Surviving Christmas Vacation | Marvelous Mundane
One year ago this week, we had just spent three days in a hotel with my husband’s family for our Christmas celebration. And boy- what an attack on our parenting! With Judah a year and a half, and Janelle not quite three months, sleeping all together in the same room was a challenge. Being out of our element, and out of our routine, was more tiring and draining than I had imagined. We are a family who likes organization, quiet, and peace together, and time with extended family is never organized, quiet, or peaceful. Not bad, but not our usual routine. We were exhausted, and my husband and I were not working together, but working in opposition to each other. We climbed into our SUV feeling beat up and discouraged. We didn’t look at each other, let alone talk to each other, for the first thirty minutes of our six hour trip to my parents’ house. The atmosphere felt defeated and tense.
As we drove, I picked up the current book I was reading and my journal. I knew I needed to refocus before my husband and I could talk through the wrong parenting and marital decisions we had made those three days. I knew my book on mothering (Desperate by Sally Clarkson is HIGH on my recommendation list) would help me shift my focus from my failures to my purpose and vision. And I knew journaling would help me think through and evaluate my feelings, before unloading on my precious husband, who had already dealt with my raw emotions the past three days.
As I read, prayed, and refocused, the CD my son was listening to played a song from Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (ESV). Oh how I needed this reminder!
Parenting is tough. It can attack every area of a person. Body (exhaustion), Mind (always second guessing, or planning, or mentally preparing for the next step), and Soul (the spiritual warfare between good and evil while training a two year old is real!). Parenting is tough when you are with family who doesn’t parent like you do. Not that they are wrong- just different than the way you choose to parent. Parenting is tough when you are out of your element, and it’s extra tough in public places with family who have opinions about everything you do as a parent.
But let’s not grow weary of doing good. Parenting with vision and purpose is a good work. Let’s not allow lack of sleep, family stress, or the holidays keep us from doing the best work we can raising our kids. Parenting does cause us to be weary, but let’s not let the weariness grow to the point of giving up. If I had thrown in the towel after last Christmas, I would have totally different children than I do this Christmas. I was weary as we drove away, but I was not weary to the point of giving up. I made a resolve to remember that the reward is in the future with raising kids. There are great blessings to being consistent and intentional in raising my children for the Lord, and I will be diligent to work hard.
I’ll be honest that the week ahead scares me a bit. We will be traveling to my family and also to my husband’s family over the next seven days. We will be sleeping in new places with our children in the same room, or close by. And I am seven months pregnant! There will be weary days and nights, but I will not let weariness keep me from doing my best. I will not lose heart, and I will not give up.
I pray for you, dear mom who is reading this. I pray you will see the good that you are doing as a mother, and choose not to grow weary to the point of giving up, that you will choose to remember that the work you are doing is the most important work. Your children WILL reap the blessings that you are sowing into their lives. God bless you, and I pray your Christmas vacation is life-giving and refreshing. Or at the very least, survivable and memorable!