There have been a few hard days in here, this past week. I’m trying to keep focused on the blessings, but it’s easy to lose my focus and then I lose my temper. Still, this is a wonderful habit. My day does not seem complete if I haven’t written a thing or seven in my journal.
101~The decorating is finished!
102~A beautiful basket chock full of lovely, tasty gifts hand delivered by people who love us
104~A shamash (servant) candle that burns down, leaving a wick that looks like a shepherd’s crook; a reminder of another Servant
105~Finding a spare cassette tape player so that I can. . .
106~listen to the Nutcracker. . .
107~and spin and dance with my five-year-old in the living room, thus making . . .
108~the other two children laugh
109~Chips and dip with The Bull while composing and preparing the newsletter
110~Children enjoying a book and then a painting project with their friends
111~Sharing tea with my friends (while the children play with their friends) while also sharing . . .
112~some helpful conversation
113~Ornaments made–simply, pretty
114~Being on time for church
115~A simple Christmas program plan
116~Cleaning the kitchen, one small step at a time
117~A newsletter draft that came together more quickly than normal, despite being more difficult than usual
118~Children who have advanced in their lessons
119~Tiny snowflakes on the windshield
On one of the afore mentioned “hard days,” I began to see in my children my own shortcomings. I am so quick to yell at them, to be harsh with them. They, in turn, are quick to yell at each other, to be harsh with their siblings. It was almost unbearable, the weight of guilt and shame on that day, knowing that my children have picked up my faults. “What a horrible mother I am!” I thought. But I knew that wasn’t true, and so I prayed that the LORD would show me what was true. These quotes came from that evening.
120~”Your children are so polite!” ~ MH
121~A tight hug. . . “because she’s special, and she’s my best friend.” ~MS
122~”I love you!” ~CD
123~”It’s good to see you!” ~VW
124~”I miss you! I bet you miss you too!” ~MI
125~Gift cards from a credit card rewards program
126~Newletter finalized . . .
128~Healing art: the feel of the cool, smooth acrylic paint on the rough canvas; waves of purple matching the waves of grief
130~A hug and wisdom from a friend who knows the pain of losing a child
131~Grain ground for cookies
132~Three hour conversation with Aunt Mel, thus ending the year with wonderfully positive news, during which . . .
133~she explained the significance and blessing of my praying for a grieving man while–unknowingly–losing my baby, and she also. . .
134~greatly encouraged me as we talked about our shared beliefs
135~Re-organizing the pantry while we talked, and . . .
136~Folded newsletters too; a productive, productive conversation
137~A warm bed on a cold (10 below Fahrenheit) night
138~Photos ready for the mail
139~Realizing that keeping the house tidy means that cleaning up for guests is much more simple
140~An extra pair of hands with the children while we bake cookies
141~A visitor who puts me totally at ease with my housekeeping and mothering (or lack thereof)
142~Five batches of gingerbread, made with the children, shaped like men, stars, bears, brontosauruses (brontosauri?) and saws–their choices of cookie cutters!
143~Pesto and jalapeno cheese dip
144~A relaxing night with the family
145~No line at the post office
146~Five hours to manage errands, mail, and groceries–by myself
147~A quick talk at the store with someone who perceived–and understands–a little of the pain of loss
148~New glasses ordered
149~Sharing a favorite Christmas movie with the children
150~The Nutcracker music
151~Goodies wrapped and labeled and ready for delivery
152~A special five-year-old friend of Calf #2, whose mama is a special friend of mine
153~Sharing homemade treats with friends and loved ones
154~A frantic afternoon which yielded a completely finished mailing and emailing
155~Three boys (two little, one big) who stuck labels, stamps, and tape where needed
156~Calf #2’s tongue, lent to the licking of envelopes
157~A stack of newsletters in the mail
158~A simple, “sense-able” Christmas program
Does this sound like a good idea to you? Want to join us?