Merry Christmas and Here’s to as Few Fits, Tantrums, and Outbursts as Possible

I’m hoping for a Christmas miracle.  We already got snow, so I’m hoping that we’re in for a few more miracles since they’ve started so early.

I just want to publicly confess my tensions rising as Christmas draws nearer and nearer.  I love it.  I couldn’t be more excited.  I’m pretty much a 5 year old on the inside.  However, I also feel like it’s a bit of a ginormous freight train headed right for me and I’m powerless to stop it.  ha  That might even be a bit of an understatement.  hehe *wicked giggle*

5 days of multiple big family events.  The pressure of opening gifts in front of people.  The pressure of giving gifts in front of people.  The pressure of sharing food that I cooked/baked.  The pressure of my children’s reactions and behaviors.  The pressure of being away from my house and my routine.  I feel like I’m about to be hit by a train or better yet, trapped in a pressure cooker.

I’m going to go ahead and spare myself and you all the awkwardness.  My children will melt down.  My children will awkwardly ask for more presents.  My children will not like what you got them, or they’ll like what you got their sister more.  My children will make a mess or break something.  My children will act their age, which, as of tomorrow, will be 3 and 4, and as of Christmas, will be 3 and 5.  Yep, I’m going to remind you that not only is it Christmas, but also their birthdays.  My children will not say thank you.  They will forget your name.  They will certainly embarrass me and maybe you too.  But to be fair, I’m probably going to embarrass myself too.  I’ll forget your name.  I won’t like what you got me.  You won’t like what I got you.  Or, I’ll have forgotten to buy you a present.  You won’t like my food.  You won’t like something.

There.  It’s over.  The awkwardness is over.  The tension over waiting for it to come is over.  It’s inevitable anyways, there is no perfect Christmas.  There are no perfect children.  There are no perfect family events.  There are no perfect cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, nieces, nephews, spouses, siblings, etc., etc.

I’ve taken the pressure off.  Unplug the stupid pressure cooker.  Now that I have reminded myself that my desire for a perfect event and my unrealistic expectations is ridiculous I feel better.  Maybe I can actually enjoy the holidays, my children, and the family events.

Afterall, it’s really not about the stuff, the beauty of my children, the pressure on the family events, it’s about baby  Jesus.  And who doesn’t love a baby?  Especially a baby that is Jesus.  Nothing beats being unconditionally loved, accepted, wanted, treasured, gifts poured out on, an always available shoulder and lap, the pressure taken off, fought for, and made new.  Everything on my list.

Let me be singing when the evening comes.

Wouldn’t that be great?  To still be singing when the evening comes.  To know that we survived Christmas and actually enjoyed it and felt loved and fought for.  I think for me the goal is going to be singing His song this Christmas and not my own.  Thank goodness for baby Jesus.  And maybe, just maybe, I’ll sing like never before on this Christmas.

It is, afterall, a birthday party.  Happy Birthday, baby Jesus!

And Hannah Grace.  (Dec 25)

And Leah Noel (Dec 21)


Little Girls are Beautiful

A while back I read this article.  And then it surfaced again this week.  I just brushed it off at first.  But then it intersected my life and I couldn’t ignore it.  So here is my 2 cents…worth just that, about 2 cents.

First, let me just say that I appreciate the article.  I love that it encourages us to engage in conversation with little girls and young women about real things.  I definitely want people to have real conversations with my girls.  I want people to ask my girls about their opinions…trust me, they have opinions and lots of them.  They love to talk and be treated as real little people.

However, I don’t like that it discourages you from telling my girls that they’re beautiful, adorable, cute, or wearing a nice outfit.  The simple fact is that my little girls love to hear those things.  And I love for them to hear those things.  Shoot, I love to hear those things about myself so why would my 2 and 4 year old be any different?  When was the last time that you got a compliment and it didn’t make your day?

And, yes, I agree that children shouldn’t worry about being fat, preteens shouldn’t be wearing make-up, teen girls shouldn’t be getting boob jobs, and adult women shouldn’t be addicted to plastic surgery.  She asks, “What’s missing?”  Her answer is that it’s meaning, books, ideas, and being valued for more than just looks.  I agree with her that those things are great things.  But the simple truth is that what’s really missing is Jesus.  Apart from relationship with Jesus and allowing God to be our true fulfillment and meet our need for approval, we will continue to look to our looks, our success, our perfection, our own efforts at goodness to fulfill us.  The problem is that those things will always fail us, maybe not right away, but I can assure you that it is inevitable.  God always approves of his children, Jesus already did the impossible and we don’t have to work or earn or be perfect to have God love and approve us.

The truth is that my almost 3 year old said this to me just yesterday, “Mommy, I got my dress on.  Daddy will think I’m pretty.”  Now, I’d already told her she looked pretty, but she knew we were going to see Daddy and it was his words and opinions that she was seeking.

I guess what I’m saying is that I simply don’t think that women (or teens or preteens) struggle with self-esteem, self-worth, or value because they had too many family members, friends, acquaintances, or strangers tell them as children that they were beautiful.  I think we owe a huge part of the breakdown of women’s self-worth to the lack of a father’s influence in their lives.  I think the porn industry and a sex saturated media and society, with men paying big bucks to have sex dominate the marketplace is sending a far bigger message than whether or not little girls get complimented on their appearance occasionally.  Satan is working pretty hard to keep men out of families so that it will destroy the family and the protection that girls (and boys) find at home.

From a mother’s perspective, I love to hear my little girls get complimented.  I can assure you that we have enough moments where there are fits being thrown or words being yelled and we certainly get the dirty looks in those moments.  So you’ll have to forgive me if I appreciate the compliments and take them as wins on those days when my little girls are behaving and are dressed up and get some positive attention from it.

Also from my mothering perspective, when someone compliments my girls it provides a teachable moment.  I get a chance to teach my daughters to tell someone thank you.  It is a good thing to learn to graciously accept compliments and tell the giver of kind words, thank you.  I hope that it teaches my girls how to interact with people and how to be grateful.

You see, if my husband and I are doing our job as parents, when someone else compliments my daughters’ appearance it is just icing on the cake.  And even if we’re not doing our job as parents, because lets be honest, I don’t always do my job well and there are a lot of little girls out there whose parents aren’t doing their job either, wouldn’t I rather them hear, occasionally from other people, that they look cute, or beautiful, or have on a nice outfit?  Should we expect adults not to compliment each other, because heaven-forbid, we might start to get all of our value from how we look?  Call me shallow, but I’d rather not have to live my life without ever receiving another compliment.  Maybe we can use our words to build people (little girls and little boys of all ages) up instead of tearing them down.

Again, I get it…I definitely think we should value real conversation and engaging the minds of young children.  I just also think that its good and wise for us to value their cuteness.  Kids are cute!  Little miniature outfits and toothless grins and twirls and the innocence of youth is just adorable!  We should value the gift that God gave us in having children be cute.  Because, in a lot of moments they’re not so cute, they’re a hot mess, literally, with snot and drool or spilled food or tantrums or unrestrained voices and opinions.  I’m perfectly happy to celebrate the occasions that are quite cute.

That’ll be 2 cents.


What are your thoughts on Lisa Bloom’s article?