Christmas vacation was exactly what I think I needed. It was so refreshing to spend time with our families. I was horribly selfish. I slept late every single morning. No, really. One day, I actually slept until 1:00pm. No kidding! I did almost no work at all. None. I sat on sofas, opened presents galore, drank copious amounts of flavored coffee and let other people chase J.D. around.
You can’t pour sweet tea from a broken pitcher, and this Momma pitcher just needed to stop for a few repairs.
At one point, on Christmas Day, Alan and I were sitting in Alan’s grandparents’ living room with all of the adults. I’m not sure you know how unusual this is for parents of ‘littles’: Alan and I were sitting, together, in a room with adults!
Everyone there seemed to realize this was odd for us. I think they were just teasing us.
“Look at ya’ll just sitting here! Who is watching your children?”
Alan and I looked at each other. “J.D. is asleep, and the kids are outside,” we sighed a blissful sigh of relief, “so this is our chance to relax a little.”
“Where is Daniel?”
“Pretty sure he’s outside with his brothers. He’s fine.”
“You aren’t worried about what they’re doing?”
One by one, each of my three oldest boys mosied into the living room, as this conversation took place.
“Nah. They are fine.” We’d been following J.D. around diligently, of course, and now that he was sleeping, this was our time to chill.
I guess this is why people think of Alan and me as laid back. No, we don’t police our children every second of the blessed day. We feel like we’ve taught them enough basics of safety to play without causing any great disaster, and EVERYONE has to rest sometime!! You can’t watch four boys every second of the day. That isn’t possible. We watch the babies and check on the others. Alan and I were both raised that way, and you know what? I think we turned out pretty well. We both graduated PUBLIC high school without ever drinking a drop of alchohol, seeing a drug…oh wait, Alan saw one but never used any, and I never even saw any.
I remember having this conversation with my friend B.J. in 10th grade history class:
Me: We have gangs? (Our high school was 1400 students strong, 9-12 grade, and this was not a wealthy school.)
BJ: OH, yeah, April, I’m on the basketball team. You don’t even want to know about all the drugs and gangs we have at this school.
Me: Huh. I had no idea.
But you can’t worry yourself and your children to death about these things. You just have to do the best you can do and trust God with the rest.
The funny thing is that most of our great disasters have happened with us right there, watching it happen. When Joshua broke his arm, Alan and I were right outside with him. How could we know that he’d suddenly decide to jump off the pick-up truck?He’d done that dozens of times without breaking his arm.
This is life.
It’s exhausting and delightful, if you let it be. This year I decided, “I’m going have a FUN Christmas.” I did. I think I had just as much fun as the children even! Okay, I will admit, by the end of it, Alan and I were starting to snip at each other. Why does that happen?
Because we are ALL sinners, and sometimes it is SO HARD to be good!
Well, you know I can’t make a January 2nd blog post without mentioning my New Year’s Goals, and this year I have TWO, okay three.
1. Study Jesus.
Last year I was supposed to “read the Bible through in a year”. I only made it through the Old Testament.
This year I am going to read the New Testament, focusing on studying the words of Jesus. I’m not just reading this year. This year I’m studying each individual chapter.
After I do my studying, I pray and write down my objectives for that day, or that week. I have a lot more clarity of mind once I have read my Bible and prayed! If only I could squeeze this in every single morning. That is always my aim, but life is life, and so sometimes that is hard.
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
More on this in my next post!
2. Make a budget. We haven’t had one in years.
There are lots of other little goals, floating around in my head, but if I spread my focus out too much, I get overwhelmed, and then I accomplish nothing at all.
3. I want God to use our family to bless others.
“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:35-38
Let me tell you the result of my lazy Christmas vacation!
For the first time since I do not even remember when, I cannot feel that pinch in my right shoulder and my right hip. I haven’t used pain cream or advil in weeks! Plus, my finger nails look almost completely normal!
Living a lazy life is a bad idea, but living a stressful-never sleeping life is awfully hard on the body. Oh, to find the balance. They say that the first year of home schooling is the hardest, and I jumped right into the middle of it, rather than easing in, one kiddo at a time, sooo I have HIGH hopes for this year.
I have decided: This year I am appreciating my very Disney-movie-like life. I am thanking God for his blessings. I feel like I am re-grouping and preparing to return to “battle”, aka home schooling J, C, D, and JD. (Never think the babies don’t count. Little ones require a TON of attention.)
I’m taking more time to plan for family fun and rest too. These boys need that just as much as I do. I may even plan some fun family mini-vacations for us, in advance!
Happy New Year!!