Wednesday, December 25, 2013


It seems like I was anxious for Christmas so much earlier than usual this year, and then somehow never got to it.  I'm usually pretty good about limiting our external commitments so that we have plenty of time to enjoy the Christmas season together at home--small crafts, little activities, treat-making days.  We didn't have a lot of that this year.  Almost none.  We were reasonably consistent with our regular, nightly scripture-reading, but even that was a little more anemic than usual.

I just let other things build up on me, and let it demotivate me too much.  The house we live in is admittedly frustrating to me, and I allow it to be more frustrating than it should.  And we have a few petty irritations that seem to keep popping up every time we think we've dealt with them and put them behind us--such is life. But for whatever reason, it all affected my mood far too much.  And I knew it, which made me irritated at myself.

By the time we got home this afternoon, Doug and I were both exhausted, and it showed.  We both sounded agitated, and I knew it, and it really was just fatigue--car troubles aside, we've had a great week.  The kids were all exhausted, and it showed--crying, whining, fighting.  Just a long, long week for everyone.  When I was on about the very last fiber of my very last nerve, Keilana and Kylie (who were supposed to be in bed) had something of a meltdown (in my fatigue, I hadn't gone upstairs to sing them a song, which I do nearly every night when I put them to bed).  So, after talking to them, firmly but calmly, about what was out of line with the behavior, Doug and I each cuddled one of them while we sang them one verse of "Away in a Manger".  I needed that moment.

We are too impatient too often.  Voices get raised or anger comes out too often.  But there was absolutely nothing unusual about that moment at all.  For all our slip-ups and impatient moments, those quiet, calm, I-still-love-you-I-always-love-you moments are just as, if not more, common in our house.  I needed to remember that.

I needed a moment at the end of this busy Christmas season to remember, while holding one of my babies, that little baby who came to save us--to save me.  I needed to remember for a moment before Christmas ended that my babies are what make my life so wonderful, and that it was that small baby so long ago that made those blessings eternal.

I needed that moment, holding one of my precious babies while singing about the birth of that most precious of all babies, to remember that the petty problems are petty and they're not my problem.  Things I've tried to let go before, I can let go again.  Because of that little baby boy, and who he was and what he became, all that is required of me is to forgive others, forgive myself, and move on.  The Lord bears the rest of that burden--I don't have to fix it.  I just have to move forward with as much kindness and patience as I can, and leave the rest to him.  Every opportunity I have to remember that makes it relatively easy to let go.  I know the Lord loves me, I know that he knows I am trying, and that he will forgive me when I fall short.  As long as I am willing to forgive others, he will happily extend mercy to me.

Fatigue is not forever, and in mercy, forgiveness, and love, we can indeed sleep in Heavenly peace, finding ourselves renewed, and ready to face with cheerfulness and gratitude whatever challenges may come our way.

Merry Christmas.

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