Is it about “Merry Christmas”?

To me this is the season my family and most of my friends celebrate Christmas. I would guess most of us recognize the reason for the season is the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Does this mean that I expect everyone I meet to wish me a Merry Christmas? Nope. In fact, when I worked as a grocery store cashier for 5 years I proudly exclaimed, “Happy Holidays!” I knew not everyone that came through my line was a Christian and might be celebrating a different holiday. It was also a season that went from Thanksgiving to the New Year. Many things happen during that 5 weeks. I suppose maybe people were upset with me for not saying “Merry Christmas”, but I never thought about it back then. It seems like the past few years a great deal of attention has been placed on that.

With that said I think this topic is the beginning of something God has been stirring in me, but I have struggled with all the words. So, expect a to be continued….

I can almost pin point a time that people started attacking Christian beliefs across this country on a fairly regular basis. I can also recall the time when Christians started attacking back. It may not seem to either side that they  were/are “attacking” the other side, but more like “defending their beliefs” against attack. The problem is that to defend or be a defender means there must be an offender or offendee. I am guilty of this. We get very passionate about what we ‘know’ to be true and fight for that until, like my Mom says, “we are blue in the face.” Focusing on Christmas here, but think about it for just a moment….hasn’t there been a great deal of attacking the past…oh, 10 years or so…on many fronts?

I can not help, but think that in all our defending we have forgotten something. Both sides have forgotten something. I can not really speak for a non-Christian, but for me as a Christian when I defend my faith fiercely or even other things I believe fiercely I am attacking. Whether I intend to or not I am. I am attacking the person that disagree’s with me for believing something different than I. “Keep Christ is Christmas!” Love it myself. It is a true statement, but are we proclaiming it, shouting it, angry about it, or opening our arms to hug, hold, help, or heal like He did?

“Excuse me ma’ma. It is Christmas! Please say, ‘Merry Christmas’, rather than ‘Happy Holidays’ to me!”

Now I suppose HOW we say this may determine exactly how it is perceived, but in that moment were we spreading the LOVE of Jesus? Were we drawing people closer to Jesus? Yes, there is a truth we are called to share, but can we really share that truth spreading an “I am right” attitude? Maybe it is just me, but I feel we are called first to love each other and through that love people will find Jesus.

In no way I am I saying we shouldn’t shout from the roof tops about the GREAT LOVE that Jesus has for us! Yet, I guess I just think the best way to teach love is to show love. Jesus is my everything. By giving my everything Christmas becomes everything is was intended to be. It is not about what we say, is it? Or is it about how we say it?

So, to wrap up this portion of Love is it about the “Merry Christmas” or the Spirit of Christmas that matters? The sharing of coupons in line at the stores? The letting someone go ahead of you in line? The buying of someone’s dinner? Extra toys to drop in a box? Giving a homeless man a homemade hat, gloves, and scarf? Praying to the people cutting you off as you drive to stores? Paying someone’s bill at the auto shop? (These are all things I and other experienced this year.) I am hoping to get MUCH better about spreading the Spirit rather than focusing on whether someone gives me what I want when they say “Merry Christmas!”

Love….To Be Continued…

Praying for you all!

Lord, may this reach one person that needed to read it. Your Will Lord!

My Husband says “WOMEN”….!!!!

We have plenty of battles in our house.  No, not between the Mom and the Dad, but yep you guessed it between the kiddo’s!  Who makes the mistake of interfering?  Come on you know you all did at least once.  What happens?  Anything good?  My journey to self discovery and sibling relationship or rivalry has been a bumpy dirt road.

