After a wonderful Christmas season — complete with two amazing weeks with Josiah around — we’ve packed up the glow and warmth that everything Christmas brings and we’re slowly finding our footing again in regular life.
It’s bittersweet, isn’t it? Saying goodbye to the tree that lit the living room morning, noon, and night for weeks & weeks? Wrapping up the red, green, and gold knick knacks that covered every tabletop and shelf you own? The garland, the extra twinkle lights, the greens laid out here and there — all gone. BUT, what a fresh feeling it is to have less (or maybe I’m the only odd one who has more Christmas decor than regular house decor! Ha!), every shelf and table freshly dusted, and space once again in the living room.
And regular life feels good again, too. It’s comfortable. Familiar. Oh, yeah, we know how you go.
I managed to dress not just 3 kids but myself as well for outdoor time following lunch today. Somehow this seemed easier to do in the past, but this year? Whew, what a feat. I’m not out as often because of it, but I just couldn’t refuse the request to go sledding for a bit with my two boys.
My world may seem small to some. Monotonous, really. I don’t really have any adult conversation from 6:15AM-5:00PM. I wipe noses and bottoms, and sort through disputes over toys and who gets to pick the TV show this time, and deal with tantrums, and refresh what sound the letter “R” makes over and over, and make oatmeal and PB&J sandwiches which will be consumed while I try my hardest to keep an orderly atmosphere, and it probably looks boring and everything-not-glamorous.
Last summer we were told that I’m wasting my talents by staying home — selfish in this decision. It was a compliment, in a roundabout way, but made me pause and consider.
Perhaps it appears that way, but I disagree (and we can go into that more another time). And this semester, I’m using my so-called-talents to focus on what kind of atmosphere I’m creating in our home. I’m freshly challenged by the responsibility I have to make this place a place of peace, joy, kindness.
That doesn’t mean that all in life will be peaceful or joy-filled and everyone will always be kind. But it does mean that the overflow of my heart in the midst of chaos, hardships, difficulties, and tension can be the Fruit that He offers. My own strength and will and want will fail me, but my response can be full of those things if I’m governed by the Holy Spirit.
Here’s to a new year, and pressing in a little bit deeper. Finding creative ways to surround myself with scripture, whispered prayers here and there, filling this home with Life — and using my days, life, energy, and talents to minister to my family and those who walk into my home. That doesn’t feel like such a waste.