22 December 2014

The Shoe Cobbler

Happy Monday, friends!  Christmas week!  Wahoo!

We went with the Husband's family (all 15 children in his family + 55 grandchildren) to a cabin this weekend and it was exactly what the doctor ordered for me.  It was relaxing and fun and full of love and happiness.  And food.  Duh.  I feel incredibly blessed to be included in such a wonderful family.  They have welcomed me and my children so completely, and it has truly blessed our lives. They are the salt of the earth, deep down, genuinely good people.  I came away from the cabin inspired to be a better mother (from interacting with all the amazing moms in the family), and filled with the comfort of good relationships.  It was a happy weekend.

Since it's Christmas week, I wanted to share with you a little Christmas story I came across.  Maybe you have heard it.  This story inspires me to be more aware of those around me and ways I can serve.  Take a break from the Christmas crazy to enjoy a little Christmas inspiration.  Enjoy :)

One of my favorite Christmas stories is about the old shoe cobbler who dreamed one Christmas Eve that Jesus would come to visit him the next day. The dream was so real that he was convinced it would come true.

So the next morning he got up & went out & cut green boughs & decorated his little cobbler shop & got all ready for Jesus to come & visit. He was so sure that Jesus was going to come that he just sat down & waited for Him.

The hours passed & Jesus didn't come. But an old man came. He came inside for a moment to get warm out of the winter cold. As the cobbler talked with him he noticed the holes in the old man's shoes, so he reached up on the shelf & got him a new pair of shoes. He made sure they fit & that his socks were dry & sent him on his way.

Still he waited. But Jesus didn't come. An old woman came. A woman who hadn't had a decent meal in two days. They sat & visited for a while, & then he prepared some food for her to eat. He gave her a nourishing meal & sent
her on her way.

Then he sat down again to wait for Jesus. But Jesus still didn't come.

Then he heard a little boy crying out in front of his shop. He went out & talked with the boy, & discovered that the boy had been separated from his parents & didn't know how to get home. So he put on his coat, took the boy by the hand & led him home.

When he came back to his little shoe shop it was almost dark & the streets were emptied of people. And then in a moment of despair he lifted his voice to heaven & said, "Oh Lord Jesus, why didn't you come?"

And then in a moment of silence he seemed to hear a voice saying, "Oh shoe cobbler, lift up your heart. I kept my word. Three times I knocked at your friendly door. Three times my shadow fell across your floor. I was the man with the bruised feet. I was the woman you gave to eat. I was the boy on the homeless street."

Jesus had come after all.

(By: Melvin Newland)
19 December 2014

Christmas stress

The holidays are full of awesome things.  Family, friends, food, fun, flamingos (not really, but I felt like I should keep the F thing going).  However, I am not the kind of person that can just sit back and enjoy it.  I am a complete stress case.  I tend to be an anxious, stressed out person in general, but around the holidays it gets completely out of hand.  I have gotten better over the years, but I stress out about everything.  This is mind boggling to my husband, who basically has never felt stress in the history of his existence, which actually stresses me out more.  haha.  Not a joke.

Here is a current list of things on my stress list:
-husband out of town, just stressful in general
-this weekend cabin with husband's family (stress includes what to pack, what not to pack, gifts to wrap for gift exchanges, food to bring for meal I'm in charge of for 85 PEOPLE, what to pack, what not to pack, gifts to wrap...you get the picture.  My stress rotates in circles like that).
-Gift exchange for my family
-Gifts for a family we are helping this year
-sending my kids to their dad's
-prepping the house for us to be gone this weekend (dishes clean, trash out, etc)
-blah blah a whole bunch of other mindless stuff that in the long run really isn't worth my anxiety

I was listening to the radio the other day and heard something that I really needed to hear, so I thought I would pass it along to you.  The woman (so sorry I can't remember who it was) was talking about holiday stress.  She said, "what can I realistically do, while still being able to feel Christmas Joy?"

This was profound to me.  I put so many things on my to do list, that I am not happy.  I do not feel excited, I feel anxious for it to all be over.  I am snappy with my kids, and have less patience, and get less sleep, and get frustrated easier.  That is not how Christmas is meant to be!  I am ruining Christmas for myself because I have unrealistic expectations about what needs to be done.  How sad it is to lose the joy of the season for the minutia of the moment.  I am guilty, guilty, guilty of that.  It doesn't matter if my house is perfectly decorated, or if my Christmas cards are bedazzled just so, or if I make the best sugar cookies on the block.  What kind of things can I cross off my to do list, so that I make room for the more important things like spending time with my kids, having a peaceful home, and inviting the spirit into my life?

I think many of us likely fall into this trap.  Take some time to cross a few nonessentials off your to do list, so that you can invite the Christmas spirit back into your life.

Because being happy is better than being stressed any day.  Even at Christmas.
17 December 2014

Numero Dos

So I had to take my oldest to the orthodontist the other day.  She is 9, but because of some less than stellar dental work a few years ago, she needs to start the orthodontia process stat.  Anyway, the last time we were at the office, my sweet three year old pooped and it turned into kind of a debacle.  And yes, my three year old is still not potty trained.  She was for a few days, and then just decided she liked diapers better.  She WILL NOT go on the potty.  If I put her in panties, she doesn't have accidents, but when she needs to go to the bathroom she asks for a diaper.  haha.  UGH.  One day she sat on the toilet for an hour, would not go, then got off and promptly peed all over the food court at Costco.  Oops.  She is by far my most stubborn child.  But that's an entirely different post altogether.

Anyway, as we were walking in, 9 yr old said "I hope she doesn't poop again this time."


So we're in the waiting room, which is full of people.  I am at the front desk discussing payment and trying to schedule our next appointment, and S gets the face.  The Face.  You know the one I'm talking about.  Eyes get big, then narrow in concentration, mouth hardens into a line, and she puts her hand up and says, "don't look at me!"  Oh boy.  At least she's huddled in the corner so no one will know what's going on.




Everyone is looking, some smiling, others obviously disgusted.  I pretend for a minute that she is not my child.  That strategy fails when she walks over to me, still yelling.  "MOM!  I POOP A LOT! LOT OF POOP MOM!"  Still pushing.  Face red.

Okay.  This is awkward.  And you smell like an outhouse.  I try to quiet her down, but she will not be quieted.  She NEEDS me to know that she has accomplished something great.  She needs me to know very loudly.

I am trying to quiet her, while continuing to pay attention to what the receptionist is telling me about our next appointment.  Everyone is watching us.  And I laugh.  Because there is not one dang thing I can do to make this less awkward.

Finally I am done at the desk and we can leave.  Bless America.  And I realize I  have no diaper or wipes with me.  Because I'm a good mom like that.

So I just take off her diaper, fling the contents in the bushes, and put it back on her.

hahahahaha.  JUST KIDDING!  I definitely did NOT do that.  haha.  But that would add some intrigue to this story for sure.

Instead, I just went home.  That's it.
Being a mom is fun.

15 December 2014

Strange way to save the world

Monday!  Christmas is around the corner.  Life is a blur of wrapping and singing and baking and laughing.  I just want to sleep through it all.  Is that possible?

I heard this song on the radio the other day that I had never heard before, so I thought I'd share. I love finding new good music!  I found a video of 3 sisters singing it (which I am kind of partial to).  Just stop the video when the song is over.  The last part of them talking is whoa annoying and ruins the whole mojo.  Now you're going to watch it.  Just don't say I didn't warn you.

Have Joy © 2013.

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