Friday, December 25, 2009

I am not my own, for I have been made new

Warning: Read at your own risk. This is a heart post, and is also rather long. :-) Sorry

I had a really interesting Christmas. A really amazing and interesting Christmas.

I've been having a mini identity crisis lately. Some may be aware of this, others may not. Regardless, I've been doing some me work lately trying to get to the bottom of why my joy seems to have been stripped away lately.

It's been tough. There have been some tears. And most of the time I felt completely alone on my self-exploration journey, kinda like Jesus wasn't right beside me even though he was the whole time. It was a practice to tell myself every day that he was right next to me.

So I went into Christmas week with a somewhat heavy heart. I had a mom melt down earlier last week like I said. I also watched the movie "Julie and Julia," which was adorable. It made me want to blog right away (go figure), but it also made my heart ache a bit. It's the story of one women's self discovery through cooking. I've been doing a lot of self discovery lately, not so much with cooking, but with music, coffee, friends, and of course some Disney. And yet I felt as though no one saw. Nobody saw that I have been growing and discovering this new found thing and joy called life. And life on my terms, not just how other tell me I should live it.

This brings us to Christmas Eve. Every Christmas Eve for 50+ years my dad's side of the family gets together and celebrates with food, an appearance of Santa, and of course the infamous Kris Kringle gift exchange where you must make a gift for the person who's name you draw. The gifts always are amazing, ranging from absolutely crazy hilarious to extremely touching. There are many tears, both from laughter, happiness, and bittersweet memories. It's my favorite day of the whole year. Literally, the whole year. It never fails.

So I went to Christmas Eve excited, but also nervous. My Kris Kringle gift for my aunt this year was not the best. I've been tight on money so I made her a necklace and that was it. I felt pretty stingy, but I worked hard on it and I hoped she liked it.

Santa came and went. I saw my little cousin nearly jump out of her chair when Santa (played by my brother) called her name and invited her to sit on his lap. Amazing. And then came Kris Kringle. My family really went all out this year. There were mosaic trays, amazing Beatles and dog paintings, medals displayed in cases, and a doggie winter wonderland.

And then my Aunt got her present, my other aunt (not the one I made the necklace for.) It's usually traditional for a little speech to go along with the gift, so Aunt K (the gift giver) got up for her speech. She started with, "Everyone has to say with me, I do believe in faries. I do!" I got really excited. I'm a fairy nut. Finally someone has seen the discovery of my childhood lost.

But the gift wasn't for me. It was for my Aunt M. She has a new fairy garden in her backyard (which is amazing btw.) Nobody even realized that I love fairies. I was so excited for Aunt M, but it was still hard feeling like she got the gift that was made for me. That was until my Uncle got up.

Now I love my entire family very much, but in a family as large as mine, you can't help but be a bit closer to some people than others. The uncle that had my name was an uncle that I love dearly, but probably didn't know very well, so when I found out he had my name, I was expecting something very generic, you know....awesome gift basket full of candles and notebooks and other "collegie" stuff. Stuff that was very fun, but...generic. It happened a little differently than that.

He pulled me up next to him and started his speech. "Now Hannah, is it true that every little girl wants to be a Princess?" "Yes indeed" "Well then Hannah, tonight you are a princess" and he pulled out a crown. I laughed and put the crown on and he handed me my present. A happy meal box. I opened it up and started pulling out all sorts of stuff. I laughed at some, all stuff that he had found by looking at my facebook and seeing what I liked. Post-it notes, a little wind-up buterfly, a dancer charm, a heart charm with a crown, and a few gift cards to my favorite store and Mc-Ds. Good job uncle! Right? I mean, not many people know about my obsession with Happy Meals. Only a select few (although the population is growing by the day.) Oh, but just wait....he wasn't done yet. Not by far.

He then pulled out a framed picture. I took one look at it and lost it. I mean, completely lost it bawling in front of 30 people lost it. Even typing this out now I'm tearing up. It's a framed picture of the heading of my blog, you know, the picture of me at the top of the screen with the script about Neverland over it? I couldn't believe my uncle had taken time to look at this little old blog. I didn't know anyone cared to investigate me that much, to dig into what made me tick. Like seriously, this blog isn't the easiest to find. He had to really be looking, to really seeking me out and really trying to know me...not the surface layer me, but the real me.

And then, to top it all off, he started bringing out bags, three to be exact. Three huge Disney bags. Three huge Disney bags full of Disney Princess figurines. Plastic toy figurines. 55 total. Seriously? 55! Can you even comprehend the volume of 55 Disney Princess figurine toys? I got toys for Christmas!

My uncle took the time to see me. To truly see me and know me and love me for exactly what he saw. He could have focused on the easy surface stuff. My obsession with coffee, my music, ect. But he didn't. He kept pulling back layers and found the little girl at the very heart of me that wants to be seen, even though she's scared of what people may think. And he picked that little girl up, put a crown on her head, and filled her heart with love. And assured her that yes, she is known, and she is loved.

I cried into his shoulder for a good 30 seconds before I could contain myself enough to say thank you. Never again will I underestimate the power of being known and being sought out. Never will I underestimate the feeling of being pursued, seeked out, and loved. Never.

I talked to my aunt after and she was crying. It was the aunt that had gotten all the fairy stuff, my kindred spirit. She told me I was truly a princess, and that I was known and seen by my family. I told her I felt guilty cause I felt like I didn't deserve it, but she merely brushed that aside saying I deserved it all and that the abundance that was lavished on me was completely deserved.

I don't open up to my family. There is no way they could have known that this was exactly what I needed right this second in my life, that this was the kind of assurance that I needed in my life. It was craziness. The only explanation is Jesus, and his loving me through my amazingly awesome family, especially my amazingly awesome uncle.

And there is a pain in being exposed like I have been, but there is a huge freedom too. There is a freedom that I never want to give up. Yeah, I worry a bit about what people will think of me for getting a huge amount of toys for Christmas. Even my brothers couldn't believe that I actually took the toys out of the packages and played with them. I think they expected me to just save them. But what's the good of toys if you can't enjoy them?

Needless to say, I'm happy...but not cause of the presents. Those are secondary to the real present, the present of being seen, known, and appreciated for exactly who I am. So thank you family for a Christmas that will never be forgotten.

Meteor Shower - Owl City


  1. I was looking at your blog trying to get a feel for what kind of photos I should do, and while reading this post, we are SO similar its unreal!

    I love your interests and how you write! That would have to be the best present ever! I love Happy Meals, Magic, Wonder, and of Course Disney Princesses!! Keep on being a beautiful person, it seems like you are even though I don't know you that well lol

    Thanks for the wonderful posts and i'll continue to follow them long after our shoot is over :D