It’s two days before Christmas. Every year this is the fastest and slowest month. My kids get so excited once the Christmas decorations go up, and since they don’t have the best concept of time, they ask everyday, “How much longer til Christmas?” But for me, Christmas isn’t a destination to look forward to, I enjoy the journey to the special day. I enjoy decorating, shopping for my friends and family, wrapping the gifts, watching the Hallmark sappy movies and the old classics. I enjoy the parties and the caroling and the concerts. I enjoy baking cookies for our neighbors and going door to door to deliver them. I love the whole spirit of giving that comes with Christmas. And while I enjoy Christmas Day, it’s just the exclamation point at the end of a fun filled season.
This year in particular has been a wonderful, yet tough year for our family. My husband started a job in the new year of 2017, and while it’s been a very rewarding experience for him professionally, it has required longer work hours and more time spent away from home than ever before. This has been very hard on me as a mom and wife, but also on the kids, who can never have enough time with their dad. Sometimes with blessings come burdens and we have to choose how we focus on them. What’s the big picture?
As for me, the mom, I have had my own wonderful, yet tough year. I turned 40 this year, for which I am thankful, but I honestly struggled quite a bit with to be honest. But the hardest part of my year was finding out my mom had stage 4 lung cancer. It has been an emotional roller coaster for me, as she is my best friend. We have talked on the phone almost every day for the past 20 years since I left home for college. She is my rock, my confidante, and the one person I know will always be there for me no matter what. I am lucky, so lucky, to have a mom like her. She’s doing okay at the moment and we are so thankful to get to celebrate the holidays with her and dad and my brothers. I am growing in my faith through this experience, daily choosing to trust God with her and my heart no matter what the outcome of her cancer. On a positive note, I have made some new friends this year and they have been an encouragement in many ways.
Hailey is 11 and started 5th grade this year, and once again we are homeschooling. She seems to enjoy being homeschooled. The older she gets, the more her strengths stand out to me. She is a very creative type. She loves to sing, she loves to write songs and desperately wants to learn how to play the guitar. She is an amazing friend. She is so kind and loving and innocent but I do see her growing into a Godly young lady. Her best friend got cancer this year and she has spent a lot of time with her. She prayed for her every day and I’m happy to say her friend is cancer free now. Hailey always had faith she would be okay. Everyone who meets Hailey, tells me that God has big plans for that girl, and I have to say I agree.
Bryson is 8 and in 2nd grade this year. He did really well in public school last year for 1st grade but this year for 2nd, it was a whole different story. He made some bad choices in who to hang out with and slowly was becoming a very angry kid. He was struggling in his school work as well and after doing everything we could with the school, we decided to pull him out in October and homeschool him. I’m happy to say that the anger and bad behavior we had dealt with all went away after a few weeks home! It was amazing. He now has this calmness and helpful spirit that wasn’t there before. He still fights with his brothers over dumb stuff but that’s just life with siblings. He enjoys his schoolwork and seems to be very proud of his work. Immediate praise does wonders for him. It was definitely the right choice for him, even though mommy’s life got much harder. He’s the same height as Hailey now and will probably pass her up next year. He still loves baseball but is now enjoying karate as well.
Beckett is 5 and started Kindergarten this past fall. He was always my easiest kid but he decided to step up his game this year and show me how hard he can be as well as his brothers. This kiddo has an engineer’s mind. He’s always trying to figure out how everything works. Anything I give him he will take apart into a bunch of pieces. I would say he destroys with a purpose. But he’s also a builder and loves making forts of absolutely anything…boxes, chairs, patio furniture, you name it. I’m sure someday his mind will be put to good use. He played soccer and baseball this year but seems to prefer soccer because its more active. He also started karate recently and is enjoying that as well. He has the sweetest smile ever.
Wyatt turned 3 recently and is finally potty trained (Hallelujah)!! He has quite the personality to match his red hair. Everywhere we go people comment on his hair. It really is beautiful with its flecks of blond gold in it. Wyatt is full of energy. Oh so much energy. He’s everywhere all of the time. This year he cut his own hair, drew sharpie all over my house, and ran down the street while I was in the restroom. Can’t get a 5 minute break with that kid in the house. He’s been in speech therapy all year and has come a long way in his talking abilities. He’s clever and coy and goofy and so stinking adorable that it’s hard to get mad. He’s the perfect last kiddo for this family.
I imagine that when Jesus decided to come to earth, He also knew his journey would be wonderful yet tough. I’d like to think it was an easy decision because of His love for us but I know that He knew it wouldn’t be all sunshine and daisies down here. He had a tough life while on earth, and an even tougher death. But he deemed it worth it. It was a Holy Night when Christ was born, it was a night of sacrifice and hope for a future that we have not yet seen. I’m so thankful to God for keeping His eyes on the big picture and making the choice to save us. I hope that we too, as we live in this wonderful yet tough world full of joy and pain, that we can keep our eyes on the big picture, our hope of Heaven.
Merry Christmas to all and my your 2018 be bright,