Thursday, December 23, 2010


Somehow it has been two whole months since I posted last. Not sure how time slips away so quickly. Here at home, we have been enjoying the Christmas season in small ways. Last year at Christmas time, I started these stockings. My dear mother finished them for me yesterday. I'm really happy with how they turned out. 
Last year, I didn't do much in the way of homemade gifts, still being in a new baby fog. This year, it's simply bags of granola, tied with kitchen twine, by the door for anyone that stops by.  It isn't much, but it is pleasureful to give, and hopefully to receive.

In truth, I have been struggling to find that joy that I have been so earnest about. Reading back over that post, I wonder if I have grown at all over the past year. I still feel the same way as I did then, much of the time.
A lot of it is expectations.
When I snuggle up with my children in front of the fire, hot chocolate in hand, ready to read Christmas stories before nap time, I expect them to just happily curl up next to me, and listen to the story. The reality is more likely spilled chocolate, whining because they can't see a page, or "so and so is touching me", or "so and so got to sit next to you last time, it's my turn", or "I don't want to read a story, I want to play with my friends", etc.

Over the last few days, I have been trying to adjust my expectations, again. The to-do list, already simple, is pared down further. I delete Facebook from my phone, again. Making conscious decisions to be focused on the PEOPLE not the experience I want to create. It isn't easy for me, doesn't come naturally. But I know it's important, so I keep trying.
And I mess up, over and over again.
My kids fight and whine and I get angry, raise my voice, eventually apologize.
It's real and it's messy and it's exactly why I need Jesus. And it's what we are celebrating this season.
Over and over again, my mantra: "My ministry is where my feet are. I am choosing Joy."

I hope that your holidays are joyful and filled with hope, in the midst of the messiness!


  1. I love your mantra! I love your heart! Yes reality is messy thank you for being real. Love it!

  2. those stockings are so "you"!!! really cute. I say "my ministry is where my feet are" regularly too :) i love your authenticity and how much you love those boys of yours!!

  3. Cute stockings! If the granola is for people who stop by, how come I haven't gotten any? I've stopped by lots. -( There have been lots of blogs talking about the messiness of this time of year, so you're not alone. I think you'll look back at this season of your life and see that it was one of great spiritual growth. It's just hard for you to see it in the midst of it. The fact that you're aware of how things are and don't look at your life through rose-colored glasses is good. Just pray without ceasing and love those sweet little boys.

  4. I don't know if this perspective will be helpful to you at all... But I stopped battling my expectations with the little ones a long time ago. I would get so frustrated (still do) when Valerie leaves her paper and pencils ALL over the house or when Michael (after being told a bazillion times not to) leaves his dirty socks and shoes in the middle of the livingroom floor, etc... I finally just started thanking God for the frustration and aggravation. I'd rather be annoyed by my children than not have them. I'd rather get mad and complain and fuss at them to pick up after themselves than to see Valerie stop drawing or Michael lose his excitement over whatever game he couldn't wait to get to (thereby rendering him unable to place his dirty shoes on the rack I have conveniently placed by the door!) I had a friend tell me once when I got SOOO upset about the abundance of dirty hand prints all over our walls "Be glad for those dirty prints. Don't wash them off just yet because one day you'll have nice clean walls and no small hands in your home to replace the prints you wiped away." I still get mad and fuss, I just try to be more grateful for the opportunities to do so :) I think it's alright to be frustrated while living the realities of spilled drinks and crabby kids. That's the real life good stuff. The "delightful burdens" I call them... Just be careful not to furrow your brow too often - I'm starting to see some permanent crinkle in mine :-/