The week after Thanksgiving and Christmas are always difficult for me. The joyful busyness of traveling to see family somehow feels so long ago. The story-telling and laughter fade into distant memories as I muster up enough strength to get back into my normal routine.
I’m on autopilot as I catch up on laundry and begrudgingly fix meals for my family again after being spoiled with a week-long of homemade cooking by someone other than me. My introverted personality wants to hibernate as I catch up on lost sleep and ponder the fun times had with extended family just a few days ago.
In hopes to continue that holiday spirit, I pull out the Christmas decorations immediately after our Thanksgiving travels. And I keep up the garland and twinkling lights well into the new year because I need something to liven up the dreary winter months after the holidays.
My toddler son and I quickly get into a routine of turning on all the Christmas lights in the early morning when it’s still dark outside. The school busses begin their neighborhood rounds in the dark winter sky which announces the start of a brand new day.
Still on autopilot, I make a pot of coffee and pour a sippy cup of milk for my son. Then I turn on my old, beat-up radio/CD/iPod player to my favorite Christmas station where I will keep it all day so we have continuous holiday cheer.
Only today, my radio is on the fritz and no matter how much I twist and turn the wires and antenna, the Christmas cheer I so desperately need sounds more like a fuzzy, blizzard of muffled chaos.
“Urg! Stupid piece of junk!” I mutter under my breath, quickly turning to see my toddler son looking straight up at me.
Great! Another regretful phrase of mine I will likely hear coming from his mouth later today.
I rummage through old CDs and find one of my favorite Christmas albums, Josh Groban’s Noel. Thankfully, the CD player always seems to cooperate with me so I turn up the Christmas tunes in hopes it will drown out my grumpy, post-holiday blues.
Now that the music is playing, I proceed through my morning routine back on autopilot. I sit in my favorite armchair to enjoy a few sips of coffee before my son begs me to play with him.
The second song on the album begins playing over the speakers, “Little Drummer Boy”.
The acoustic guitar with the drums lightly playing in the background. It always catches my attention. Then the baritone voice subtlety and beautifully makes an entrance, and my ears are fully captured in the music that’s unfolding before me.
I’m not really a fan of this song or anything, but there’s something about this particular version. The way the song unfolds and the crescendo toward the middle when the baritone voice becomes a tenor as he sings,
“I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give a King, pa rum pum pum pum,
Rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum
Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?
I play my drum for Him
So… to… honor… Him!”
And then something unexpected happens. Tears begin streaming down my face. All of a sudden. Just pouring out like I’d been holding them back for too long.
Tears of complete and utter joy mixed with a bit of sadness as I realize the absolute imperfection of my stubborn-self.
And then joy again. The unexpected kind. Those out-of-the-blue moments where life feels like the celebration God meant for it to be all along.
The happy and sad tears as I feel God lifting the burden that I unknowingly was gripping onto so tightly.
The complete surrender because I just can’t operate on autopilot anymore.
And just like that, those stubborn post-holiday blues are lifted as I lift up my hands in worship.
My son pauses his play as he notices my tears. I explain to him that these are happy tears because Mommy loves this song so much.
He smiles and says, “Mommy love this song?!”
“Yes, Mommy loves this song! Do you know what it’s about?”
“Jesus!” He says proudly!
I’m continually amazed by my son’s intuitive nature. At his very young age, he always seems to know that anything of great importance that can make Mommy cry such happy tears MUST be about Jesus!
I hug my precious boy and tell him how smart he is and how much Mommy, and more importantly, Jesus, love him!
No longer on autopilot and no longer feeling those stubborn winter blues, I set the song to repeat as we proceed to dance around the room in worship to our Lord and Savior. My son grabs his toy drum and we play, sing, dance, and giggle together. All in worship to Him!
So to honor Him!