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This was my Christmas morning view last year. Boys who came running down the stairs in delight to see if Santa came and begin rummaging around under the tree, on the table (I know, that’s a whole other story). They were so excited and full of joy.
I barely remember it.
Thankfully, I took pictures. I was so tired. We were in the thick of our new house project with deadlines and all the rest. We stayed up to the wee hours wrapping all the gifts and the kids woke up at the crack of dawn. I remember that I was barely functioning. I needed so. much. caffeine. that day.
Christmas day came and went in the flurry of all the things and the pace of life just kept charging full speed ahead.
This past year was chock full – of not only all the house activities but record growth with HeartStories, which brought with it a plethora of difficult and often painful, lessons in leadership. It also brought a whole new level of testosterone to our family. Somehow I always thought I would sail right through the puberty years. “I have boys. It will be simple.”, I thought. Oh, how wrong I was. I found myself completely lost in an unfamiliar (and often frightening) wilderness, seeking every guidance from those who’ve gone before.
I kept telling myself it was just a season.
And it was.
But that season ended and ushered in an entirely new era for our family.
As I sit here today, looking at those two little boys under that tree, I’m wondering if there will be any awe and wonder from my TEENAGERS this year. There will be so many fewer gifts under the tree, because the legos, toy cars, and magic tricks they asked for last year, suddenly morphed into a list of three or four larger things (including a request for “$50 to invest in my business” for my little entrepreneur). I couldn’t be more proud, and yet, there’s also a (giant) tinge of sadness in my heart. Longing for one more Christmas with my “babies”. With much sadness, I recognize that I’m longing for a moment that will never come again.
So here’s what I’m going to do about it.
Beginning today, when they get out of school at noon, I’m signing off from my to-do list. I’m not going to write new blog content next week, for the first time in five years of almost daily blogging. (Not to worry, we’ve got you covered with a few goodies from the vault that have been pre-scheduled to encourage you especially during this season.) With few exceptions, that I’ve planned in advance, I’m going to be present and laugh with these little men who stole my babies. At least as much as they will have me. I’m going to sleep in a little bit. I’m going to read. I’m going to intentionally journal about 2018. I’ll gather all the wisdom from the highs and the lows, the joys, the pain, the struggle, the mistakes, and even the victories, that so often get buried by the hectic pace of this life. I’m choosing peace, connection, and rest this holiday season.
I hope you will too.
They say that in raising children you may lose your mind a little bit, but you find your soul. I think that’s true in all of life. The experiences that push you to the edge of what you know, are the very same experiences that lead you to become who you’re meant to be, if you pause long enough to pay attention.
“Peace doesn’t mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
Denounce the guilt that comes with doing it all imperfectly and do what you can, given your circumstances. You may not be able to completely press pause on your work this holiday season, but you can still choose moments of peace.
This moment will never come again.
Be in it.
to more love,