Saturday, November 10, 2007

Part Deux--Balance

This is how I finished my talk to the Homeschool Mom's group (see post below). I have customized this list for myself, naturally you'd put in your own things:

So, how to begin to get Balance in this hectic season?

Of course, Number One is to spend time with the Lord, where we learn to hear Him.

(imaginary scene...)

Okay, God, here I am, waiting for You to tell me what to do. Could You hurry, please? It's almost time for Martha , and today she is showing us how to make cranberry/orange/cinnamon/pumpkin/spice/nut bread using fresh-ground organic wheat berries...

Don't think so. I think the answer is to Live. Deliberately.

For this season, if you don't make a Plan, then you are Planning to Fail.

--Plan gifts. For our children, we always made sure we had something to wear, something to read, and something to do.

--Plan shopping. Can you go at less hectic times?

--Plan meals. This Saves Money. Pull out your Fix-it-and-Forget-it Crockpot book.

--Plan decorating and crafting, then prioritize. I learned to flock a tree from my mother, who did it every year. (this is where you make the tree look like it is outside in the snow. I'll post a tutorial when we put up our tree.) But there has been more than one instance of a tree one-quarter flocked on Christmas morning b/c I ran out of time. Didn't prioritize, and it showed.

--Plan school and adjust. Some homeschoolers take two weeks off before Christmas, others the entire month. It's a good time to do a concentration in Home Ec (baking, cleaning) with some Music Appreciation (cds of Nutcracker and the Messiah), and Ministry (Christmas shoeboxes, gifts for prison moms and dads to give their children , visiting nursing homes and neighbors).

--Make lists: Do the Christmas letter, go to the Nutcracker, make daughter Christmas dress , bake two thousand dozen cookies. Then prioritize, pare down, and accept the fact that doing less will not mean a lesser experience.

Ooh. Let me say that again: Doing Less will not mean a Lesser Experience.

I have a personal problem, that I still have after thirty-two years of marriage (that's thirty-three Christmases that I've been in charge of). I grew up in a great family with great holiday traditions. Ditto for Charming. Then there are the great traditions we kinda made up ourselves. Add to them the fab ideas from Mrs. Sharp's Traditions and Martha Stewart, and I'm trying to do Way Too Much to give my family a fabulous Christmas.

I wonder what it would be like to have a Gentle Christmas?

I had one once, the second Christmas of our marriage. Charming had to work until early evening, and brought a tree home that was left-over for 99 cents, that we decorated sparsely. I made a little plate of cheese and crackers, and had Christmas music playing. I was pregnant again, and Charming and I talked about Mary and Joseph and the night their baby was born. Gollee, that is an evening that I'd like to repeat. (except I like to enjoy my tree for longer...)

Well, that evening may never come again, with eight children and four grand-children (in 2008 we'll have six!) I'll settle for being Satisfied with what I accomplish, and not boo-hooing over what Didn't Get Done. Sigh. Difficult for this Eeyore to do that.

This brings me to a final comment. We moms love to give gifts to our children. We love to give them memorable experiences. But we can burn out before we see it coming. This is where Mother Culture comes in, and it is a word for year-round, not just for Christmas.

Here is a quote from Karen Andreola on Mother Culture:

"To partake in Mother Culture is to feed herself with the Word of God, with ideas from books, nature, art, music, etc. thus taking care to keep growing spiritually and mentally. If there is such a thing as the joy of childhood, then there is also such a thing as the joy of motherhood, and Karen admonishes mothers to recognize and live within such a blessing."

May God bless you as you plan your holiday season!

1 comment :

Donna-Jean said...

Wonderful 'talk' on balance, very helpful and inspiring! Thank you.