Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Choices and Opportunities

I am excited to blog today because of the way that God has funneled the ideas in my head for this post. I am continuing my Advent 2012 challenge: Live in the Moment Through the Eyes of Faith! I am having a link up for each day for anyone that wants to share how God is working in and through our lives. Maybe it's an act of kindness or generosity or a word of hope or wisdom you have been inspired to do for someone...or something inspired that someone did/said to you or someone close to you? I invite you to link up at the end of this post:)

Today's inspiration for me actually began this morning with a not-so-stellar 'mommy moment'. I was in the kitchen trying to make lunches, prep a crock pot dinner, and get ready for work. It never fails that either Kate or Luke or both of them together don't sleep well Monday nights so, getting up earlier on Tuesday mornings to get out of the house on time, never seems to happen as it should. I was also worrying about Mike who has been a little down lately and trying to figure out how to help him.

Anyway, amidst the 'normal chaos', Ellie picks this morning to be extra chatty about miscellaneous things. (Ironically, Ellie only said 'da da' until she was 2...we always say she has been making up for lost time ever since!) With minutes to go before Jay and the girls left for school, her 243rd comment of the day ,"Mom, why do football players want to jump into the crowd during football games?", threw me over the edge.  I was feeling overwhelmed and snapped at her that I didn't know and I didn't really care at that moment. It's definitely not going to get me nominated for 'mom of the year'.

 I had the random thought that, if life were like a game show where a buzzer went off every time I had a non-loving moment, that would have been one of them!:(

Fast forward to lunch time when I was checking my emails, facebook and blog....when I noticed that my friend, Anne-Marie,  had joined my link-up from yesterday.(Thank-you, thank-you!:)

Anyway....some of the things she said really made me think. The gist of how it touched me is that if I'm not bring life giving love to my family, then all the other 'extra stuff' I could do for them really doesn't matter. So what if I can give them clean clothes, or food for their bellies, or gifts from their wish list if I can't fill them with the most important and very first need.....love?

We can't build joyous events without a foundation of love. Picture a pyramid in your head...please:) Make it red and green to designate it a Christmas pyramid. At the top is the actual Christmas celebration...but if we don't have a good base about why we celebrate in the first place then that pyramid will come tumbling down with the inevitable stress that excitement, change of routine, too much sugar and not enough sleep will bring. 

If God is the base of our pyramid and the next block is prayer and love, we will be off to a great start. If we find a way to concentrate on that, then we will get the grace to complete the other blocks that we would like to form our pyramid with...like shopping, baking, wrapping, etc. And, more importantly, if we concentrate on God as our base, then we won't fall apart if the blocks we wanted to get to in our 'master plan' don't happen in the perfect way...or even happen at all!

 Let's face it, low expectations are needed sometimes! But wouldn't a simpler, quiet Christmas be better than a busy Christmas with a melting down, Mama? I think, as moms, we have all these great thoughts and ideas in our heads and then crack when we don't live up to our own expectations! But did our family really want or need all those presents, activities,decorations, ___________ (fill in the blank).

Is that really what God wants for our families?

~What do we really want our kids' memories to be when they are adults?
~Us stressed out and freaking out because we took on too much and expect perfection?
~Will anyone really remember those uncleaned nooks or disorganized cabinets?
~Isn't it the "warm fuzzies" we want them to hold in their heart...the feelings of closeness and love?(in spite of the inevitable meltdowns and squirmishes...there is no perfection!)

Start with the bare minimum...then anything else we feel inspired to do will be bonus points!

Today, I chose poorly and allowed my stress to overtake the much more important focus of my daughter's feelings. I feel bad that I hurt her feelings and am looking forward to her coming home from school so I can apologize.

Isn't it a blessing that I have the opportunity to make my afternoon better than my morning?

Just like this Christmas is an opportunity to make it into what it needs to be for our family based on our circumstances this year!
 Did God touch you in a special way that you want to share? Consider linking up below!