totally missing the season

christmas comes and goes so quickly, doesn’t it? it begins with anticipation and excitement, that turns quickly into anxiety, anger, frustration, unmet expectations. why do we let a season created to celebrate the birth of christ become about us? we all do it. in my attempt to slow things down and have more meaning this year, i decided to try to make all (ok, most) of the gifts we are giving. its been fun, and at times stressful, thinking up gifts for my loved ones. i’ve had to be more thoughtful about the gifts i’m making. but then it creeps in. no longer is the gift-making about giving a handmade gift to a loved one, but just getting it done, checking something else off the list. how often i have heard, out of my own mouth at times i’m sure, how we “have to do this and that to prepare for christmas”. we make our to-do and to-buy lists longer each year, much longer than they need to be. why do we do this? sometimes i think that we have a need to be busy, or feel busy. aren’t we busy enough with regular life, without adding all these extra things on top? doesn’t everyone say this is a “busy season”? shouldn’t we be busy just being and not “doing”, being with those who matter the most to us, celebrating the gifts we have been given in family, not material things?
while i’ve been working on gifts, i’ve let a lot slide. my house is an absolute disaster, which i have to dig myself out of every few days. what a patient and understanding husband i have! my kids needs are met, but just barely. so is this what the season is about? whats better: running around town trying to find the perfect gifts, or making my own, but taking it out on my family? (so many questions, i know!) ideally, i would’ve began this adventure earlier, enjoyed the process, and began the season in the right way. i’ve been wanting to do an advent calendar with my kids, but it has now become “another thing to do”. why? especially when that is what its all about: teaching my kids about the prophecies of christ’s birth, the immaculate conception, the shepherds, the stable… the things they need to know!
i usually spend so much of december coveting then often buying more christmas decorations for the house. this year has been a bit better, i think because i haven’t really been out shopping much, so i’m not really seeing whats out there. abstaining rather than being strong enough to pass things up, my lazy way of fighting temptation. i still want to make more christmas decorations though (what’s with the desire to “make” this year?), and i so easily justify it as “for the kids”. really its for me. i like to create, to craft, to decorate. i’d like the kids to like it too, buts its more about satisfying my own desires, not theirs. and what if it were their desires? should more decorations be what the season is about? should making it fun for the kids be what the seaon is about? no! that is a byproduct, a happy result, but what we should be most concerned with is glorifying god in this season, and all seasons, with proclaiming the truth of his son’s miraculous birth and all the goodness he has brought to us, and all the sin he has taken from us in his death. wow! that is what we should celebrate!
so as i think about how fast this season is passing, a season i don’t fully appreciate for what it is, or throw myself completely into, i realize there is yet another season that is passing me by: my season of life. how quickly its passing, and i don’t even see it for what it is! (ok, this part of my post is getting really difficult to write, as lily has been fighting bedtime for over an hour and a half now!) right now i see it as hard, trying, exhausting, sleepless. i know, without a doubt, that in only a few years i will be longing for things to be as they are now. but will i be longing for the feelings i just mentioned? no. i’ll be wanting the things i so easily forget right now: how wonderful it is to wake up in the morning to all 5 of us in bed, to lay there for as long as we can; how sweet the snuggles of a newborn are; how my oldest wants to please me; how my middle child is learning new words every day; even more simply – how i only have one child to drop off at school, how we have no sports practices or games to be on time for, how we have no homework to do to take away from family time. with each season comes all the trials and joys. i so hope that i remember the joys above the trials. not that i forget the hard things, but that they are so outweighed by the wonderful, that they are just a side note. i guess i want to see it like how i view labor: i want to do it again and again. yes, it was hard and painful, but also the most incredible thing i have ever experienced, the most joyful times in my life, the most bonding experience for my husband and i. i want to look back on this stage and remember what we went through, how tough these kiddos were, but so much more, to remember these precious moments, the bonding times, the times that make our family who we are.
ok, thats enough rambling for now. back to the sewing machine ;)

-lindsey

post script: i realize now that this post is making some of you sad for me. that is not the intention. i feel like i have just become more aware of myself and others around me and how the season affects so many of us. this awareness is a good thing, and i am not sad about it. hopefully it will drive me to change some of my ways. i actually have taken quite a break from gift making because that was what was needed. my kids have been very demanding of all the time which i would normally be able to craft, but thats ok. i have plenty of time to finish, and if they want my attention, why wouldn’t i give it to them? also, my grandfather passed away yesterday. see my mom’s comment (the first one). maybe some extra emotions are coming out because i don’t really know how to deal with his death. mourning for someone who i had harsh feelings for is difficult. i feel like i’m mourning more for my mom’s loss than mine. she is a gracious woman who loves so many despite the way they treat her. i love you mom!

Comments

  1. 1
    unfinished says:

    i know today has been a tough day. sleeplessness, tired, frustrated, failed expectations for your kids, yourself and top that off with losing a grandfather. a grandfather who was tough on you and me and many others too. like you are “imperfect”, so was he. i always try to remember that about myself aka”unfinished” but most importantly i remember others probably fall short also. despite all his faults i know he loved you. your name was the last name i heard from his lips and he spoke of you with concern. i admire you for openly talking about some of the hard questions in life; faith, family, selfish desires. i think you’re on the right track & i pray you’ll do it better than i have. love ya, mom

  2. 2

    In your memories the precious moments will outweigh the trying times. Those trying days make the really good ones even more precious. Some day, we will be mentoring our daughters or other young mothers and we can impart the wisdom we have gained so that they can full enjoy each season. They all go too fast, its a blur.

    Lance and I were just talking last night about how fast this season of Christmas is flying by. Why does it have to be busy? There seem to be parties, programs, practice for programs each week. The focus needs to be on the birth of Jesus and taking the time to celebrate it. I guess I am learning it is about simplicity and learning to say NO!

