Life Balance: a feat we try to achieve while searching to be the best that we can we, while simultaneously raising our children to do the same. This is the equilibrium in our inner life force whereby our heartbeat matches the divine force that exists all around us. When this life balance peaks, our sense of peace, joy, love and wisdom acts as one with our very soul.
One of the my favorite things to do at Christmas is to joke and talk about Christmas past. My children love to connect and share the history of their young lives over and over again. I started a Christmas journal years ago where I write about the holiday, who we visited with, what presents we exchanged, and how their lives are at that point in time. It's fun to do and wonderful to read.
The twins especially love to hear stories of our lives in the house when they were mere toddlers. We live in a tiny Cape Cod style house and only have the living room to keep the twins safe in. Like all parents, we child proofed the room and put away glass objects when they were small. Since Maverick is 3 years older, pretty much the room was kid safe. Or as we learned, kid safe is never twin safe.
We learned early that twins are more like combat troopers than toddlers. I am pretty sure the hospital should have sent us to boot camp to prepare instead of telling us how to change diapers. Look, we changed over 10,000 diapers but we never had twins in a room with a Christmas tree and presents before. I want to write a lecture "10,000 diapers and only one you. Guerrilla Momfare Survival Techniques Your Grandma Never Told You."
First, once the twins started to run marathons at age 9 months, we put the gate up on the living room to keep them in there during times of answering phones, taking pots out of oven and Mom trying to shower, pee and do her hair in under 5 minutes. Storm a gate with 2 bodies and it will come down. Buy another, stronger gate, same thing. Have husband build custom 3 foot gate with 2 inch plywood and slates to hold it in place, and now you have something. In the twins must stay, so what else can we do for fun? Oh, grab at pretty lamp shades and see what's in there that is shiny and burn your hand. Out goes lamps. Stand on brother to climb on end tables. Remove end tables. Run to Mom's bookcase and pull off pretty books, again, and again and again. Mom puts bookcase in bedroom. Hmm, room is kinda bare now, lets' climb on back of couch and touch pretty pictures on walls. Crash, boom, all pictures come down. Remove all objects on walls. Let's beat on TV entertainment center and climb in,. Put TV on floor. Not much left now, let's go in rocker. Rock, rock, right into wall and leave large holes in drywall that makes Daddy nuts. Out goes rocker.
And then we put up the Christmas tree. We were proactive, and took a large piece of leftover paneling and tied down tree stand. This prevented tipping of tree. No ornaments or lights on bottom, only top one foot. And no cover, let just keep taking it off tree stand and rolling in it. No presents, because ripping of paper is fun--Mom only needed to rewrap about 10 times to learn this, dumb mommy. So there we were with our bare room, only couch, love seat, and TV on floor, and a tied down Christmas tree. Still, it never looked lovelier. God decorated the room for me, with my beautiful family and our time together.
As I appr0ached this Christmas with the twins at age 12 and Maverick at 15, I was reminded of that sparse holiday. Money is beyond tight this season, so presents got less. But somehow, everywhere I turned I found exactly what I needed for my budget. Again and again I went to the well, dipped in my greedy hands for a drink, and God filled it up. Shirts were on clearance at Abercrombie for my god daughters. A sweatshirt that was really cool, price $100 was on sale for $35, so I could do the combined birthday-Christmas for my godson. Jeans were half the price I normally pay on sale. Flannel shirts appeared in perfect order at thrift store. Friends sent gift cards and gave me never been worn winter coats for Maggie. I found a great deal for Luke on a coat. The kids gave me small gift lists and seemed happy to get a few things. And then I got a great discount on a gift for my boss to make up for puking in his truck. Seems everyone loves a good story involving vomit and screaming at a new boss to drive faster and pass that granny going 20, who knew?
All around me abundance abounds. I don't have my cookies baked, my gifts wrapped or my house scrubbed. I am pretty sure laundry won't get caught up until 2010 and eggnog better double for Christmas eve dinner, or I am in trouble. I have bags under my eyes from trying to work while recovering from major surgery and somehow put on the Christmas pageant that takes weeks to orchestrate, a year to save up for, 5 minutes to unwrap, and lasts a lifetime.
And I wouldn't have it any other way. Chaos is bliss because it means that God trusts me with so much. I will work to remind us all that Christmas past is about the love and connections. Its the stories we share, like Jesus and Mary's travels and trials on that first Christmas. Ours just get richer with the retelling,
Share your stories this holiday season, just as we do in church and in the bible and in our prayers. Let them out and sing Joy to the World today.
God Bless and Merry Christmas.