It’s not what you think, my Advent challenge, because I have shamelessly lured you into this post with what appears to be a very cozy photo. My two little men cuddled up together…in Momma’s recliner…perusing a book on the saints, perhaps?
No. Let me forewarn you, dear friend of the heart. The internet is not what it appears to be!
In truth, they were watching a Stampy Cat video while I lay nearby and nursed an upset tummy. (The product, no doubt, of 18 consecutive cups of coffee). Meanwhile, the local 10-year-old did her very best to join her brothers because A. Stampy the Cat is way more fun than her schoolwork and B. Making her brothers scream is what she does best.
She’s extremely good at commandeering and yet, her brothers resent this. I wonder why?
Later, I tried to sneak in a run. “I’ll be down on the treadmill,” I told the kids. “Be good and keep an eye on Francis!” Two and a quarter miles later, I came upstairs to find them on the computer. “Why are you on the computer?” I yelled, “You’ve already played your time!”
“Why must you always be so mean?” one responded, and got a half glass of water in the face as a response.
(I’m French and have a bit of a temper.)
(I’m not excusing my actions; just blaming the French.)
So going back to that Advent challenge. For me, it’s the same thing every year. I think, “My goal is to stay on top of the month of December” when what it really comes down to, in the end, is trying my best to stay on top of the day.
It’s trying to not become a complete and total ogre.
It’s trying to not have a nervous breakdown, because believe me, I get dangerously close.
You see that dust pan behind my 2-year-old’s head?
THIS is the pile to which I was trying to attend:
Staying on top of my day means staying on top of the sweeping. The above was one day’s worth! One room’s day’s worth!
I made them waffles from scratch and the kids all loved me. The gluten-free girl got the frozen version and gobbled them up with great gusto (and syrup).
Point being, you can serve them any kind of waffles and they will forgive you your transgressions.
It’s what repentant moms do.
Back to that demanding 2-year-old…
These cups bought me ten (or so) minutes of bliss.
(Crud-free rug not included. )
And the 5-year-old? All he wants is his mom’s attention. “Mom, will you play Ticket to Ride? Mom, will you do a puzzle with me? Let’s have a sword fight! Mom? Mom?!”
A 5-minute sword fight…
Just my Jedi Knight and me…
Those shining eyes tell the story.
My Advent Challenge? Take it one day at a time. And when I screw up–which I will–apologize, repent, confess, repeat. The fact is, I haven’t even started baking and my shopping list scares me, it’s still so long.
That’s not what matters to them in the end.
And so…and so…I guess all I’m really saying is: We’re not going to get there on our own. My Advent Challenge is to let God in, because my heart’s so cluttered that I make it hard. So much anxiety; so little trust! Honestly, I cry daily because I’m such a mess. If only, if only I were perfect! If I were perfect, though, I wouldn’t need Him…
…and if I didn’t need Him, then I wouldn’t need Christmas.
I do need Christmas.
But I need Advent first.