I have been dealing with some personal issues of a magnitude that even those closest to me are not aware of. While it is not my intention to disclose these issues even now; it is my intention to finally fully own them, face them, and conquer them.
My journey of raising daughters may be half over, but they will always be my daughters, no matter their stage in life. I also need to make sure I stop losing myself in the chaos and busyness of my life. I really do need to stop and smell the roses. Not occasionally when I make time; but to always make time to do just that.
As I am in the back seat of my vehicle with 3 of my girls, going to spend the day with the fourth, I am reading a book that I think will truly help me on this journey. It is called “Hands Free Life” by Rachel Macy Stafford, and looks like the perfect book to start this new chapter of my life with; pun intended 😉
All of us…I have heard nothing for the past several weeks except death, violence, protests, shootings, killings, vengeance, and hate.
How can anyone be in the Christmas spirit when they cannot even turn on the news or radio without having to hear about another person shot, another person killing the innocent, another person fighting the system? What system exactly has caused all of this violence? Possibly the system of we as Americans, and as a Country, that can no longer stand together and support those we voted into office. Instead of supporting those in charge, we now feel it is our right, duty, and obligation to tear down, embarrass, harass, and humiliate anyone and everyone who does not agree with our own personal thoughts and beliefs.
As my most favorite President said, “A House divided against itself cannot stand.” No other President may have ever spoken wiser words. I am sure Mr. Abraham Lincoln is hanging his head in sorrow today.
And that, my Friends, is the end of my ranting. My girls and myself are going to have a wonderful Christmas, and focus on everything we have been blessed with. If that means listening to Christmas Music on CD’s and watching movies on DVD’s, so be it. I for one am tuning out the rest of the world until December 26th. If something happens before then that I should be aware of, I am sure I will be made aware of it.
May each and every one of you have a wonderful, Blessed Christmas full of Peace and Joy!
Sound over-dramatic? Probably. Is it over-dramatic? Not to me. I tend to pick my battles with my children, and I don’t pick those battles based on my odds of winning them. I pick them based on their importance. Even if I am likely to lose the battle, I will have made my feelings known.
So to hear something come out of my child’s mouth that goes against everything that makes my life livable, survivable, enjoyable; it felt like she slapped me across the face. A sucker-punch to the gut. A year ago, she could have said the exact same thing to me, and I wouldn’t have felt such a strong reaction. I have been fortunate enough to finally be honest with myself and admit that I needed to change things in my life. To be Happy. Healthy. Alive. To enjoy Life, and stop wasting so much of it saying “if only” and “what if”. To enjoy the blessings I have been fortunate enough to be graced with.
So is this my daughter’s fault that I had a change in my own personal life that was so extreme and powerful that her voicing her beliefs would cut me to the quick? No. I did not get angry at her. I didn’t tell her she was wrong. That she had to feel and believe the same things I do. If it works for me, it will work for her too. She was making a mistake. I said nothing of the sort. I did not believe any of those things, so I could not possibly say those things to her.
What I did say to her? That what she said to me was really hard to hear. I didn’t tell her I was disappointed in her. Does it really matter what it was she said to me? No. You can think up any number of things that a child could say to a parent to get this type of reaction, and everything I stated would apply to that situation too.
“I don’t like church.”
That was it. Those four words. The one thing that has had such a profound change on my health, well-being, and our family life for nearly the past year, and she doesn’t like church. Was I wondering if she doesn’t believe in God and Jesus the same way I do? Nope. What I was wondering was does she have so little appreciation for the huge changes I have made in my own life to improve all of our lives that she just doesn’t really care. Do my efforts mean nothing? She says things are better, but how can she appreciate how much better our lives are but not like church, the very thing that allowed for these changes to take place?
As long as it works for me, it is good enough for all of us. I do not need her to like church in order for it to have a positive influence on my attitude, and my life. I have never forced my children to go to church every Sunday, make them go to Sunday school, or anything they didn’t want to do. Am I short-changing them because I am not exposing them to more religion? I don’t think so. If I live my life as a Godly Woman, they will see that. They can learn by example. They will remember the special memories of any number of things from their past, and they will see how my beliefs played a role in the atmosphere of our experiences. If they choose to raise their own families in a healthy environment where communication and valuing each person are important, they will remember what gave me the ability to live this life I provide for all of us. That is what will lead them to God and Jesus. They will remember the path I followed to get there, so when they are ready, they can find their way there too. And I will be there to help them along the way, but only if they ask for it.
After a huge build-up to Christmas, and having a most wonderful Christmas, I would normally be feeling: “Now what do I do?”
I still have a couple days off from work, I am down to one child until after the first of the year, and I am running out of puzzles to assemble.
It is still Advent for those of us who Celebrate the Christmas season. Normally I go from Christmas straight to Easter, not stopping to focus on the very real season of Advent. From my Advent Devotionals booklet, today is the fifth day of Christmas. The fifth of 12 days of Christmas, although these 12 days are a bit different than the song 🙂
“Christmas is indeed a huge deal in our country. But is our world really that much different than the first century? How often is Jesus’ birth overshadowed by Christmas specials about St. Nick, snowmen, or grinches? Can we see the torch-lit manger beyond the bright, holiday lights, the high-gloss advertisements, the preoccupying parties? How often do our own Christmas planning and preparations push Him off to the side?” (The World Became Flesh and Dwelt Among Us, 2013, Lutheran Hour Ministries, pg. 23)
I know I tried to Keep Jesus at the forefront of my Christmas celebrations, and I think I did a good job, but of course could have done better. So I will focus on Advent, as we move into the Easter season, and keep putting the important things 1st.
Do you have a special tradition you do at Christmas to honor our Lord?
While there are a couple presents under the tree for me this year, there is one gift that can never be compared, and that is the gift of eternal life, thanks to my Savior, Jesus Christ, who was born today, and later died on a cross for the forgiveness of my sins! This gift can never be replaced, returned, and it never gets old or goes out of style. It is the one gift I will never put up on a shelf, and the one gift that I truly thank God for every, single, day.
There is nothing better for me than to see the smiles on the faces of my girls on Christmas morning, and I know without my faith and belief in Jesus, I would not be where I am today. To have my health, a secure job, a vehicle, and a warm place to live every day makes me happier than anything else ever could. To be able to provide for my family on my own and take care of all their needs is a wonderful, irreplaceable feeling.
This Christmas season is when I make my resolutions. To worship more. To Witness more. To help others more. To attend my church home more. To tithe more. To be me more. To reach more.