Monday, January 7, 2013

Christmas Pressure

 After 2 months of at least one person in our family being sick, BAM . . . it's Christmas.

All my grand hopes of a Christmas in the Oaks, the Jesse Tree advent journey, sweet notes in our stockings . . . not a single one happened.  I somehow managed to get all the prizes purchased and even got them wrapped a whole 24 hours before we were leaving town!  My attitude was "It is what it is" but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed about how fast Christmas had come upon us and how we hadn't celebrated like I would have hoped.

We headed to my parent's house on Sunday after church . . . the van packed full, two kiddos, and sweet Tilly.  C.R.A.Z.Y.  

We'd had a bit of a rough first week with Tilly.  She is a puppy and we quickly discovered that puppies and toddlers don't mesh so well together.  Grayson had scratches all over his face from her pouncing on him when he fell down.  It only took one time for Tilly to nip at Ava's heels for her to declare that she did not want to be around Tilly.  

Great.  One kid is screaming for her life and the other is bleeding.  Not exactly how I pictured this.

And on top of this, we have to load Tilly in the car for a 6 hour ride and then try to keep potty training her while we are at my parent's house.  

All of this mess added up to a good amount of stress for me and Chad.  And because that just wasn't enough, Chad started feeling sick almost as soon as we got to my parent's house.  Bleh!

But God is good . . .

Tilly did so incredibly amazing on the trip and was so much fun for our whole family.  Chad sat the kids down and told them that Tilly needed to learn to obey them too.  Apparently all Ava needed was a little authority!  She has gotten so brave and comfortable around Tilly and is now a master at getting her to sit!  And Grayson quickly learned that he is stronger than Tilly {for now} and can push her off of him.  The tables have turned and now Tilly does a fair amount of running from our wild man!

So the stress with Tilly was gone, but we still felt this pressure and guilt about how we had failed to celebrate Christ's birth well.  

At one point on Christmas Day {when the excitement had died down and it was obvious that Chad felt horrible} Chad and I looked at each other and knew we were thinking the same thing . . . 

We've failed.  I mean, for the love, we haven't even read Luke 2.

But as I felt the weight of shame and could see the guilt in Chad's eyes, God gave me the words that both of us needed to hear.

We celebrate Jesus' birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection every day.  {Or at least that is our desire . . . we sure aren't perfect!}  We don't need to feel the pressure to have it all big and monumental on December 25th . . . like our kids won't ever know Jesus unless we get it right in that one 24 hour window.  

So I thanked Chad for being the spiritual leader of our home and our faith family, for pointing me and the kids to Christ EVERY day, and for constantly proclaiming with his words and life that we all need Jesus.

Whew.  The burden was gone.  No more guilt and shame.  

They were replaced with joy and gratitude that God the Son entered in to our mess to rescue sinners like you and me.  
Emmanuel.  God with us.  

Jesus has come and He's coming back again!
Oh the grace.

We went on to have a fabulous week with my parents, Clay and Kylee.  We then went to Lafayette for a quick Christmas celebration with Chad's family.  We are so blessed!

Here's a few of my favorites pics from the trip . . .

Sweet Tilly stayed just like this for most of our trip.  Our girl LOVES to be cuddle up next to someone!  

Just like we dreamed {finally} . . . the kids love her so much!

Old house phone from Papa T and Lili = the most treasured addition to my girl's "office" in her room!

Chad and I got Ava her first full Bible.  The first thing she asked to look up was Luke 2.  Real funny God!

The best prize of the year goes to Clay . . . he got Grayson a bike helmet.  Which Grayson wanted to wear at. all. times.  Safety first!  You never know when playing with blocks will get out of hand. :)

Or watching a movie . . . that is some dangerous stuff right there!

Chad's parents got Grayson a bike to go along with his new helmet!  It's a little big for now, but Ava has been doing great on it!

Who knew Paw Paw was so creative?!  Chad's dad made this veterinary office for Ava to play with when we visit.  You can see that her new phone quickly found it's place at her desk!

Paw Paw and Uncle Jacob loved their custom crab shell ornaments!

Such a great family pic!

Sweet Penny reading the books we got her!

We had a great time, but it was sure nice to get home and get back into our normal routine {whatever that is!}.  

So what about y'all?  Did anyone else feel the Christmas pressure?  How do you celebrating with joy without stressing out?

1 comment:

  1. hahaha Cole, I loved everything about your post. Nope, we didn't read Luke 2 either... not sure that we ever have as a family ~ it always felt forced when I would try to do it in the past. I think your perspective on this is beautiful and it's 110% true about you and Chad and your precious kiddos. So long, shame!