    I will be praying for you!

  3. 3

    i woke up today feeling all these same things. Today we are forgetting school work. I have had a list of creative things i have wanted to do with the kids.
    Today i’ll do a few things off their list.
    Make panckaes (instead of having them get cereal)
    have each kiddo make advent chains for their rooms.
    have hot coco with as many marshmallows as there are days till christmas.
    play a game by the christmas tree lights.
    Let them watch a Christmas movie, as i continue to sew bears (let josie sew too, as she keeps asking).
    These are all little things, but it allows me to stop and enjoy them enjoying the season.

    and we’re all “imperfect.” your post is all of us. When the stirring causes us to dig deeper, want more jesus, then dig, and want ,and have more of him.

    Praise God that Jesus came to be, “Emmanuel God with us” because in this going by too fast life, We need GOD WITH US, I know I could never do it on my own. And because of Christmas we don’t have to :-)

  4. 4
    Jacquelyn says:

    Great picture! I just wanted to let you know I have followed your crafting adventure with amazment, wondering how you can spend time with your kids, clean you house and sew all at the same time. I really appriciate your honesty.Thanks for keeping it real.

  5. 5

    i am so sorry about the passing of your grandfather. thanks for sharing your real struggles with this particular season (christmas and life, both). i agree that this season is filled with so much fluff that we (people) have talked ourselves into thinking is necessary. i hear you on the decorations–i love decorations and they are such a temptation to me. i resolved this year not to buy any new decorations aside from a little tree for the kids. so far, so good. i appreciate what your mom said about how we all fall short. it’s so true. love you! and this is truly an amazing season and time in life. just think, we get to teach our kids the wonder of Jesus’ birth! that’s amazing. let’s keep reminding each other of that, okay?

  6. 6
    West Coast Pritchetts says:

    You are such a wonderful Mom…don’t ever forget that…ever!

    Ponder this:
    The mistletoe of our Christmas array reminds us that this is the season of healing: a time for bridging the divisions between ourselves and family and friends, a time for embracing the selfless spirit of reconciliation, a time for restoring the love and the peace of Christ within our hearts and homes…

    Basically…get some mistletoe…hug your sweet kiddos and kiss your husband…We sure do have it good…Life is Good!

    Much Love…Many Blessings…
    Tara

  7. 7

    I’ve been lurking on your blog for a few weeks, following your crafty adventures. It’s great to see someone who actually cares to question the things you’re questioning. I have been trying so hard to make this Christmas about Christ that I actually started focusing on advent calendars, adding Bible verses to our Christmas cards, etc. etc. that I have taken my focus off Him! I’ll be sure to say a prayer for you and your family. Thanks for your honesty!
    Kendall from North Carolina

  8. 8
    Joyful Weddings & Events says:

    linds- i am so there with you. thanks for your honesty and openness- it is refreshing. sorry to hear about your grandpa. love you!

  9. 9
    Joyful Weddings & Events says:

    linds- i am so there with you. thanks for your honesty and openness- it is refreshing. sorry to hear about your grandpa. love you!

  10. 10

    hi lindsey,
    i’m so sorry to hear about your grandfather. i will be praying for you and your family.

    i wanted to let you know some little, easy things that we have been doing with our kids to keep the focus on christ. we have been going through a family christmas devotional each day called Looking Forward To the Nativity, by jon farrar. it’s so awesome and teaches the kids how christ is interwoven all through the bible. there’s a family activity to do with each devotion. it’s been a great breakfast thing to do.

    we also have a nativity called What Does God Want for Christmas. it’s a hands on nativity that has a story for 7 events that took place around christ’s death. each day the kids get to open a present relating to christ’s birth. on the last day, christmas, the kids open a present to find out what god wants for christmas. there’s a mirror in side and the meaning is that god wants “us” for christmas.

    i ordered a bunch of nativity crafts from oriental trading company that are at our art table that the kids can do anytime, and i can also give them as gifts. :)

    also, at bedtime, read them a different christmas story each night. soo fun!!!

    i miss you guys so much!
    maybe we’ll see you next month?

  11. 11
    Chris & Lindsey Wheeler says:

    Lindsey,

    I somehow ended up on your blog…just wanted to tell you that I am praying for you. Sorry about the loss and hardship you have gone through with your grandfather! Your kiddos are so cute!! My husband and I are going through two pretty difficult adoption in Guatemala. If you have a few extra minutes…please pray for us too.

    Blessings,
    Lindsey Wheeler
    http://www.thewheelerjourney.blogspot.com

  12. 12
    Chris & Lindsey Wheeler says:

    Lindsey,

    I somehow ended up on your blog…just wanted to tell you that I am praying for you. Sorry about the loss and hardship you have gone through with your grandfather! Your kiddos are so cute!! My husband and I are going through two pretty difficult adoption in Guatemala. If you have a few extra minutes…please pray for us too.

    Blessings,
    Lindsey Wheeler
    http://www.thewheelerjourney.blogspot.com

  13. 13

    Hey Linds, just wanted you to know that you and your whole family have been in my thoughts and prayers this week. This is when I wish I lived closer so I could help & hug you!!! Hope everything goes smoothly. I love you ~ Shan XOXO

  14. 14

    Hey Linds-

    I’ve finally had a moment to catch up with your blog and it really hit home. I realize this post was awhile ago-how are things going now? I’m feeling the exact same things you are-with the added frustration of work (both at school and at home) and older kids. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us-it really lets me know that I’m not alone in this crazy world-I really am normal! And so are you! We love you very much and miss you guys tons. Hope you feel our love and hugs and prayers from all the way down south. Love you girl! Heath

Speak Your Mind

*