31 December 2007

A significant improvement upon last year, I think...

So if my first New Year's Resolution were to get a good family picture in just one take, then I do believe I am on the ball.

Last year:

This year:

Hopefully this is a sign of many fulfilled resolutions to come!

27 December 2007

Gasp! She blogged!

All is calm, all is bright. I can thankfully say that now that Christmas Day has come and gone. Every year I try to keep the chaos to a minimum. Every year I think I've got things better organized. Every year I collapse on my sofa on the eve of Christmas Day and take a deep breath. "I did it" is all I can think. Pitiful, isn't it? I want to say that all my running around brought me closer to Christ; made my Christmas more special. But it isn't in the frosted cookies or the gifts delivered or the carols performed themselves that I find myself closer to Christ. Instead I find it in the happy faces of my family and friends who appreciate what I do. Going from utter unwrapping craziness to complete quiet and reverence as we kneel to pray as a family on Christmas night brings me closer to Christ.

A friend of mine recently lost her brother to the war in Iraq. Here is a woman who gives and gives. And gives. I think her life must feel like chaos sometimes,too. When I lost my mother and again when I went on bedrest with my 3rd child, she gave to me selflessly. I had the opportunity to serve her family on Christmas Eve this year. But it was difficult for me to keep my mind off the long list of minute details I needed to take care of for my own family. And those thoughts of "why did I say yes to all this stuff this year" creeped into my mind as it often does around Christmas Eve. Then it hit me, that if someone benefits from my craziness then it's all good. I may not feel the calm and bright until after Christmas Day has passed, but the loved ones around me are feeling it throughout the season, in part because of me and my habit of always adding one more thing to my plate. I am not justifying or condoning killing yourself off every Christmas. But I know that my memories of Christmas are all magical, because someone has given willingly of themself to make happiness happen.

I guess that getting swept up in the mayhem can be sort of a trade-off or reward. I feel satisfied today. I feel like I got what I needed to out of Christmas after all. There is a feeling of peace that envelops our home, and I am thankful for it, no matter how much work it took.