A friend of mine's neice wrote this poem. I'm not entirely sure what it's titled, but the one I got was:
Twas three weeks til Christmas - an Advent poem
Twas three weeks til Christmas, and all through my house,
Nothing was ready, including my spouse.
The gifts are not bought, the decorations still packed,
And all I could think of was what I still lacked.
I’ve cards and letters to write, and laundry to do,
And cooking and cleaning and avoiding the flu,
And traffic is bad, and airlines are worse,
Not to mention the dozen new songs to rehearse.
There are parties, and sweaters, sales in the stores!
Snow to be shoveled and bills to ignore,
Guests coming early and work deadlines late,
The feeling there’s rather too much on my plate.
Then there’s the news, all sadness and crime,
And war, and economy and political slime,
And homeless and jobless and hopeless galore,
And the niggling doubt that we need something more.
I need a space of quiet retreat,
A chance to remember what makes us complete.
And I know its not jewelry or candy or toys,
But how do I block out all of this noise?
How do I hear that one lonely call
Up out of the wild, a message for all?
That somehow beyond the mountains of debt,
Through the valleys of fear and doubt and regret,
Past the culture that claims to know our whole worth
And tallies the cost to our death from our birth,
Beyond a world hell bent on a wealthy façade
To silence the voice crying out for our God,
Against the Caesar of power and the titan of greed,
The warmonger’s profit and progress’ speed,
Lies the whisper “repentance”, a confession-command
From the crazy-man John in the old holy land.
A call to remember our sins and repent
To open our hearts to the love that was spent,
And urge us to dismantle the wealthy façade
So that all may see the Salvation of God.
Today I was overwhelmed at all the demands upon me, I just wanted to escape. I wanted to escape from my children, from the holiday pressure, from my bad attitude and lowly spirit. I wanted that "space of quiet retreat." With the pressures of making the holiday special, perfect, or fun, feeling guilty that I'm too tired to do all (or anything) that I want and wondering what memories are my children building this Christmas, this spoke to me in many lines. I know what the holiday is about, and what it isn't about, but it's hardly my focus. I have been feeling like I'm drowning in "traditions" that I'm too tired to accomplish. And through it all, wondering, "where is my joy," "where is my thankfulness for the gift that was given to me, the Salvation of God?"
After reading this again today, I sat in a dark room, alone, and cried. And cried and cried. All that is not what God expects from me. It's what I expect from me. The joy in this is, I get that. Not that I am lifting the burden yet off myself. But at least I know I can.