So the story behind this is that I was a little stressed. OK. I was STRESSED. I had to get 33 candy cane AB patterned ornaments, 33 gingerbread houses with pictures inside, 33 hand-print wreaths, 33 hand stamped, water colored and glittered cards, 33 rice wreaths and much, much more done for preschool parent Christmas presents. Actually I had to get 33 4 year olds to get all of this done. And we had a Christmas program. With songs. And actions. To memorize. And 3 "camels" and 2 "barn animals" from my class. Being my first year at the Preschool I was a bit stressed about getting it all done. Everything went well.
'Preschool Perfect" I like to say! Minus the reserved seating issue but that's a whole other story. One where I might have to repent for my thoughts and actions (It was not my most godly moment in a church).
And that was just for school. I still had to make wonderful Christmas memories with my kids.
SO..Noah loving informs me that, "You know the saying, 'Grace under pressure'? It doesn't apply to you."
That got me thinking. My freaking out and stressing out weren't really following the Christmas spirit that I was trying to get across to my kids.
I was more like, "Smile! Get along with your sister/brother! Be happy! Keep your hands to yourself! It's Christmas! Remember the reason for the season! Just let me get this done! Come on, we are trying to spread love and joy! Get your coat on! Hurry up! Let's go! Love Baby Jesus dog-gone-it!"
With my to do list rolled half way down the block I had left out the most important things. My own little family's Christmas memories and sharing the miracle of Jesus. So my motto became, "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me!"
Very catchy but harder said than done.
I tried. It was hard though. Like when I was a kid and I knew I had to be good because Christmas was upon us. But it wasn't because I wanted presents this time. It was because I wanted the relationship with Jesus that I was trying to prepare my heart for. I had too much on my mind to let Jesus into my heart. I miss the Advent season that I was raised with being Catholic. Those four weeks, four candles and reflecting on getting yourself for Christ's birth and second coming really helped prepare my heart for Christmas. Were my kids hearts open and receiving Him? Or was my heart so involved in my stuff that He couldn't use me to reach out my my own kids? I don't remember everyone being so stressed out when I was a kid? What is the problem?Was I doing something wrong?
I was more focused on my to-do list that who I was doing the things for and why I was doing them. A friend of mine e-mailed this out. She received it from a friend who was pondering over some big stuff...
“Now as we approach Christmas it makes me think about what Mary might have done with the 4 year old Jesus. Did she teach him to draw a tree or a dog, coaching his little hand – the same hand that had created the trees and dogs? Did she show him the stars in the sky, explaining the constellations – when He was the One who had placed the stars and knew them by name? Did she begin to teach him to read words – when He is the WORD? Or take him to the well to get water for the family – when He is the living water for the world? Or feed him fresh baked bread for a snack – when He is the bread of life for all who seek Him?.....It’s more than my mind can comprehend!” ~Source Unknown~
That made me think. This is what I want for my kids. I want to teach the little hands that He created to draw. I want to show them the stars and the moon and rainbows that He created. I want to teach them to read words so they can read His WORD. Read His WORD so they can have the Living Water and Bread of Life.
HOW? How can I do that? I can do that by spending time with them. Quality time. Peaceful time. Fun time.
Making Reindeer Poop
Making Cinnamon Ornaments
Being silly and having fun together
Spending time with those we love
After I realized this the holidays were a little easier. The kids weren't going to learn anything (anything good) from me by rushing around, being stressed and snappy. I needed to slow down and really enjoy the time I have with them. Especially at the Holidays. They learn by example and I need to have peace to teach them peace. I need to show love, patience, compassion through my words and actions if I want them to be loving, patient and compassionate. I need to live the WORD if I want them to live in the WORD.
We had an awesome Christmas after all.
Lots of family.
Lots of food.
Lots of fun.
Not Perfect. Not totally Peaceful. But better. Less stressed. A new mindset.
Now that Christmas has come and gone; I am still striving for peace on earth and making that start with me. It is still difficult to remain "graceful under pressure" but I'm working on it. And a mocha from Walla Walla Bread Company helps the Peace start flowing. ;o)