‘bad’ parts of the hospital stay I did gain some things as well. However, it didn’t fix everything. There really is no one thing that can make everything okay. That can make me feel happy. That can make me feel secure. That can make therapy easier. That can make life easier.

I have to choose right now. Choose whether to invest in life and to make an effort even when life is hard. I suppose this is where I have an opportunity to do things differently than I have in the past. In the past when I hit this point I would already be in the depths of my eating disorder and headed towards long-term treatment. And while treatment has been mentioned it is not a long stay but a short stay in a trauma intensive program that can help stabilize me. The difference also is that right now I have a choice whether or not I think it will be beneficial. It hasn’t been presented as a threat or a life-saving measure but simply as an option of feeling more stable faster and to speed up my healing process. I am trying to keep an open mind but I have agreed with Beth that as long as I can remain mentally stable I will stay at home through Christmas. I need this holiday. I haven’t had a ‘real’ Christmas in two years. I need the normalcy. I need my family. I need Christmas trees with real lights. I need Christmas morning and a chance to celebrate Christ’s birth.

So, I did struggle with recognizing my nine months in recovery. I am in a lapse but not a relapse. I have picked myself back up from mistakes. I feel right now like I am in the depths of despair but I’m trying. Truly trying. Talking to my parents. Working with Beth. Finding things to look forward to and committing to safety even when I don’t want to. I recognize that I could fall into a relapse quickly but I am doing everything in my power not to.

And this is different. In years past, I would have given in to my desire to self-destruct. But this year I am recognizing my will to live and using this as strength to keep going even on the days where I feel like doing nothing except crying or laying in bed (actually the couch since I seem to have made this my bed for awhile…that’s an issue for another time).

But most importantly I am still making decisions that reflect recovery.  And I want recovery more than anything. I want to be happy. I want to move about in the world freely. I want to be free.


Filed under coping skills, depression, eating disorder, life events, New Life, PTSD, Recovery, survivor, the past, trauma

sunday song – Emmanuel/Little Town by Amy Grant

I’m getting ready head to Wichita for the next three days. Shona and I are packing up my knitting, craft supplies and plan to get some major Christmas gift work in. In that spirit the Sunday Song is a Christmas tune. My family starts playing Christmas music November 1st and this is my all time favorite Christmas song.

Emmanuel/Little Town by Amy Grant




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