Wednesday, December 3, 2014

It's Almost Christmas

Christmas is coming.
Usually around mid-November, I get a sense of giddiness, and I can't stop twirling and playing loud Christmas music to keep the jolly going.
Last night, it snowed. And it was beautiful.
for the first moment in my life, I don't want it to be Christmas.

Our family has been on an incredibly, unbelievable journey.  I shake my head because I still don't understand what is going on.
We have been homeless for almost 7 weeks.
We have been fortunate enough to find lovely friends, who love us and love GOD enough to take us into their beautifully, warm homes and feed us, let us use up their water and beds, and keep us company.
Through weird circumstances, we have been unable to move into our new home.  We thought that the 'T's' were crossed etc, but there are issues with the title search and the fact that the driveway goes through a cemetery.
Don't ask.
But we are running out of time. More decisions need to be made. Where do we go next? What should we do? How am I supposed to access our winter clothes which were mistakenly packed inside a transport truck which is currently sitting in a locked yard? How am I supposed to provide a loving, comfortable environment for my son, who has been very patient and kind through this whole thing, and my husband who works two jobs and has to start studying for a very important exam? And to top it all off, my best friend has stopped talking to me.

I have never felt so much ... lack of control.

Oh, I know GOD has this. I know we are tight in His grip, that He's overseeing all of our circumstances. I know that we can get through this, that it just might be uncomfortable. I am trying not to romanticize this tragedy, wondering how I can get away with not buying winter boots and snow pants, because I know we have perfectly good ones already.  I am trying to keep myself together and slow down and watch the snow fall, trying to marvel at the beauty of the world, at the birthday of Jesus.

Facts for me to keep my brain on:
1- I know that regardless of whether I have winter clothes, it sure is beautiful out.
2- Regardless of how cold it is, right now I have a comfortable, warm bed. And running water.
3- That I am reminded daily, how hubby and I are a team. And that's a big deal. Team Kelly!
4- That my child is way more laid back than I.  That's embarrassing.
5- That in this house, besides my son, I am the shortest. Which means I stand on a lot of chairs.
6- For the first time, in a long time, I am living in a state of need.
7- I'm ok.

Isn't that funny? How despite everything changing, I am ok.  Deep down, I am ok.  Obviously I should not be comparing myself to others, because others have it so much worse than I.  And I am not looking for sympathy or invites to my pity party, far from it.
I can wait for a winter coat. I have sweaters and I can steal hubby's big Carhart if I need to. My son can maybe borrow a friend's pants for now.
I can even buy a dinky little spruce tree in a pot and we can decorate it with foil origami animals. Even though my heart hurts because I had visions of a decorated mantle and using all new Christmas lights I had purchased for this new home, which I have named, Pemberley. (It was a disco ball that shone multi-coloured lights all over the outside of the house y'all!)
I can find a rental home, if need be, living where we do not want to - because I have the ability to make it a 'home'.

So I guess what I'm mentioning, my dear friends - maybe we should take this opportunity to be grateful for what we have.
At the beginning of the year, I chose my word. My word was 'grateful'.  I focused on what I was grateful, and I think that the 'gratitude journal' that was mentioned a few posts ago, is a brilliant idea. I am going to finish out my year of 'grateful', with a list of 'gratefulness'.  (did that sentence even make sense?)
I think if we all look back at our year of living, through the trials and awfulness, through the fresh strawberries and changing leaves, of deaths of loved one, of births of new beginnings, of successes and failures, of good company and losing best friends over disagreements and weirdness, we can see the moments that we should be grateful.  And we can see the moments where GOD held us tightly, encouraged us to call him 'Daddy', and wiped our tears and laughed at our triumphs and silliness.

I wish all of you a Merry Christmas, and I pray that all of you can see, feel and taste and smell the awesomeness of the season, regardless of your circumstances. And if anyone wants an origami ornament for their tree, send me a message. My son would be thrilled to comply. He can even fold lobsters.

Jenn Kelly is a writer who is slowly working on a masterpiece..ish. She is currently homeless and still hasn't lost her cool. This is her family Christmas photo - because there is always chaos and silliness.  If you want to contact her, you can reach her at You know if you want a Christmas card or origami..


  1. Hang in there Jenn. I have been where you are, but in much worse of a situation. Somehow you survive, and stay alive. I have had misfortune for a number of years off and on. Somehow God gets us through. I know the terrible displacement you feel, but when it's all over you will realize you don't need all that you wanted, and in the end you won't want all that you thought you needed. Life is crazy, but we can always use our experiences to help others when we get back on our feet. God Bless you Jenn and your family. I wish you well this Christmas season. My prayers are for you.

  2. Love that Christmas photo, Jen, and the way you can laugh together in the midst of all that is happening--or not happening! So good that you have good friends who have provided you with a place to stay. There is a poem I am trying to remember for you called 'Take the long view'--in other words, in a year's time, you will look back on all this and be amazed at how God got you through it all. It will just be a dim memory as you sit comfortably in your own home! God bless and may you have a wonderful Christmas together. I'd love some of that origami but Australia's a bit far to send it!

  3. Jenn, a fabulous, though-provoking post. Thank you for sharing your heart and challenging us, the readers, to be thankful. May you be blessed with such a special Christmas, and may 2015 hold new beginnings and new adventures for you and your beautiful family.

  4. Your story is what Christmas is all about: people reaching out, coming together, sharing the joys we have. I'm happy to share your post. Your faithful and strong spirit is an inspiration to all!

  5. Wow Jenn, so sorry you're having to go through this, and at Christmas time too. Yet I sense you're making good lemonade out of the lemons and creating many beautiful memories that you'll treasure in the future. Happy Christmas!