From the get go I desired my kids to be best friends. To hug each other. To love and encourage one another. Blah Blah Blah and pigs flew right??  When this did not ALWAYS occur and the knock down fights occurred I stepped right in.  Threw in my 50 cents. I even some how managed to take sides when I did not have all the facts.  Yep, can you believe that? Then I had a very pivotal conversation with a relative that shared how when her kids were young they would come running, screaming, fighting and saying “so and so did this to me”…”well they did this to me” and so on.  She then proceeded to discipline them or at least one of them.  Flash forward to today and she is explaining to me that at one Christmas they were home sharing stories and she was learning that she nearly always punished the wrong one. She said if she had it to do again, then she would let them battle it out. This was a light bulb over my head. A profound moment for me.  God using this relative to share a parable with me. I then recall how my Mom worked when we were young and not always home to interfere with our fights. We just battled it out. Did it hurt our relationship at all. Nope, now my brothers, with my husband, are my best friends. This thought was another light bulb moment that sent me flashing me back to my college child psychology class hearing “siblings that are allowed to fight when young are more likely to be friends as adults”. From this moment I realized this, they fight, I interfere, someone is punished, and five minutes later they are best friends. I am then left wondering “what just happened here?” Finally, I gave up even getting involved even when they are horribly mean to each other. Instead, I stand in the wings praying for peace…in my life 🙂 … no seriously I do ask God to bring them peace. It works!

A recent example of this, though I can share something from at least 3 times a day usually from the middle girls, I will share just one story. I am showering when #1 daughter is drying her hands with the towel when #2 daughter grabs the towel from her saying “I need it more! My hands are more wetter!” So, goes the battle over a towel. I standing in the shower; apparently, have not learned my lesson, yet, so I throw in my 50 cents about being nice to each other, sharing, etc. I get the usual replies “she started it”, “she is mean”, “I do not like waiting”, etc etc I finally gave up.  I continue to then wonder what am I doing wrong that they fight so badly. Then I recall my promise to not interfere, to let them battle it out, and pray.  So, what happens not 7 minutes later? They are walking through the hall nearly hand in hand headed down stairs to play Barbie’s.  SERIOUSLY….and my husband just shakes his hand saying “WOMEN!”

I can honestly say that I have been going strong now for 2 months on not interfering and things between them all seems better than ever. I am sure more issues will arise and as they get older the issues most likely will become bigger. We are prepared to interfere when we feel it is a most. I am not saying that this as an expert on parenting or even an expert on MY KIDS just that this one little thing has helped preserve SOME sanity in our home. Hopefully, adult relationships as well.

God Bless! I lift this up to God and hope it finds someone that needs a light bulb moment. Praying for you all!

DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert on anything except my kids and our home. Even then I am learning every day to care for them in the best ways I know how. Please to do not take anything as if I am a professional. I am just a Momma on a journey of her own. Along that journey I am sharing my/our story. My posts are meant to entertain and encourage others. Do not take anything and use it in your own life without proper research, prayer, and discussion with a spouse. I am an advocate for family rights to do what is BEST for their family based on their family’s individual needs.

 

Love Yourself Enough to be Alone

God wants you to know He loves you beyond any thing you can imagine, but even more than that He wants you to love Him so much that you can love yourself enough to be alone……hmmm…

POINTS to consider….when you are alone you think, you remember, you regret, you cry, etc…..

The above were notes I made of my heart thoughts when I was alone on my weekend retreat. I decided to leave them because I think that we all need to consider those points before diving into what someone else thinks or feels. I AM NOT A COUNSELOR BY TRAINING though I pretend to be one on TV 🙂 ha…seriously like I have stated before I am nothing more than someone on a journey like you. Maybe just ahead of you or a bit behind you. This blog will forever be about that journey and the crazy thoughts that float through my mind WHEN I AM ALONE. So, here we go…

I think a lot all the time, but I do not always HEAR my thoughts until I am alone with them. That can be very scary to me sometimes. I do not want to hear about how I yelled too much today or to loudly. I do not want to hear my thoughts tell my that my Mom was right the other day when she pointed something out. That is between us. My Mom still thinks I never she thinks she is right about anything…shhhh. What about you what are you afraid your thoughts will think about? Maybe about a memory, an unforgiveness, a regret, …

