I have been berating myself the past few days.
For dropping the ball on some things, mainly gift related.
For putting too much on my plate.
Foregoing parenting for baking/shopping/errands/wrapping/cleaning/making lists of what to bring/etc.
For allowing myself to succumb to the stress I'm feeling, reacting with crabbiness and a lack of patience, especially to Sam.
Resenting Scott at times, because it doesn't seem fair that he just gets to "show up" to the holidays. (And yet knowing he works hard all day, and that I don't want or expect him to take on buying and wrapping gifts for everyone.) I'm irrational about it.
Not enjoying enough moments in the last month with my children, day to day. I lost track today of how many times Sam asked me today to, "come play with me, Mom." I told him I would, "in a second, Buddy. I have to finish making the potatoes for tomorrow." And then, "after I clean up." And then I forgot.
And yet, and yet there have been great moments since the beginning of the month too. A thoughtful Vesper's service at Moody on the 19th, focusing on our unfAithfulness towards God, our intense need for Him, our rejection of Him. And yet, He came.
Moments spent in the city, eating yummy food, watching my children's faces light up, creating new memories and traditions all our own.
A two hour conversation by the fire one afternoon with Rebekah recently, in town for a few days. A precious time that kickstarted my journey back towards a more grounded Christmas.
Anticipating the time spent with family tomorrow and Saturday, family that we don't get to see nearly often enough. Pouring into those relationships and friendships and hoping it will be enough to tide us over until the next time.
Lighting the advent wreath at home each night at dinner, hearing Sam explain in his piping voice, with a little lisp, what each candle is for.
I need accountability. Next fall, I am going to try and write out what our true priorities are from November-December, so they don't get buried in the onslaught of my thoughtlessly added "responsibilities" and urgency to have things just like they always were. Things change. Children come. People change. Needs change. None of this is even ABOUT what we eat (it kills something inside me to admit that), what we give each other, how we decorate or how clean our house is.
God becoming man,
I read something this week that stopped me in my tracks, it took me off the hamster wheel and forced me to take a deep breath and examine myself. An email from a woman who recently lost her husband, now a single mother to two small boys, as she processed her upcoming first Christmas alone, without him.
"I hope in this season Christ is wooing you. That you hear a soft, calming voice amidst the chaos. That you are able to breathe in the life He offers, and let all of the other stuff fade into the background of the beautiful lights. That you can believe God's plan is good....To me, that makes all the other stuff tolerable. It allows me to truly have joy this Christmas, and to still feel the wonder of a child."