So I had this goal to write 250 blogs this year, but since there are 29 days left to accomplish this and I only got a small fraction of them done, I’m betting it’s safe to say I failed to meet the mark. That’s OK, it’s not the first time I managed to miss my deadline. I’m finally about to graduate college, I’ve put in a good ten years on that four year plan! The bad thing is that I actually have 3 fans who say they’ve missed my blogs lately. I was just going through such a funky time, I was having a hard time writing anything that wasn’t utterly depressing, but Christmas is coming, and even with an empty bank account, a pile of past due notices, and a list of struggles to pray over, I can’t help but find some joy in the season. So I didn’t write 250 posts, I guess I’ll just hit the reset on January 1st and try it again.
I’m good at hitting reset. I set my alarm for 6:30 every morning. That gives me exactly 3 chances to hit reset (aka SNOOZE) and still make it on time. Sure, we might slide in by the skin of our chinny-chin-chins… but we make it! Just barely is good enough for me.
I like to hit reset with my family a lot too. That’s the one thing I always tried to teach my kids- today is a brand new day. Sometimes we get so bogged down in the dramas that we feel like they will never end, but it’s not true. Every day is an opportunity to start fresh. My other favorite thing to tell my kids is that “mistakes are wonderful opportunities to learn.” I wish I could take credit for that one, but it actually came from the special teacher that taught my oldest three 2nd grade. The first time Blondie told me “Ms. Graham says mistakes are wonderful opportunities to learn” I think my mouth fell open because I realized there was profound wisdom in those words. I never wanted my kids to feel like any mistake they made was unrecoverable. I always wanted them to know that no matter how far they went down the wrong road, it was never to late to make a B-line to the right path.
It’s kind of funny that I try so hard to teach my kid my kids that nothing can break us, and yet, sometimes I feel so completely broken. I think it’s because I’m so hung up on the need to be perfect. I want to be the perfect mom, instead of the frazzled mess that drives the kids to school in her pajamas. I want to be the perfect wife, instead of the woman who Febreezed the sheets in lieu of washing them. I want to have the perfect body, instead of this work in progress that has been trying to lose the weight for as long as I have been trying to earn my degree. I want the perfect car, instead of the one that currently sports 4 bald tires and needs a new fuel pump. I want to live in the perfect house, instead of the one that screams “please install new floors” while it laughs at me, taunting “no matter how hard you try, there will never be enough closet space in here!”
I wish I could find contentment. I wish I could say “hey world, these are my pajamas, love ’em or don’t look over at me in the carpool lane!” I wish I could open the closet and say “Look fuzzy sweater, I don’t like you, I know I’ve needed you on a cold day before, but you’re not my style and I’m saying goodbye.” But what holds me back is the fact that I second guess myself. I’m so busy wishing I could make everyone else happy with my choices, that sometimes it overshadows whether or not I’m happy with my choices.
Last night I took my kids to the Polar Express Night at the elementary school where one of them announced a surprising Christmas wish. Never, in all my years of taking care of kids, have I ever heard of an eight-year-old football playing, baseball loving, mud slinging little boy wanting a tuxedo for Christmas, but that’s exactly what I have. To be fair, it’s really a suit he is in search of. After checking out a few Google Images, it’s a jacket and vest with the dress shirt and tie matched to lightly starched slacks that are calling out to him. Why? I have no idea!
What I do know is this… he doesn’t really care if you think a Tuxedo is a good Christmas gift. It’s what he wants. He’s not worried if it follows protocol. He’s not worried if his brothers are wishing for the same thing. He’s not worried if the North Pole has never delivered a tuxedo before. That’s his wish, and he’s sticking to it. There’s a certain amount of bravery in staying true to your heart’s desire!
To that I say, “hold on house, you’re almost paid for, you’ll get those floors….and don’t worry, God will show us where to find new tires!”