So, I have a confession... I LOVE Christmas! I mean, I LOVE it! I love the decorations, food, candlelight services, Christmas music... I LOVE it! I even bought this C.D. this week and can't stop listening to it and we haven't even hit Thanksgiving yet. But, I don't care because I LOVE Christmas. I get so wrapped up in the amazingness that is Christmas. Jesus Christ came to earth to live among us... Except I have a confession to make. I also hate Christmas. I can't believe I let those words slip out of my mouth... or my fingers. Christmas (especially since becoming an adult) can be SO stressful. There is so much shopping to do and the expectations are so high to attend every Christmas celebration your friends and family throw... even if it is to celebrate with people you haven't seen since last Christmas and that you would never hear from if Christmas didn't exist! I hate the hustle and bustle of it.
Whenever I imagine sharing the wonder of Christmas with my family I don't imagine running through a crowded mall, I don't imagine hours in line at the post office, I don't imagine taking them to gathering after gathering of people they don't even know who spend the whole time yelling at each other or talking badly about the family members who aren't there. Because, honestly, I don't want them to know that that is what Christmas has become. I don't want them to know that the birth of our Savior has become about people and what they want. I guess, part of me wants to shield them.
I want them to think that Christmas is about Jesus. That Christmas is about worship and rejoicing in a birth that saved our lives! I want them to think that Christmas is about giving. Not just giving to our friends and families who have everything they need, but about giving to people who are really in need. I want them so see the beauty of being blessed on Christmas morning. I want them to see that Christmas is a time of quiet reflection. I want them to have time to enjoy Chrismas.
I know that I will be dissapointing people this Christmas. And as a perpetual people pleaser I hate this. But, my job is not to make people happy. My job is to raise children that know and love the Lord. In the end nothing else matters. And I believe that making Christmas special and meaningful is a good start to that. And honestly, I want to experience the wonder of Christmas again!
So, this Christmas we are listening to lots of Christmas music about Jesus. (Max has already told me he LOVES to sing Christmas music about Jesus), we will be celebrating Advent, we will be giving and doing it with our children, and we will be spending time together, talking and learning. And we WILL be doing the fun stuff! We will be decorating, buying gifts, wrapping gifts, making food, going to parties. Just not on the same level. We will not let the optional fun things take over the important things.
And I can't tell you how excited I am for Christmas this year!!
Isaiah 9:6 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace"
I feel I must appologize to Dr. Dobson (I am sure he has been anxiously awaiting this moment, ha!) But, we have been doing a small group through out church called, "Essentials of Discipline", based off of Dr. Dobson's books, mostly, "The New Dare to Discipline" and it is AWESOME! I am LOVING it! After actually reading this study and "The Strong Willed Child" I am learning so much. I think I was fed a lot of misinformation about what Dr. Dobson teaches and seen a lot of parents who claim to follow Dr. Dobson but don't.
The biggest thing I am learning about discipline is the importance of not getting angry. It is so easy to take kids misbehavior personally. I am learning to discipline calmly and with love and feel like the results are amazing. I always thought yelling at your kids was just a part of parenting. But, I am learning that there is no room in proper discipline for yelling and throwing fits... ESPECIALLY when that is what you are trying to get your children to stop doing!
I LOVE all that I am learning and I LOVE that my husband and I are totally on the same page. Nick is a little ahead of me as far as staying totally calm and being consistent (I tend to let things slide and not follow through and get too emotional) but I am getting there too! It is neat to see Max know what to expect when he disobeys and it is neat to see how much he really seems to take in our little talks after a time out and he is ready for a big hug and right back to playing!
So, if you are looking for a parenting book please don't shy away from Dr. Dobson because of me! I think he is a lot of wisdom to share and I for one am grateful for it!
Wow, I am such a blog slacker lately! I have been in one of those ruts where I feel like I have so much to say that I don't say anything!
So, let's stat out with... what's new? We are about 3 weeks and 1 day from closing on our house! Score! It is looking great. We went by last night to take pictures (however, when we got there the battery was dead!) and they had lots of new things done. Shutters were on, outdoor lighting was up, trim was painted, countertops were on, a few of the appliances were in and the HVAC was working. It is really starting to come together! Although, I am totally stressed out about getting everything done! I don't want to move a bunch of junk into a brand new beautiful house so I am really trying to weed out stuff. But, it is a huge challenge because a lot of stuff is in storage. Anyway, it is a mess! But, somehow I am sure it will all come together in the end!
The kids are doing great. Sophie is doing a little better about sleeping through the night which is a HUGE praise. Max is doing great. He has a new girlfriend... the girl who works the drive thru at McDonalds. He is in love. The first time he saw her Nick was driving through and they get to the window and Max says, "Look Daddy, its a giiiirl (as if the word is 8 syllables!). It is a nice girl". Then the next time we drove through she wasn't there. Max says, "That's not a girl" and cries a little! Then I drove through yesterday and there she was... "Mommy! Mommy! It's a girl!! She's a giiiiirl. She's a nice giiirl!" That boy cracks me up. (Oh, and no judging how much we go to McDonalds! It is none of your business;-) Ha!
Hope all is well with all of you! I am loving reading everyone else's blogs so much right now!
I am so happy and excited because this week I get to spend time with 2 of my best friends in the whole world! The only thing better would be to get to see them both at the same time! But, I am still pumped! My friend Sarah and her husband are coming into town and we are going out to dinner with them Saturday night. I am so excited because it will be a grown-up dinner so we will actually be able to TALK! Then next week Wednesday and Thursday I get to hang out with my friend Christina! Her husband will be in town on business so she is coming too! It will be so fun! It is always crazy because between the two of us we have 4 children... but we make them nap and then have hours of wonderful conversation! I can't wait!!