It had been a couple of months of me staying at home with my kids full time when it happened. It was summer time; perfect mornings, sun shining bright, and hours spent at the park. I had the freedom to stay in my pajamas all day or take the family to the library, lingering for as long as I wanted in the stacks of books. I drank a lot of coffee, and a visit to the drive-thru of Dunkin Donuts became a weekly before grocery shopping treat.
It was everything I had wanted. Or was it? Somewhere in the middle of my dreams come true, I began to question myself. "Wasn't I supposed to be enjoying this?"
I was overwhelmed. I was exhausted. I felt stretched. I loved being with my children. But, they required all of me. Even more so, I began to succumb to the weight of negativity. After being at home with no adult interaction, my husband reaped the verbal upchuck of my day. Most of the time, it resulted in complaints, comparison, and frustration.
"You would not believe how many diapers I've changed today."
"They both missed their nap, and I didn't get any time to myself!"
"I wish that he would just listen to me the first time I asked him to do something!"
It's incredible how quickly this type of thinking can engulf me in darkness. I lose sight of what's important, and I can't see my blessings from my blights.
I was blind. But, I was still reaching - for hope, reassurance, and for understanding. So, I asked God one day what He thought. I asked Him how I could embrace this season; to see the good that was right in front of me. And without holding back, He said to me, "You celebrate it. Every bit of it."
Poopy Diapers? Celebrate It. Late Nights? Celebrate it. Toddler Tantrums? Celebrate it (and drink another cup of coffee.)
In order to celebrate every single bit of this season, I will:
-- Proclaim God's goodness in blessing me with my babes. My Husband. My Home.
-- Praise Him for new mornings and new mercies.
-- Consecrate my heart to Him when I'm selfish; learning over and over again to surrender my life to His plans and His ways.
-- Publicize the deeper things that He is teaching me - glorifying His work and building for His kingdom.
-- Ritualize gratitude, cuddles, and prayer,
-- Magnify my love for children by being fully present.
-- Honor my husband by cheering him on; encouraging him, and standing by him.
-- Give to others with my words and my time; knowing that by learning to embrace where they are, I'll slowly learn to embrace where I am.
The celebration will both be in my heart, and in my arms and hands; worshiping the Lord. I'm learning that celebration is more than just a once in awhile climatic moment, it is actually a spiritual stance that leads us closer to Jesus, and eventually, closer to embracing this Season that we're in.