I have a confession to make. Life around Togetherland has been a little, um, chaotic lately. I mean, more chaotic than normal. When I read Shepherding a Child’s Heart back in October, we were doing really well with the whole discipline thing and were seeing huge steps in our kids’ lives.
But when all the financial stuff hit in November, I have to admit that parenting kind of took a back burner to the crisis that was our finances. And now we are seeing what happens when you don’t discipline your kids for a month.
Christmas, with our sons as selfish, disobedient, snotty, and just plain mean as they have been lately, is shaping up to be a big huge epic FAIL.
Something has to change.
My sister mentioned yesterday that she was going to celebrate Advent with her kids this year, and I really liked the idea. We don’t own an Advent calendar, and deciding on November 30th at 10pm to do Advent doesn’t give you a lot of time to prepare anything. (Especially since I just read that we should have technically began on Saturday. I’ve never done this before! I always thought Advent was the first through twenty-fourth of December!)
But it is clear to me that my sons’ hearts need some change, before Christmas gets here and puts their selfishness and ingratitude on display.
Our December celebration isn’t going to be about getting, but about giving. My prayer is that as the month progresses and we read the story of Christ’s birth and memorize parts of it and focus on giving and kindness and God’s amazing gift to us, that my children will begin to see the joy that is Christmas– not because of a bunch of shiny-wrapped junk under the tree, but because our God is with us.
So tonight after dinner and cleaning up and practicing obedience and helpfulness and good attitudes, we made pictures for great-grandparents far away and read the story of Christ’s birth. And an evening that started with grumpy kids and a grumpy mom and arguments and mean actions and the etceteras ended with a clean dining room, soup bubbling on the stove, kids munching popcorn, and the angels singing to the shepherds of peace on earth.
And that was just one night.
This is going to be a great month.