As I sit and begin writing this post I am finding it hard to believe that it’s Christmas Eve. The last time I posted on the blog I was having a difficult time getting into the holiday spirit. While it did take longer than usual to get motivated into enjoying the season, I am happy to report that I did shake out of my holiday rut. How did I do it? First of all, I watched one of my favorite movies, The Nativity Story, and I pulled out all of my Christmas CDs. Also, I was finding myself looking for ways to help others shake their holiday ruts.

The Nativity Story, released in 2007, was a gift to my husband a few years ago. The story begins in Nazareth, a town oppressed by the devastating taxation practices of King Herod, where a teenage girl, Mary, is told by her parents that they have arranged for her to marry Joseph. Distraught by the idea of marrying a man she hardly knows, Mary takes refuge in a grove to collect her thoughts. There, she is visited by an angel, who tells her that she has been chosen by God to bear his son. Despite the public scorn from an unwed pregnancy, together, Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem for a census mandated by the King. It is here, with a great celestial event revealing his prophecy, in a history-defining event, that Jesus is born.

While watching the story unfold, viewers experience the human drama that has never been shown on this level before. Sure, there are movies regarding the birth of Jesus; however, there is usually so much more included in the movie other than the birth. Each time I watch the movie I am moved beyond words. From the miracle of Mary carrying baby Jesus to the faith shown by both Mary, Joseph and their families, it proved how much love each of them had in their heart for God and his unborn son.

I found myself thinking if this was to happen today, how would I respond if I were Mary? Would I have the faith needed? Would society throw stones and cast me aside? What made their beliefs stronger? Would my husband and I have the stamina to walk the distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem and give birth to God’s son in a stable — with no assistance or medical intervention? What made Mary a stronger woman than me? When I gave birth to my daughter I was asking for an epidural as soon as my water broke. Mary was a teenager; I was an adult when I gave birth.  Joseph had so much love in his heart for Mary and for baby Jesus — a woman he barely knew and a baby who wasn’t his. What Mary and Joseph did for God and Jesus is beyond words — they took Jesus to Egypt to protect him and raised him as their own.

I recommend during this Christmas season you rent, buy or borrow The Nativity Story if you want to feel the power of love and witness a miracle that occurred more than 2,000 years ago in a place that is a very different place from what it is today. I promise you will be touched and even those who aren’t in the mood for Christmas will have a change of heart.

As I continued going through many of the Christmas activities and the more I thought about the commitment of Mary to God, I couldn’t help but think of how selfish I had become during the past few years.  God really asks so little of each of us. We have the 10 Commandments, which we are asked to follow.  How would we respond if an angel came to us with a message from God? Would we do as God asks? I would like to think that I would rely on my faith and do as God asks, but how do I know? While I don’t think I would be stoned or beaten if I did as God asks, who would support or even believe me? However, what an honor to be spoken to by an angel and more importantly to receive a message from God.

I also decided during the past few weeks that I was only going to listen to Christmas music since I had been teetering on becoming a bah-hum-bug before watching The Nativity Story. I also bought a new Christmas CD after reading another blog about getting into the Christmas spirit. The CD, by Michael Buble, is simply titled, Christmas. On this CD is a wonderful song titled Grown Up, which, again, for me puts things in perspective. Below are the lyrics:

Do you remember me?
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you with childhood fantasies
Well, I’m all grown-up now
Can you still help somehow?
I’m not a child, but my HEART still can dream

So here’s my lifelong wish
My grown-up Christmas list
Not for myself, but for a world in need
No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
Every man would have a friend
That right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list

What is this illusion called the innocence of youth?
Maybe only in that blind belief can we ever find the truth

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal our hearts
Every man would have a friend
That right would always win
And love would never end

This is my grown-up Christmas list
This is my only lifelong wish
This is my grown-up Christmas list

Why does this particular song speak to me? Maybe since we are all a kid at heart? Maybe since my life was torn apart and I know the pain that he sings about and many of the things that break our hearts or about being lonely. Or, quite simply, could it be about finding the truth?

These past few months have been interesting for me. I have done a lot of soul-searching and believe that I have found a doctor who is interested in helping me get better. I still deal with pain on a constant basis, but I feel both mentally and physically stronger. I have lost 20 pounds and feel that I have moved on with my life. Dr. Liar has become part of my past — not my present or my future. I feel better than I have in a long time and I know who to thank. Writing this blog has taught me that there are a lot of people hurting and are looking for happiness or just searching for something that is missing in their life. It is my goal to continue on this path with you.

And, as Christmas Eve comes to an end and more than 2,000 years ago a baby was asleep in a manger in a stable in Bethlehem with a beautiful star shining on him for all to see, was that THE perfect night? I believe so. Tonight, while things may not be perfect, I feel we all have much to be thankful for. Many of our military are home and families are together celebrating the first of many holidays together. Will things remain this way?  I believe that we can pray and hope and as Michael Buble sings — make it our Grown Up Christmas List that ‘right would always win and love would never end’. I believe, how about you?

©My Unplanned Life and www.shakinguplife.wordpress.com, 2011.


About mswd

I am an individual living with a spinal cord injury. How the injury occurred, how I found out how severe my injury was and how my planned life suddenly became 'unplanned' is included in this blog. Also included is how the injury has tested my family and me. I believe you will discover it has been both a mentally and physically challenging ordeal and I learned a few lessons along the way. While I am still defining my life’s purpose since the injury, I have uncovered those who are injured, live with pain or have other obstacles to navigate are never able to escape. However, come with me as I explore ways to improve my life, learn to live with multiple neurological conditions, educate others and look for the silver lining. I believe with a little willpower, my caring family and God's guidance I will learn to forgive, hopefully forget how I was treated and dismissed by a doctor and uncover life's new purpose. I pray for painfree days and answers to questions that keep swirling through my mind. I also pray for a cure for neurological conditions and for the doctors to treat their patients with respect. Welcome to my journey. I would love to hear about yours!
This entry was posted in Being Thankful, Don't Give Up, Dr. Liar, Forgiveness, God, Happiness, Joy, Living with no Regrets, Pain, Self Discovery, Spinal Cord Injury and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A PERFECT Night

  1. Susan Corson says:

    Awesome Christmas message Marsha! So glad you are healing in so many ways. I pray that 2012 will be an awesome year for you!!!

    • mswd says:

      Susan ~ thank you for your message! It’s been a rough and interesting road, but I have learned and grown in many ways. I appreciate your prayers — please know that you and your family are in our prayers as well. Happy New Year!

  2. danielle webber says:

    Lovely message, Marsha. I was having some of the same difficulties at the beginning of Christmas. It’s an amazing transformation when you view the holidays through the eyes of those who were there for the first one and then, the “burdens” become joys. Merry Christmas, dear friend, Dani

    • mswd says:

      Dani — you are exactly right. Have you seen The Nativity Story? If not, please let me get and that is my reason to come visit! I want to stop putting it off so we can catch up in person! I know you are teaching, but how about Spring Break. Let’s make a date, dear friend…remember I was your roommate…I know secrets! 🙂 Thank you for your very kind message and for reading the blog! I love you! XO

  3. Nereida Mchargue says:

    Just wanted to comment and say nice website, great to read from people who know what they are talking about.

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