That one hour...

There are days when I could just kick myself for being too scheduled. I know, I know...sounds like a personal problem... But geez. Schedules and me go way back. My brain is wired to think in the form of calendars and flowcharts and diagrams and LISTS. Oh the lists.

Packing a family of 4 for Disneyland...
Having kids was an invitation to go all crazy planner mom mode. My mother in law can testify to the detailed plans that come out of this brain whenever my kids are away from me overnight. Do I care if  the schedules are broken? Suprisingly no! Did I just take myself off of your "crazy mom" list with that one???

It's true! Just because I create them doesn't mean what is planned is locked in stone. HOWEVER. Without the plans, I sort of curl up in the fetal position and bounce around like a pinball UNTIL I put the plan in writing or at least map things out mentally. There is a higher risk level when a plan is not thought through in my head...someone might die. 

But I feel that I am getting better at finding that balance. Because isn't that what momhood is all about? Finding balance in the midst of sheer chaos???

Yesterday was one of those days that I took a deep breath and just went with the day. 

Uncle M is getting married this weekend and with both munchkins playing the awesomely cute role of ring-bearers, it was time for some much needed haircuts! Working full time didn't allow me to schedule anything earlier than 5:15pm for their time slots and after they both sat still for an AMAZINGLY long time for a 4 year old and a 1 year old...a treat was in order. Especially since no one panicked, yelled or bled. We weren't without tears but that was just a brief window.

The best treat on an 85 degree day in CA is for SURE ice cream. So even though it was dinner time (now 6:15) and they both needed baths before bed, I pulled out the stroller from the back of the car instead of buckling up seat belts. We walked over to the drive-thru dairy which has the most awesome soft-serve and took 15 minutes out of our day to talk about fire trucks, birds, poop and the green lantern. And we laughed.

Did we have dinner at 7:00? Yes. Did both boys get bathed at 8:00? Yes. Did both boys go to bed WAY past their bedtime? Yes. Was it a mom-victory hour? Definitely.


The Margin Label

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I’ve tried and failed too many times to count.


And really, where is the fun or motivation in that... So I faced the facts and nixed the idea altogether. Done.

However, every year, I do try and choose a theme or maybe a better choice word…a "label" for that particular year. This “label” does not have to come about with the start of the year. It could be during the year that I run with it. It might even be after the year has wrapped up that I look back and say “After all that, there is no doubt last year was all about _____.”

My “label” can be a broad concept, a word, or even an emotion. My “label” is a summary of the journey that I will go on or I did go on. For example, last year my label was “patience” as I navigated and waited on a new balance with two kids, busier work schedule for the husband, a new niece in NICU, a new job for me…you get the idea. Last year put me in prayer often as I waited on Him to open doors, close doors, show doors and at times, remain silent. It was in those silent times that “patience” became a test for me.

The year before that was “change” as I quit a job, took a job, had a baby, navigated the husband’s new job and potty trained a 2 year old. That last one? Warning to the up and coming parents? Potty training and teething are up there in the “I’m exhausted and it’s only 10 am” stage.

Both words put a label on a whole range of events and emotions that kept me running in a circle throughout the year; pinball style.

By putting a label on the year, I am not ignoring the other concepts, emotions or stamps on the year…I am being intentional in another way. I am intentionally focusing on the journey God has me on; on this 365 day portion of my life. Since I don’t know how long this path is to last, and knowing full well that everything He does He does for a reason and that includes putting me in places or positions, why
would I need to move any faster than just one day at a time? By focusing on one day at a time or even one week at a time, I can be more intentional with myself, with my marriage, with my kids, with my relationship and with ministry. Labeling what I feel this portion of my journey is, helps me look at my daily journey intentionally.

This year’s theme in “margin.” Being a full time wife, a full time mom, working full time in ministry, a full time pastor’s wife and fully devoted to it all, I recognize how easy it is to be swept away in self-pity-parties. And trust me, that is not a pretty picture for one whose nose becomes as red as Rudolph when she cries.


They get it.

I don’t feel like I’ve reached my full capacity of Christmas spirit yet. I need more time.

Eh. I want more time. I don’t want the pre-Christmas celebration to be wrapping up! More lights. More carols. More time to decorate cookies with my favorite little humans.

My brain knows that the big day is here.  I’ve been reminded of that every day this past month by my 4 year old as he eagerly pulls the next Disney character off of our Christmas countdown. “Mom! Today is Minnie but then tomorrow is Pluto and then the day after that is MICKEY. And then? Mom! And then, its Christmmmmmaaaaaasssss!”

I adore his eyes that are lit up with everything wonderful and magical about this holiday season. He’s entranced by it. He loves setting up the nativity scene. Baby Jesus is always the first to be placed in the manger. He gets it. And he loves it.

I’m trying to do my best and keep my feet under me as time ticks away but it’s hard not to feel like I’ve been robbed. As the husband and I exchange glances from opposite couches surrounded by Kleenex, charted medicine doses and daily trips to Walgreens in an attempt to find a miracle drug to zap this never-ending cold away, I am reminded of how quickly days do really pass by; And how quickly my little guys are turning into big guys. In the midst of my whining I’ve been able to listen to them wrestle, laugh and truly play together. I’ve been forced to slow down. And I've loved every minute of it. Those sounds make this season so much more special when I think that baby Jesus was sent for me and now more importantly then ever… for them. And it’s for that reason, I don’t want this feeling of Christmas to leave just because “Christmas” is over.

My new year’s resolution? To experience the joy that the season of Christmas brings regardless of what month it is. To hear and see those little humans experience what love is.

Merry Christmas from my world to yours. May you experience His love in a new way that takes your breath away.