One of the kids recently asked me why Santa Claus never came to our house. All five of my kids know that Santa isn’t real, so the question wasn’t stemming from feeling overlooked or forgotten by Santa. It was more just wondering how come, in our family, we’d never pretended that Santa was real.
I never flat out banned Santa Claus, I just never made a big deal out of him. He was the guy who came around at Christmas. You’d see him in the movies, on the store shelves, or at the mall. My mom was more of a snowman person, and didn’t like the Santa things as much as the snowman ones, but Santa came to our house.
I think the most honest reason we’ve never done Santa was because I didn’t like the idea of anything Santa stealing the attention from anything Jesus. Doesn’t Christ the Lord need and deserve every single ounce of attention he can get? It is hard to bring up kids in the faith. It is easy to feel like you have never done enough, like there were too many missed opportunities, like you could have done a better job.
I want my children to be catechized, grounded, and filled with the Spirit.
But while the role of the parent is huge, it is nowhere near as important as God’s. There is more to bringing up children than teaching. There is also the trusting they are in God’s hands, and that the weight of their salvation doesn’t rest on you. That doesn’t mean we throw up our hands at any attempt to be diligent or faithful, but it does mean we can rest in the comfort that God cares for all of us, daily, with love.
God was so merciful to continue to let us live among the animals. I was thinking the other day, and I have thought it often since we moved here, how lovely it would be to be able to walk up to the deer and touch them like you would a horse. The problem is deer are easily startled, and they might pause for a moment, but quickly run away. The effects of sin were so severe that either animals are afraid of us, or we are now afraid of them.
But then you have cats and dogs somehow tamed into pets. Gone (I think?) are the days of wolves and panthers, at least in the outdoor lands around here. But you can get close to a dog, and snuggle with a cat. One of the cats joined us on the couch as I pulled out Little House in the Big Woods to read with the child who was sick yesterday. I’ve actually never read all those books. but again was amazed by the wolves and the bears.
The Christmas shopping bug bit me early this year. Instead of starting to buy gifts around mid-December, I’m wanting to get a head start this year. The past few years of hosting/planning the family Thanksgiving and then going straight from there into Christmas has sucked out some of the joy for me. I’ve already been drinking way too much coffee thinking of this and I’m refusing right now to keep doing that to myself.
People talk these days about the emotional fragility of our current generation. I don’t know how to feel about that. On one hand you look around and do kind of think, “Oh my gosh, what’s wrong with us? Seriously, people, it’s just called life!” But then you start hearing about the current depression and suicide rates and you wonder whether everyone getting annoyed with the “snowflakes” is really that helpful, truthful, or loving.
Even I told myself that I didn’t have it in me to cut potatoes today. I then said to myself, “Okay, well so what?” I’ve got them in my pantry and they need to be used, so I cut up the potatoes and laid them out in the crock-pot. The conversation transpired in front of my daughter, and I think, together, we thought it was funny. I had concerns about having liver and onions for supper, so I switched it to the roast we were going to have Friday.
To be fair, liver and onions was probably a little too ambitious.
Today was a catch-up day in the house. We bypassed school and headed straight for the cleaning. We swept, vacuumed, and cleared the clutter from the floors. I put three drops each of rosemary, lemon, and pine in a spray bottle filled with water, and we used that to dust and wipe down chairs, table, and floors that hadn’t been thoroughly washed in months. A blend of Flu Time and Wild Orange filled the air from my diffuser.
The essential oils conference went well. I’m more interested in learning about individual oils, and I’m a little overwhelmed with all the health products companies have these days. Not just oils, but the bath and beauty items, household cleaners and laundry soap, and now they have all kinds of oral supplements. All of that is too much for me. I get all the stuff about commercialized agriculture and American soil being chemically depleted of its vitamins and minerals, but I just have to be thankful for our food right now. Give me a few products I can use and fall in love with, and gradually we can go from there.
We had a good visit with my sister in the hospital. Three of us other sisters, along with an adorable infant nephew, traveled up early Sunday morning to visit her for the afternoon. They’re wanting to keep her for a few more days and then hopefully send her home sometime mid-week. We left around 4PM, and I ended up getting back late Sunday night, having left earlier than originally planned in order beat the coming snow. I’m at a definite place where missed sleep is going to cost me, but a good night’s sleep was going to cost me even more, in this case, an entire snowy day warm and home with my kids.
Yesterday afternoon I visited the mother of one of my high-school friends. Because this friend was now a once divorced, now happily remarried man, I wondered weather or not it was appropriate to seek this woman out. I’d learned she and her husband lived only twenty minutes away, and it seemed a shame to not be in touch with someone who had once been such a strong Christian presence in my life.
One of the first things we did was crack up about how old she was. No. You. Are. Not. There was absolutely no way she was 71! Turns out, however it made perfect sense. At 51 when I was in high school, I remember her being one of the “older” moms. Because I met my husband at camp while in high school, he knew all about my “other” high school life. The people, names, and stories are familiar to him. He had no problem with me going, and I’m grateful for that because we had a great time.
The essential oils conference is today and then I’m heading up to visit one of my sisters. Me and my other sister are going to ride up together. We got a call that my-brother-in-law had taken her to the E.R. and she was being admitted to the psychiatric hospital. I don’t know too much more than that and still don’t really have a grasp of what is going on with her. I’ve been a little shook up by this, and to me it just reiterates the importance of checking in our your people. Don’t assume everything is okay.
God is good, friends, and He is able.
God-willing, I should be back Monday morning.
Sat-twice baked potatoes, bacon-wrapped asparagus
*bought from the store
Sun-leftovers, frozen pizza
Mon-Roasted Salmon w/tomatoes and fennel
Tues-Roasted potato & kale hash w/eggs
Thurs-Beef liver & caramelized onions
Fri-Crockpot roast w/olives & mint