The other weekend, my parents had our girls and Daniel was playing cricket so it was just Joel and I. We'd spent the afternoon together, we ate his choice of lunch (poached eggs on toast trumped takeout) and I'd tucked him in that evening spending much longer on his pillow than usual; chatting, attention undivided. Afterwards, I boiled the kettle ready to pour myself a tea when I glimpsed beginnings of sunset. Pinks and oranges. My thoughts flickered to my camera and I brushed them away.
He's already tucked in. Might even already be sleeping.
I couldn't just jump in the car and leave him. So I continued what I was doing until I couldn't ignore the sky any longer - the colours were yelling at me to come.
I tiptoed into Joel's room and he turned, hearing his door open.
"Want to go watch the sun setting?" I didn't have to ask him twice.
We watched the sun sink. We'd missed the gold flecks and the brazen orange as we drove, but by the time we arrived at the jetty I'd chosen the sky was fairy floss pink and soon deepened to rich purple as the sun sank lower.
The cockatoos flew above us, settling into big old gum trees for the night, noisy.
It was a week before Christmas Eve but my mind had been plagued with doubt and I wondered really, if everything was going to turn out okay.
I'd been anticipating Christmas but forgetting Christ.
The Prince of Peace. Emmanuel - God with us, God in us, God for us.
I walked that jetty and watched my son and the pink streaky sky reminded me that it was already okay. Lack and betrayal and fear and doubt and uncertainty and the anger that bubbled under the surface of my soul - it was okay.
The surface of the water was calm. My camera strap nestled into my neck and the sand was soft between my toes and it was okay. Because the King we'd waited for had made a way, I just had to keep walking, standing, abiding and breathing. Christmas was coming.
And now, in the days after Christmas, our tree is drooping.
Every now and then I feel the familiar squeeze or ache of worry.
But the gifts in between keep my eyes lifted and my heart calm.
The Word* I read that feels just like it was written for me.
The sunsets, the bike rides, the games of Uno, the fresh-ground coffee.
It really is going to be okay. Christmas has come.
Now I'm ready to strip the decorations and let the husband do whatever husbands do with drying, drooping pine trees after Christmas.
* Today, Isaiah 40:3-5 (Amplified Version)