Earlier on Christmas Eve, when we heard about my nephew's fever and plans changed but I was still feeling ok(a.k.a. still on Plan B), I was working in the kitchen as Sarah walked by singing "Christmas Like a Child" by Third Day. The line from the song that stuck in my head was, "I want to see Christmas like a Child".(If you don't know the song, take a minute to listen to the youtube link!)
That got me thinking...what do my children think about Christmas? I think it's about all the wonder and excitement! I know that in lots of ways Christmas is too commercialized. We try to keep a balance in our house but we certainly aren't perfect. What I do love is that, no matter what my kids receive, they are thrilled playing with what they have and, at least so far, their focus has never been on what they didn't get!
In fact, I have tried to simplify more in the last several years. I find that I am the one that gets caught up in buying too much, doing too much, baking too much....and that "too much" does not equal "more meaningful"!
This year, I tried really hard to have more balance....to pray more and only do what "felt right"... To be aware within myself when the thought of buying something, baking something, or committing to something felt like "too much" and to not buy, bake, or commit! I wanted to live more in the moment and actually enjoy the moment rather than just try to get everything done!
If I have learned anything this year it's this, I.have.limits. (and when I try to push past those limits, things get ugly!) I mean, in reality, things always get ugly when we push past limits. There have been many past moments over my 22 years of marriage of falling into "too much" and ending up stressed to the max, melting down, yelling at everyone that
So, simplify is a lesson that God is not allowing me to ignore! I know that is a blessing, but it's still a huge challenge, especially when it comes to Christmas and all that entails! As moms, there are lots of super busy moments in the Advent Season! Being so aware of my physical limits was key this year...avoiding the "too much", knowing when to say when...(I promised myself that I would bake only 2 cheesecakes and 4 types of cookies!)...and using what's in front of me that God provides. Even when God providing means sending....GASP!...store bought cupcakes leftover from the family party to Ellie's class Christmas party! (I know, the "dessert snob" strikes again!)
To get back to my thoughts about "seeing Christmas as a child"....
I thought of the Grinch quote
But this... this sound wasn't sad. Why... this sound sounded glad. Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small, was singing, without *any* presents at all! He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming, it *came*! Somehow or other... it came just the same.
I was thinking how Christmas comes whether I baked everything I want,
cross out everything on my list, or not,
clean every nook and cranny, or not,
whether everyone is healthy, or not.....
you get the idea!
So...how do you make Christmas special, especially when you're on Plan C?!? Oh, and we also had the joy of some family tension erupting at one point...but, what's a holiday without drama, right?!? I was thinking in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve that everything might crumble and we would all end up going to bed in foul moods...either angry or discouraged! I mean, if it wasn't CHRISTMAS EVE, I would have just suggested that we just give up and try again next week!
Thankfully, we were able to pull it together(for the most part) and end the night on a more positive note. We did it for the kids...well, most of the kids, not the one we were aggravated with! Oops...did I say that out loud?!?....
I have all the details of our day....lots of pictures....some warm, fuzzy moments and a few moments we would have liked to do without(!), to share......
I still have the pictures from Kate's birthday party from last weekend, that I haven't even uploaded, to share.....
I still haven't written out bills or
Our house looks like a complete and utter train wreck as the little kids have gone from room to room playing with their new toys and making messes as they go......
I'm still functioning at 65%....(but that's better than not functioning!)....
And we have a little over a day to get ready for some very special family time that I have just barely
begun preparing for......
But, you know what, that's ok! It won't be perfect...because nothing ever really is!(Especially in a family with a whole bunch of kids with some special needs sprinkled in! I gave up on perfection years and years ago!!!)
Our Bishop recently came to celebrate Mass at our Parish. One of the things he said stuck with me. He talked about each of us having a mission. Not mind-blowing....but it really touched my heart that day! (Plus, he said it a lot more eloquently than that, but I'm a sleep-deprived mama with limited brain cells after all those pregnancies!)
My mission is my family....and all that matters is that I get to be a part of it and try and create, with God's grace, the symphony we were meant to be! It's loud and noisy, (and often off-key!), but it's all mine!
So, while I immerse myself in all kinds of family moments for the next 12 days, I will probably be neglecting my little place in the blogosphere! Since I've written such a loooong post today....(kind of like when our priest has 3 separate sermons rolled into one on the day our kids are the most wiggly and you don't hear much of what he is saying because all you can think is, "Please, God, let him finish", because the pew has become a torture chamber!)....maybe this will make up for it!
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your families! I hope your memories were mostly good....and that you will be able to laugh at the "not so good ones" very, very soon!
I will leave you with a funny pic from Kate's birthday. Someone in our house, who shall remain nameless, blew out Kate's candles before she got a chance to......
Sometimes.....things don't go as planned! At least sometimes, all it takes is Dad re-lighting the candles to make it all better!
I hope that we all have eyes to see those "re-lights the candle" moments that God gives us in 2015!