There are only a few hours left till this year is old and a new one starts. A squeaky clean new start..untouched.. a land where cookies aren't consumed by the handful and bodies do more than just chase babies around-- they "kick-two-three-four-bend-six-seven-eight"... a land where bible's get read every morning... and the house so spotless that it's ready for the martha stewart living crew to come in at any moment to snap photos for next months cover.
As my aunt reminded my cousin...
"Do or do not; there is no "try."" --Yoda
I am determined that this be a "do" year.... I hope.
Before I decided to not get a tree I got the stand down and Z. decided on his own to be our tree. Zachariah had his first Christmas Concert at CBS. You can't tell from the picture, but he was the ONLY kid to not sing.. AT ALL. But he did let out a few good yawns.
Kate turned one two weeks ago. She was welcomed into girlhood with her first cabbage patch doll which she loves holding. A little candy making for Ben to take to work. waiting to be dipped.
I have been learning a lot lately about being a leader and that in turn has taught me a lot about being a follower.
Most recently today, I had to cancel a retreat today that I had been planning for over four months. It's really disappointing to me. I tried to make it awesome and a blessing for other moms. But the only people who signed up were my closest friends. I even brought the price down by almost 25% and it didn't matter.
I can feel this spiritual battle taking place. The enemy trying to grow a bitter root towards these women who last year said they would like to do it. The enemy wants me to close down and say "FINE.. I'm not going to plan anything.. ever again." The enemy wants me to take it personally.
But the Holy Spirit tells me that our Lord is Sovereign. That I can't see the whole picture. That he is refining me and building me up and if I throw away all he has worked hard doing in me now then I will be missing out on ways He wants to use me in the future.. ways that will work out better because I have learned these lessons. To not let a bitter root grow but instead follow the Lord and accept that he is control.
I now have to pray that my cancellation will be a blessing to another group who would like to rent that space and that I am able to get my deposit back and not owe hundreds more.
A few months ago I had to go to Chicago for training. They took us out to The Brauhaus-- a German bar/restaurant in Lincoln Square. I smuggled in my sister who lived there at the time. It was dim and packed. We sat elbow to elbow with anyone in near radius. We ate fish that tasted like flour, the potatoes like vinegar. We had the babies with who sat in highchairs and gnawed on bread sticks. We watched a table of college boys pass around a tall glass boot filled with beer, indulging as it was in their possession. The "world famous brauhaus trio" played the accordion and we went to the dance floor and danced with the babies... twirling them around as they laughed. In the middle of dessert the BHT.. as I like to call them.. started playing the neil diamond classic "sweet caroline"... and on not any more of a cue then if we would have been on a movie set... which is exactly what it felt like sans the cameras, movie stars and plot.. the entire bar started singing along. As we belted out "good times never seemed so good" I truly meant it.
I have my house all decked out for Christmas. The weekend after Thanksgiving following Goskesen tradition. Stockings hung on the bookcase with care. The nativity scene dominating the piano. Green garland framing most of the windows. And that's what it's going to be this year.... have you figured out the crux of my guilt? I have decided.. about 92% I'd say.. that the Rooney house will be sans Christmas Tree this year. And it doesn't bother me one bit. I only feel the twinge of guilt radiating off other people that this is someway blasphemous. And wrongly so I may add... nobody cares. But that's what people, ie me, tend do to.. carry unwarranted guilt for trivial things. So I have to keep justifying my freedom in my head... 1.It's a lot of money 2. I will be spending the next three to four weeks keeping a one year old and three year old and cat out of it. 3. Then I'll just have to take it down in a few weeks (if put up at the "proper" time it's usually up a good month and a half) and figure out how to get rid of it. 4. I can't put presents underneath.. see number two. Now if I find a nice one on "christmas tree clearance"... they have to have such thing right?? Then MAYBE I'll get one... but probably not. Next year.. PROMISE.