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.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!