Sunday, January 4, 2015

Begins With Me

I LOVE my role in our family.  I am not the perfect wife or mother AT ALL -- I am learning more and more every day and every day I have to work to suppress my selfish nature and try to prioritize the needs of my family.

I have learned so many things this year, one of which is that so many things in our household begin with me.

The general spirit of our home, joyful or stressed, begins with me.

The cleanliness of our home, tidy or disastrous, begins with me.

The routine of our day, predictable or disrupted, begins with me.

The tone of interactions, respectful and loving, or short and biting, begins with me.

While my husband is the leader of our household, most of what makes our home a restful or restless place begins with me.  This is a tremendous responsibility and one I haven't recognized before becoming a mother.

In fact, I don't think I came to fully understand how my actions impact the entire scope of our home until this Christmas season when I realized that they way we celebrate Christmas in our home, begins with me.

The truth is, decorating for, and recognizing Christmas is no small task.  Given that we travel for the two weeks surrounding Christmas day to visit family one thousand miles away makes decking the halls of our home even more work.  My husband appreciates that I hang holly, and lights, and decorations, and send Christmas cards, and bake Christmas cookies and insist that we cut a live tree and begin our decorating immediately after Thanksgiving, but if I did not do those things, he would not take over all of those projects.  I am the one who has chosen our Christmas traditions, and I am the one who makes sure they are kept each and every year.

This year, with a ten-month-old baby toddling around, decorating for Christmas, baking Christmas cookies, and sending Christmas cards all took more effort and more time than ever before.  This year, I began to ask myself if all of these traditions were, in fact, worth continuing.  That is when I noticed the small picture, and ultimately the big picture, that the small traditions that help our family prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the year Christmas celebration, they begin with me.  And, while I'm noticing things, the entire climate of our house begins with me.

Just call me Mama Barometer from now on, because whatever my levels read, the weather of my house is thus effected.  Every peaceful word, loving kindness, angry reaction, or thoughtless response begins with me.

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