Whoa — what happened?
I haven’t sat down to blog in nearly a month. I called a friend this morning, also a mom of five, and we both agreed that we felt like a giant storm had blown over us. And we survived!
Not a day has gone by that I haven’t wanted to sit down and write you a long, lavish letter wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year — but it didn’t happen. I spent the first two weeks of December running around like crazy — shopping, decorating, wrapping, cooking, attending parties, sending cards … and then suddenly Christmas swept through our household. And now it’s gone!
Today was the first day I began to pack away some decorations, and my middle daughter cried, saying she wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Christmas 2007. I’m not either!
Something that happened this morning epitomized the entire season for me. I got the kids up, and we ran around the house in a mad rush, searching frantically for shoes, socks, tights, and Christmas-colored outfits. I told them to grab their favorite Christmas toy and we headed out the door into the freezing cold to Super Wal-Mart for a post-Christmas portrait sitting (since we didn’t manage to take a decent picture BEFORE Christmas).
As the photographer girl was readying her camera to shoot, we realized we were missing a beaver! My four-year-old’s favorite gift this year was a pair of stuffed beavers, and he’d lost one somewhere between our house and Wal-Mart. I put my coat on and ran back outside into the parking lot, and there, lying face-down a few feet from our car, was Mr. Beaver.
I scooped him up and ran back inside, just as the photographer was lining up the kids on little stairsteps. Snap! For that brief moment, every child smiled, holding rescued beavers, dolls, and some kind of hydro-electric car that my son built. We did it!
We’re behind, we’re straggling, there’s a story of near disaster behind everything we did this season. But we made it. That’s all I can say.
When I look over the past month, I’m amazed at God’s grace in allowing us to go so many places and see so many family members and friends. This was the first year I actually cried coming up our driveway ripping open the Christmas cards that I just couldn’t wait to read. What has happened to our friends’ children? They’re growing up!
Several of our friends have teenagers now — beautiful young ladies and handsome young men. I’ve watched them age with each passing year.
One of my favorite Christmas traditions is sitting down with my mom and dad after we’ve opened presents at their house and looking through their stack of Christmas cards. My parents have gathered an eclectic group of friends in nearly 42 years of marriage. I love the updates, pretty cards, photos, all of it.
The sons and daughters of my parents’ friends are now my age, having their own children, and I love seeing how the circle continues, unbroken. These Christmas cards remind me of the reality that families held together by the Word of God stay together, generation after generation. I have very few role models in the celebrity world, but these quiet, simple people who celebrate the joys of family are my heroes.
As we step into this new year, I have but one resolution: I want to bring more beauty into my home. I see myself emerging from a decade of delightful chaos — infants, toddlers, diapers, plastic toys in every crevice, sticky floors, crayoned walls, spilled juice, and tiny socks lost in the wash.
I’ve loved these years, but I’m ready to light candles, iron cloth napkins, pull out the wedding crystal and china that I’ve been afraid to use, and teach my children to eat quietly in the kitchen while we entertain in the dining room. It will take me a while, but I want to start cooking better meals, inviting more people over, and showing my children how to be servants of the guests in our home.
We have a long way to go!
This morning, my Bible reading led me to Psalm 45, which I read out loud at the breakfast table. It’s a wedding song, but I also see it as a beautiful prayer for mothers and fathers to pray for our growing children.
My heart is stirred by a noble theme
as I recite my verses for the king;
my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.
You are the most excellent of men
and your lips have been anointed with grace,
since God has blessed you forever.
Gird your sword upon your side, O mighty one;
clothe yourself with splendor and majesty.
In your majesty ride forth victoriously
in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness;
let your right hand display awesome deeds.
Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies;
let the nations fall beneath your feet.
Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.
All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
from palaces adorned with ivory
the music of the strings makes you glad.
Daughters of kings are among your honored women;
at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir.
Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear:
Forget your people and your father’s house.
The king is enthralled by your beauty;
honor him, for he is your lord.
The Daughter of Tyre will come with a gift,
men of wealth will seek your favor.
All glorious is the princess within her chamber ;
her gown is interwoven with gold.
In embroidered garments she is led to the king;
her virgin companions follow her
and are brought to you.
They are led in with joy and gladness;
they enter the palace of the king.
Your sons will take the place of your fathers;
you will make them princes throughout the land.
I will perpetuate your memory through all generations;
therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.
I wish all of you a wonderful 2008! If you have any resolutions or goals, I’d love to hear!