Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Gift All Year Long

A blog friend of mine, pinpointed something that has nudged me all month long, but I couldn't find the words to express what it was.
Her 5 month old baby has been in the hospital since she was born, and my friend wanted so badly to bring her home for Christmas (you can click on the "Pray for Annabelle" link in the right column and go to her blog). But after almost getting there, God ultimately said no. But through all the heart ache and hoping, my friend brought up a very wise point just before the end of Christmas day:
Christmas is just about Jesus. Nothing else. Not family. Just JESUS.
What has been nudging me all month long, is that I am afraid the Christian community has bought into the idea that Christmas is about stuff (as well as the baby in a manger). Every time I turn on the Christian radio station, they talk about families in need and helping them this season...shouldn't we be helping them all year!??? Why do we focus on giving this one time a year, when really that should be our main focus all year long?
And then I hear people remind us about how this time of year is so difficult for people...but I know people who have difficulties all year long...why do we feel obligated to reaching out just in this season...we should be caring, loving, compassionate every season.
It seems nice and well to counter-act the obscene amount of purchasing and materialism this time of year, but it is, in a way, still focusing on the stuff, self-contentment...not the baby in a manger.
I frustrate myself by waiting to give and focus on the hungry around the holidays...not feeling obligated at any other time. It's something our culture has neatly packaged into the Christmas Spirit, when really the definition of that Spirit is a Christian, and a Christian should act that way everyday.
I type this to encourage you to have a new focus as we go into the new year.
Be Jesus to the poor and broken hearted...all the time. Christmas is to focus on the gift of God, not the one gift a year we give to help someone!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Our Christmas Eve

The presents are all under the tree.  The boys finally fell asleep, and will surely wake up bright and early tomorrow. Santa has eaten his share of baby Jesus' birthday cake and drank his milk.
They sat with us in church tonight...they were not on their best behavior at all. But during the episodes of tense disciplinary whispering, and pulling them off of the chairs in front of them, their little eyes lit up when they figured out what each image of the service meant. Adam and Eve, God's light, the Baby in a Manger, and his ultimate Sacrifice as a 33 year old man.
My almost-six year old whispered to me, "Mom, it's good that Adam and Eve sinned, or else we wouldn't be here." I love theology grasped by children's hearts.

We came home, had a little practice session on the couch, sitting straight forward, quiet as can be, after the monkeying around at church, and then we celebrated the Saviors's birth with song and cake. The boys felt very special that the present part of the celebration will be for them...just like Jesus is their biggest gift from God.

My husband and I enjoyed putting toys together, shooting nerf guns at eachother, and reminiscing about past Christmas eves. It struck me, how fast time flies and how we have already had 8 Christmases with children! We'll have 6 or 7 more with a Santa believer in the house (maybe) and then Christmas morning will be quiet and calm...civilized if you will.

So tomorrow, I am going to enjoy the chaos of mounds of wrapping paper, the squeals and laughter, the nerf darts flying around the room. One day, we'll sleep in until 8 o'clock and have breakfast before sharing gifts of clothing, magazine subscriptions, and gift cards. And even if it will be a different season, I am glad to know that the Reason will be the same forever...
Christ was born, died for our sins, and lives forever that we may REJOICE in HIM!
He came for YOU, for EVERYONE!
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Birthday Celebration

Sometimes it's fun to just reserve a birthday celebration for immediate family. My husband and I always love a good party, but for his 34th, the boys and I put together a humble, but love-filled evening for Daddy.
After dinner and presents...the boys were super excited to play with Daddy's new wii gear...yes, we are a gaming family!
Look at that concentration!
The boys were pretty proud of their "version" of the Birthday Song! I can't even put it in words!
And there's my silver haired birthday boy. Each year gets better and better!
Happy Birthday! I love you!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bah Hum Bug Go Away!

