Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Joy in Acceptance: When I Tried to Surprise Jacob for St. Lucy's Feast

Ever since I was a very young girl and read the American Girl book, Kirsten's Surprise, I've wanted to take part in that epic Scandanavian tradition (for those of you unfamiliar with this tradition, check out Jean's blog, where she mentions both the epic saint and cool traditions for this feast). Being a sanguine, crazy, Catholic nerd, I had fabulous ideas for how I would surprise Jacob on the feast of St. Lucy--today--with a modified celebration: hot cocoa, fresh cinnamon rolls, all while wearing an elaborate paper "leaf crown" with paper candles on top (knowing me, if I had real candles on my head, I would probably burn the house down by accident). Well, since I knew Jacob needed sleep, and we never eat breakfast before morning Mass, I quickly altered that activity to after Mass. But it would still be great. I just needed to surprise my husband. And when you live in a tiny apartment and spend the majority of your time together, total surprise can be difficult to accomplish. But Friday afternoon presented a great opportunity, when Jacob went on campus to "smash" (play SSBM) with some friends. 
I loved this book. Still do. I am
not ashamed that I still have an incredible
love for the original American Girl books.
Just don't get me started about how the
company has done downhill and done
horrible things to this series. 

Hurriedly, I mixed together cinnamon roll dough and washed the dishes, to erase evidence. The rolls came out of the oven, I removed them from the pans, and realized that I was out of powdered sugar. Darn. I needed to figure out some way to get to the store later. Putting the rolls back in the oven, I lit a cinnamon-scented candle in the living room and went to the restroom, intending to wash the roll pans when I came out. From the bathroom, just a minute later, I heard Jacob enter the apartment. 

Jacob: "It smells like cinnamon rolls!" 
Me: "Hi, dear!" after which I muttered something about the cinnamon candle smelling nice. 
-I hear Jacob's footsteps enter the kitchen, and I hear a thud. 
Jacob: "CINNAMON ROLLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" 

As soon as I could, I rushed out their to make sure he didn't devour them on the spot, and explained the significance of the feast of St. Lucy the next day. The rolls went back in the oven, we bought sugar later, and this morning, we went to Mass as usual. When we entered Christ the King Chapel, to my shock, the sanctuary was decked out for Christmas: Creche, Christmas trees, and poinsettias everywhere. As we knelt to pray, Jacob whispered to me: 
"They really go all out for St. Lucy!" 
So of course I had a mega-huge struggle of constraining my laughter, so I wouldn't distract everyone else right before Mass. After Mass, we returned home, where we delighted in our "St. Lucy cinnamon rolls."  

Even though I wasn't able to get all dressed up in a leaf-and-candle crown with red sash and white gown, or surprise my husband in the early hours of the morning with freshly baked rolls and steaming cups of cocoa, it was still awesome. St. Lucy is an epic saint, and we totally got to celebrate her today--both at Mass and with our delicious treat. I easily could have gotten swept up in the whole "I failed at surprising you!" thing, but I chose not to. I decided to take joy in the whole celebratory nature of the day, and not get all hung up in the details. I decided to remember the beautiful saint we celebrate today--a virgin who couldn't even be burned by fire; a virgin who gave her life in faithfulness in God. There are definitely times where, even though I'm not a "details person," I can get hung up on the details. For some reason, today/yesterday wasn't one of those times, and I'm really glad about that. Because this whole even rang true with the reminder that--even though it can be super easy during the upcoming weeks to get hung up on "what has to be done/how it needs to be done"--the epic gift being celebrated is what counts the most. 

Over the past couple years, I've discovered that it's really worthwhile to "roll with the punches" and accept what God sends me--and how He sends it to me. Even if what happens doesn't occur according to how I thought it would/should, God obviously has better judgment. I just have to choose how I will accept it: 
Will I resist what God is doing in my life, or will I joyfully accept what He brings--and how He brings it--each day? 

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