Monthly Archives: December 2013

An important New Year’s resolution (maybe the most important ever)

Each year we put up our Christmas tree. Each year I string the lights. Each year the kids put on the ornaments. Each year I then fill the top of the tree and the massive holes with more ornaments because I’m a control-freak like that. And each year I move this ornament from the front of the tree to the back, where no one will ever see it.Ugly Christmas Ornament

See, I hate this picture of me from middle school. H-A-T-E. Hate. Hate. HATE. Hate. It’s why I move it each year. My goofy smile. My big nose. My big teeth with braces. You know, all those over-sized features that make middle school kids so awkward until they grow into them.

The kids think it’s funny. “Mo-ooom, we hung your ornament right in fro-ooont!” And I used to laugh at them and then move it when they went to bed.

But not this year. This year I left it right in front. Because of this.Hidden Ornament

This year, while the kids were hanging their ornaments, I heard Cameran say “I’m hanging this one in the back! The picture of me is so ugly!”

Heart. Break.

See, here I was thinking I was funny each year by moving my “ugly ornament” to the back where no one would see. “Silly old ornament of me from middle school! I don’t want anyone seeing that I used to look like that!” Funny? Not so much.

Because each year as I moved that ornament I was teaching my girls to be ashamed of what they look like. Each year I was telling them that I wasn’t good enough to be on the front of the tree. Each year I was instilling in them wrong ideas. Hurtful, horrible ideas that what they look like now will be embarrassing later.

Cami’s ornament? It was a picture of her as a baby from her VERY FIRST Christmas.

I want to cry.

I’ve always been really careful about what I say about my body in front of the girls. I don’t do radical diets that would make me eat differently than our family does. I don’t talk about being overweight as a bad thing because I hate how I look, but as a health issue that I want to be a healthy mom who can be active with her kids and be around for a long time. I have rules about how no one eats a meal at the table alone, etc. I’ve always been so careful to protect them.

I had no idea that moving an ornament each year would have such an impact.

I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions. Honestly, it’s because I know I’ll fail and I don’t like setting myself up for failure. But this year, I’m making an important New Year’s resolution. Maybe the most important ever. This year, I’m going to be happy with myself.

That doesn’t mean I won’t work to improve myself. That I don’t still want to lose 20 pounds or keep exercising more. That I won’t take care of my house better or work harder to be a better wife, mom, friend and employee.

What it means is that I’m going to learn to love myself. To see myself as God sees me. To love who I was created to be.

It’s the best gift I can possibly give my girls.

And I want you to join me. I need accountability. And I want you to love yourself too, imperfections and all. Let’s learn together. Let’s support each other and learn from each other. So tell me if you’re going to do this with me. Comment below and let’s do this thing. There’s strength in numbers, right? 🙂

‘Tis the season…

There’s only 10 more days until Christmas. TEN DAYS. Yikes.

Right before Thanksgiving, I was really looking forward to this holiday season. I was excited about visiting our parents, shopping, buying a tree and decorating our home for Christmas. And then I started to feel totally overwhelmed when I realized all I had to accomplish in the less than 4 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

That overwhelming feeling pushed me into a crappy place, which was worsened by the dark cold winter that so quickly fell upon Indy. I started going to bad places, taking things out on my kids and myself. Being short with people I love and even shorter with people I don’t.

And then this happened.larry santa (929x742)

We don’t push Santa at our house. Only our stockings and one present come from Santa. If our kids ask, we tell the truth. But we never stop playing Santa because it’s fun and special. 

There’s something special about Santa. There’s something special about *this* Santa.

When we left the first church home we had in Indianapolis about a year and a half ago, it was rough. I struggled with many things – leaving the only church home we had ever really had. We left a community in which we felt very comfortable, knowing so many people and being known by so many as well. The location was even in our neighborhood, which meant many of our neighbors were not only our physical community but also our spiritual community. But it was time for us to move on.

Walking into a new church is never fun. It’s something we had been putting off for quite awhile before we actually make the move. It’s uncomfortable. It’s new. It’s isolating. You question whether or not it’s the right choice. The right place for you. The best fit. And you walk into a new church over and over while searching for that right place and best fit.

And when you finally find the right place, it’s still uncomfortable, new and sometimes isolating. Even a year later.

But then Santa comes to your community group.

Friends, we have been very blessed to find our new home. We’ve been placed in a church with all these new and different people whose names we still don’t know but we’ve found a small group of amazing men and women in all different walks of life and in all different places with God. They have turned our new church into more than just our new church. They’ve turned it into a family. One I wasn’t sure we’d be able to find after leaving our last church family.

What does Santa have to do with any of this? Well, “Santa” is a member of our community group and when he showed up this week to group to surprise the kids, Lucas ran at top speed to him and literally jumped into his arms. I almost cried. I so wish I had it on tape. It was total abandon. Leaping into the arms of someone who truly loves him. It was so beautiful and it reminded me of how loved I am by the people around me and by God. And it totally changed my outlook on being overwhelmed.

I’m still overwhelmed – I still have SO MUCH SHOPPING to do. So much work to do with the end of the year approaching. So much cleaning from slacking for too long. No lie – I’m still overwhelmed. But it’s not consuming. I’m trying to enjoy the season with my kids. To not only give love and good parenting, but to give some grace where I normally wouldn’t. Because I’m given grace every day. And my kids won’t learn what grace is if they aren’t shown it.

So at Target tonight I enjoyed shopping for the kids. I thought about how much each would love the things I was picking out for them. I thought about the joy we’d see on Christmas morning.

And I thought about how many people love me and my family. And it made me happy for the hustle and bustle of the season. So I’m going to embrace it. Join me?