Lately, I have been under serious bah hum bug attack. It seems like everywhere I turn, someone says something, does something, or looks the wrong way and I become an emotional, over-sensitive, easily-offended wreck. WHY??? Why now, when it's beautiful outside (winter just began, so it shouldn't bring me down...yet), the kids are excited for Christmas, the house is decorated, and festivities are all around us?
It just seems like everything I was confident in, looking forward too, have failed and self-confidence is out the window, and I just haven't been prayed up enough to handle it!
I remember this time last year, I picked up one of my old Beth Moore studies and just started doing it on my own. I probably need to do that again...I seriously regret not taking her track this Fall, she always pushes me forward spiritually...Maybe that's my problem, I expect help along the way, instead of just trusting God to be there...ugh!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Signs, signs, signs

So I walked into the room today, to my 8 year old on top of 5 year old, ready to knock his lights out. I gave the oldest a mean look and did a bunch of hand motions to get him out of the room, while I was talking on the phone about another type of argument. UGH! He reluctantly left, trying to explain that his brother had thrown a football directly to his head...
But as much as I see my boys take their frustrations out with physical contempt, I am guilty of taking out my own frustration with words...or I use words via mouth, email, facebook, to prove a point, mend a situation, or just vent.

Lately, God has poked and prodded so much so that "hindsight is 20/20" has been my cliche mantra for my life! If you've ever seen Bruce Almighty (okay, not necessarily a God-ordained film!) but he asks God for a sign and several signs show up that he ignores and then crashes into a lamp post.
That, my friends, is ME!
Whether the signs be a slow internet connection, a million call-waitings while I am in a sticky conversation, or a heightened swell of emotion that should never result in spoken words, I get so many signs and still resort to ignoring them to get my satisfaction in working the kinks out myself... unfortunately those kinks turn into double knots or worse, broken threads in a relationship.
Okay, I know some of my close friends and family who read this are going to say, "You're too hard on yourself", but seriously, if anyone has never been in these kinds of situations, could you please consider becoming my personal counselor?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

December baby, I remember you.

I listened to this song..the song that helped me mourn the baby I lost in May. I would be 38 weeks right now. I saw the little heartbeat then, and am reminded just now that I have stronger connections to Heaven than I have felt has been full of worldly stuff. Thank you Jesus for drawing me to my knees and humbling my heart once more.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Doubting SAHM

Can I really play the pregnancy card when it comes to emotions? I have just been one not so fun, stressed out, un-nice mama lately. I feel like I walk around in a haze of knowing what needs to get done, planning on doing it, and then getting completely off track! That is not exactly abnormal for my non-pregnancy self, but lately it has gotten under my skin and made me grumpy!
I feel like I have stepped backwards about 7 years, where I have one child home all the time, and don't know how to entertain him ALL day long! You'd think after raising 3 toddlers I'd have figured out some tricks. But alas, I am in the shoes of a frustrated SAHM having serious doubts that I am better for my son than full-time least there he would be learning, interacting, and having structure all day long...Here, he gets bits and pieces of me, a couple of stories read, maybe a game played, but the rest of the time is mommy rushing around trying to get things done.
My biggest confession in this, is that sometimes I really don't want to sit down and "play". UGH! I wish I could redefine the role of SAHM in my head and realize that I am NOT the trick of all trades...that I am a loving, caring, ready-to-help mom, but not a preschool teacher, a psychologist, a day planner, a maid...the list goes on of the roles I must play, but am far from mastering.
I never understood the concept that weather changes moods...but after suffering through last winter, and now trying my darnedest to stay positive this winter, I think perhaps there is truth in the weather mood annoying! I keep quoting on of my favorite characters, Scarlett O'Hara, "Afterall, tomorrow is another day"...well it's tomorrow now, and I am disappointed in how much effort it takes to push me forward, but if I get off this computer right now, I might be able to redeem myself. ;)

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Excuse For A Christmas Send Out.

A glimpse at the inside of last year's trifold
 For all of those who have known me for a while, you know I live for sending out Christmas cards...the graphic designer/photographer in me loves to come up with an interesting way to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and show how much the boys have grown. This year, for the first time since I've been married (almost 11 years), I have regrettably given up on creating a unique card, and will be sending out a pre-designed photo card this year! UGH!
In my defense, I do have a good printer is on the fritz...making it more of an effort to drive back and forth to the copy place (in 5 degree weather)...
When we received our pre-made cards in the mail, I scrutinized them greatly, and my husband got annoyed because I was about to return them. I quickly rushed to my computer and came up with my own design, sent it to the copy place, and ran out the door.... eh, it had work still to do, and I contemplated all the effort on my drive home.
I came to the conclusion that I was being soley driven by pride and it was turning into a frantic frenzy of getting caught in what others think about me.

You probably think I am crazy, but I am glad that I can't do it all right now. I finally have given myself permission to do what I can, without stressing about what I can't....perfect timing for the Christmas season!