Thursday, December 21, 2017

The stockings were hung by the chimney...with a lot of aggravation and fighting and then the kids were sent to bed.

A true Christmas story.

Everyone was SO excited!
We pulled bins bursting with decor out of the attic..sifted through the treasures...strung the lights...
Christmas music was chocolate was being sipped...sugar cookies baking...
...we even made a cute little video while we hung the antique ornaments all over the tree.

Idyllic... I know, I know.

Next, I started working on the fireplace mantle.
This is where things began to shift.

Jeff took Frankie upstairs to lay him down for bed and ended up falling asleep as well.
I was a little annoyed...didn't he want to help me place candles on the hearth?
I mean...all men love to do that sort of  thing! least on Instagram they do.
...and Instagram is real. I know it is!

The last pan of sugar cookies burned to black crisps. It smelled lovely.
Then the dear children began to complain about the placement of their stockings...
For the past 15 years they were hung over the opening of the fireplace...
..this year I had a different idea...but my kids don't like that sort of change.
Not when it comes to tradition's sake anyway...

It escalated into me gently explaining yelling that it was
MY decision and MY house and MY fireplace and they could hang stockings in the actual FIRE
if that's what they wanted to do when they grew up and owned their own houses!
But this was MINE! and by golly I wanted it to look nice for the birthday of our Saviour!

Christmas is not about US, children, and where we want our stockings...
it's about making our house look like a magazine for Jesus!
..and I'm pretty positive Heaven decorates with dried oranges and cedar greens! ended with the grand finale of me sending everyone to bed.
I decided I was going to finish decorating alone...
where my heart could be filled with Joy and Peace and no one would complain...
and I could have things my way.  Joy.Peace.Jesus.

So there I was...all alone. 
With my candle sticks and whatever Christmas music I wanted to listen to.

It was nice...for about three minutes.

Then conviction and all the "Mom Guilt" began to settle in....

..Not because I didn't let them hang stockings in the same spot, no, no, no.
As a mom, it IS your decision to rearrange and change up your home if you wish to do so.
It's not like we weren't hanging stockings! ..I moved them three feet over!
and it IS my fireplace!  and I don't want it to look like Disney World!
and that is OKAY!

The bad feeling was from the way I handled it.
I could have spoken calmly and nicely instead of ranting and yelling.

A few minutes later a boy walked in and apologized. I apologized for getting so angry.
Another boy came in..we finished up a few things..then everyone went to bed

You see...
This is how real life goes.

We fail. We do wrong. We act wrong. We feel foolish.
We have to say sorry. We have to ask forgiveness.

Real life is messy sometimes. and we mess up sometimes.
..and that is okay! as long as we fix it.

You have probably heard..."There is no such thing as a perfect family".
Wrong! There is a such thing as a perfect family!

You have a perfect family! How about that?

Within your perfect little family there will sometimes be cranky children and
cranky moms and cranky dads and sisters and brothers who will squabble in the grocery store
and disobey at times and moms and dads will get into arguments and moms and dads will make up and there will be good and there will be bad and there will be days you won't ever forget
and days you would love to forget!

Don't compare.
Don't look around to see what everyone else is doing and then only pick out the good parts!
It's not all good! and that doesn't mean it's's just the way it is.
We live in a less than perfect world where sin pops up all over the place.
Thankfully we have God!

Love your family and find all the good you already have.
I know you have good! You know you have good!
Give yourself a break. Ease up on those expectations and embrace what you have.
Don't strive for what others are your own life doing the things that you are capable of.

Your children are truly, truly, truly a gift! Your husband/wife is a wonderful, wonderful gift!
..and you are a gift to your family!



  1. Thank you for sharing a real life, honest from the heart story. I love it when mommas are honest and will tell what happened but then tell what God did. So glad for Gods ways...His amazing grace, love, patience in our families.

  2. You're so dear.
    Hanging stockings IN the fire made me giggle so hard!
    Such good words. Merry Christmas to your beautiful family.