I go there, too. When a trigger happens and an emotion of any type over takes me. I remember the smell of my Grandma’s house when she baked fresh peach pie. I remember my Daddy kissing me before he left for work. I remember watching my best friend, my Uncle, die of cancer. I also remember my babies learning to talk, holding my hand, snuggling their fuzzy heads into my neck, or saying Momma for the first time. Memories are a beautiful thing good or bad they can bring us joy or break our hearts all over again. Kelly…why are the bad ones a beautiful thing? Why do I want to experience that broken heart all over again? Ya know some days I have no answer to that for my own self, but today my heart says we need sympathy and empathy for others and the only way to have that is to hurt ourselves. We must be hurt so one day we will be prepared to be used by God to be there for someone else. Well, that sucks …. until you are that blessing to someone then you will almost or literally drop to your knees and praise Him for the good He did through you. You will be beyond thankful.

When you are alone do you find yourself regretting? I do usually because I remember or think …. get it when we are ALONE we think and remember …we experience our life. Sometimes for the very first time. This is why we do not like to be alone. We do NOT want to experience it we just want to be left to move on through. Yet, the only way to really be all that we can be or were created to be is to allow ourselves to experience all we have journeyed. By experience I mean really feel it, be in that moment … it is powerful. It is when you may even for the first time notice your life change or your journey truly begin. Find time to be alone a little bit more. Even if you are alone with me here. … I am here….

For that one person God Bless You I am praying for you.

Please share you never know who may need encouragement. Peace!

Books are Frightening!!

I vividly recall watching our son over and over again RUN to his room screaming and crying when he seen papers, pencils, books, etc.

I vividly recall yelling at him or raising my voice at him thinking he was being lazy or just making excuses to avoid school time.

I vividly recall this with tears streaming down my face from shame or guilt that I have now let go of and now forgiven myself for. I mean come on I knew no better. We can only parent to the extent of what we know.

The pain I felt for him and his tears. I began to pray like I had not prayed in a long time for God to show me to reveal to me what was wrong. Halfway through his 1st grade year I SEEN it like I had never seen it before. I seen the “b and d” mix ups. I seen the confusion of words like “was and saw”. I thought, “Could this be dyslexia? God could it be?” Then I seen him struggle with his Math facts. “Help me Lord! How do I help our son?” I then started searching online and found check list after check list or symptoms or signs of dyslexia.  I remember just starring at the computer sobbing over the past year of pain he was in and the needless struggles we had. I sobbed over the relief to know, to finally know, that we could in fact get through this and LEARN.

I vividly recall the pain he physically had at the sight of a book. The FEAR in his face to even HOLD a book. The anguish I felt as his Mommy, who did not know where to start. Thankfully, I have dyslexia all over my family ..”Ha thankfully….that is funny!” … I could turn to them for wisdom. I turned to the internet for curriculum and reviews. I learned I, in fact, could teach him at home. I realized in hindsight that this was one reason God led us to this crazy world of home schooling. He would never get at school what I could give him at home. DO NOT ARGUE with me on this one you well may think you are right in your convictions, but I am his Mom and that trumps your convictions all day long.

So, where are we at today? Well, in fact we were at the Library today. Returning books and checking out new ones. Easy readers still. Not at grade level, yet. Reading Thanksgiving Day prayer in front of family. Standing up in co-op to read his essays that he is creating. We still struggle with spelling, but our math has improved. I say “we” and “our” because this is a family and we struggle together and share victories together. I as the teacher am grateful to know now what I know to help the younger sister with her dyslexia.

I vividly see him holding a flash light in his bed reading a book, as I feel the tears swell in my eyes, and feel my heart ready to burst with joy.

I vividly hear him asking to do more History, because he LOVES the stories.

I vividly see him beating the clock on his Math facts and asking to do Logic and Problem Solving sheets.

No he is not at what our government says is his grade level, but our boy has come very far and continues to improve by LEAPS and BOUNDS every day. Mostly, in the area that counts the most, his confidence.

Thank You Lord for leading my heart, giving my eyes to see, ears to hear, …. the journey continues.