“The joy in motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times, but amid the challenges there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction.”
-M. Russell Ballard
Yesterday was one of those days. I had all intention of documenting the times that we have spent together the past couple days. I had all intentions of filling full of Christmas memories, fun, love, and laughter.... but it just didn't happen. Life happened. Moments of yelling, drinking fountain tantrums at the Y, times when the snack provided in the car just wasn't enough... and a million other moments in a five minute time period that drove me nuts. I let the season, the stress, and the family indifferences rot in my soul.
As I was cleaning the kitchen yesterday, I got the God urge to just slow down. To slow and to savor those moments with our now 3 year old. I looked at the hot mess around me and just threw the towel. I ran in her bedroom and grabbed the one "easy to move" CD player in the house and in went TSO. Instantly the mood changed in the house. She danced.... with me. With me the mom that had 50 million things on her plate and didn't want to do anything but check off the boxes. She grabbed my hands and told me that it made it her joyful. ME! I made her joyful. Something so simple as turning off the stuff of the season and turning on the simple needs of a three year old.
We were working our way through the tracks and this song Oh Come All Ye Faithful/Oh Holy Night came on. I started singing (horribly I might add) and it just soaked in my soul. Oh holy night is a favorite of Erick and I's. Not sure why it became so special to us... Erick says Paul Dagenhard's version is his favorite. I stood at the laundry room door and just started to sing. Sing at the top of my lungs (praise Jesus Landree doesn't judge!) and sunk to the floor holding her and singing. What a blessed time of the year overrun by my checklists, perfection, and trying to overcome obstacles. I played it again... and again. Each time closing my eyes and just letting the words penetrate my soul. God's small simple lesson to me... slow down sweet child. I stood up and threw my hands in the air. I praised. I spun Landree around... I was faithful.
Our Sunday school teacher asked how we would be keeping the Christmas spirit alive throughout the year. Like this Paul, like this. By bringing the love of Jesus to my daughter instead of the stuff. And no, I'm not talking about gifts. I'm not judging. I'm talking about the "stuff" we think the holidays has to be. I need to stop being a box checker and be present. I need to keep sitting by the Christmas tree and reading Christmas stories.
At that very moment, I stopped, looked at Landree. Dare I ask? I asked Landree, who's birthday do we celebrate on Christmas. I was expecting her's... Pubbies... maybe mine to come off her lips. Her response? "Jesus birthday is on Christmas mommy. We celebrate him and give him presents."
I cried. On the spot I cried. She gets it. She truly and utterly gets it. I had not completely sent her down the checklist spiral. The only response I could muster? "Landree the best gift you can ever give Jesus is to give him your heart, and love him with everything you are."
Today we venture out to teach Landree more about giving back...