some sort of title goes here.

I'm far more scatterbrained at times, than I used to be.
Like yesterday, when I called my friend and when she answered, I had to ask HER "who did I call?" because I had a complete brain freeze.

Showering around 3pm is becoming quite normal for me.

"Did I forget deoderent?" is a question I ask myself at least once a day.

finding a ring around the inside of the toilet bowl happens way more these days than it ever used it.

Going out and realizing Rachel's hair was never done and Kara's shoes don't match is pretty much a weekly occurrence. {The fact that it no longer bothers me is the shocking part.}

While doing school with the kids, I often panic, "where did I put the pencil?!" and they will usually reply, "its behind your ear, Mommy." Oh... yeah.

laundry piles up and often doesn't get done until someone comes looking for socks or underwear.
okay, so its not always that bad, but it gets that bad sometimes. 

taking Christmas pictures to send out now consists of hopping in the car after church, driving to our friend's house and having her snap a few photos at the park. And then printing them without any editing at all.

In many ways, life has gotten much simpler. Important things are truly important and a big deal is when something monumental happens; we find out we're expecting, a tooth is lost, Bible verses are successfully memorized, prayers are answered, sick friends or family are healed, loved ones come to visit, someone gets baptized at church, or, in our home a few weeks ago, two kids ask Jesus to live in their heart and give their lives to Him. HUGE.

I'm not a person that glorifies being an unorganized mess, so that's not the point of this post at all. Its just interesting to me, when I sit down and look over how I've changed and how we've changed as a family, its interesting to see what God is rooting out of me and what things have stayed.
I'm still a clean person, our house isn't ever in shambles, Jason and I both like to be very organized people, but a lot of the other things I never thought I could live without or let go of, have somehow been let go of.
I often thank my kids for that. They're more important to me than time fillers that seem important but aren't. I care more about Rachel's heart to care if her hair looks good on a trip to Target.
Not that doing her hair before we head out is bad, but its not the important part of life.

This time of year always makes me stop and reflect on what's most important to me. I guess because everything gets turned into such a commercialized mess. Plus its nearing the end of the year and I typically do 'personal inventory' at this time each year. Its a fun to time to go over my journals and see what was on my "to do" list at the beginning of that year.
I'm realizing more and more that if we're going to teach our kids what this time of year is all about, the best way to do that is for us to live it out. If I get all caught up in the 'things' buying, decorating, finding what I think its the perfect card, obsessing over holiday stuff, getting up tight about food prep and what-not, I'm gonna do a horrible job showing my kids what Christmas is all about. And in all honesty, this year I've had a wake up call that this shouldn't only be on my mind in December. Yes, our family celebrates Christ's birth especially this month, but the fact is, we should be celebrating His birth and living out His love in us every single day out of the year.


When I was living at home, we had a tradition in December we called Special Angels. I loved it; probably looked forward to that more than I did stockings. I'm not sure why we did it in December, other than it was probably my Mom's way of reminding us that gifts of kindness and love are better than anything store bought.
Throughout the month we would have one person who we would do thoughtful, loving, helpful things for. Sometimes it involved a gift: something small but perfect for that person. In my opinion, my sister Trisha was the best at this. And it was something that really helped her already kind, loving, thoughtful nature shine through. If one of the kids struggled with selfishness, you definitely noticed it more during this month :)
You never knew who drew your name and so when things were done for you, like having your bed made while you were in the shower, you didn't get to thank a specific person. But that person got to show love in secret, without praise. I loved that tradition. I loved how it would carry itself out in our home, even throughout the year. Who wants to stop being kind or thoughtful just because December is over?!
You know how it feels when you pay for the person's coffee behind you in drive-thru and then you know you've made their day by such a simple act of kindness? I love that. Its infectious. I love that we get to teach our kids that generous love like that comes from God. We love because HE first loved us. We're generous and selfless because HE first was with us. So beautiful.
So last year we started this in our family and this year the kids decided we need to do it all year long and change names every month. I just about died when I saw a note on Rachel's pillow the other day {obviously from Ethan} that read: "I LOVE YOU, RACHEL. THANKS FOR BEING A GOOD SISTER." with a heart that looked more like a very sad square ;-)

This post could be called thinking out loud or reflections on the holidays. I don't know. I'm not good with titles. Sometimes thoughts come pouring in and these were some I thought would be helpful to write out and post. I hope you're all having a lovely month! This has been the first December in years that we've truly enjoyed and has felt like the most relaxed, calm month out of the year. Only took 7+ years of marriage for us to figure out how to achieve that! But hey, we did.

6 {comments}:

Gina said...

LOVE the special angels idea--I may have to borrow that one! :-)

Anonymous said...

Great post! God is so faithful to gently show us what He desires for us to make important! Thanks for sharing!

Charlotte said...

Okay, I can totally relate to this. When I just had one and we would go out he had a clean face, was wearing a matching outfit and I had enough supplies for a week in the diaper bag.

Now, socks are mismatched, we have driven TWO HOURS only to reach our destination to find one child forgot to wear shoes, hair is only done if they do it, and I don't check what they are wearing until we get to where we are going. (Church is a bit of an exception for this.)

I so loved how you concluded this post. What is the most important thing I am doing? Is it making sure the bathrooms are sterilized, or is it spending time with a child who needs to talk? And like you said, it isn't either-or, but more of where our priorities lie.

Thanks Stef, for your openness. And for such a good reminder to slow down, even during the busy time. :-)

Stef said...

Thanks ladies!
Charlotte, I'm glad this resinated so close to home with you. I know that areas where I need growth will be different from other women's, which is why I hoped the end would tie us all together :)
Thanks so much!

Erin said...

I love this Stef! I am going to use your mom's "game" in our family, too. So sweet!
Keeping priorities straight is a never ending challenge for me. :)

Tara said...

i LOVED this. thank you so much for posting it. i have learned a lot from you. you are such a good mom!


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