Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Giving Thanks Amongst Great Noise

We have officially started my *favorite* time of year!
I just love Thanksgiving and everything it has to offer...so many blessings to count, family to love and a wonderful time to gather together and make lifelong memories. It really is overlooked in the rush to get to Christmas and to me that is a little sad.

Of course, these days I feel like I am being rushed and hurried through life most of the time anyway and I hate that too. 

We are four days away from the beginning of Advent and I can already feel it slipping through my fingers as thoughts of crafting, decorating, baking, preparing, purchasing and wrapping clutter my mind like visions of sugar plums dance in my head.  Each year I *try* my best to not get overwhelmed and do too much. 

But, really, what is too much?

I am by nature a creature of habit and love the comfort and structure that our daily schedule offers.  I have created quite a comfie little box and get a little rattled when asked to step outside of it too often. On a good day lately my life, thoughts and daily activity is being bombarded with NOISE on a regular basis and I hate that!  I have often scoffed at friends who shuffle their kids from swimming to scouts to karate to art classes to piano lessons to church school and the like many times over all week long.  I don't like to run around all over town shuffling my boys here and there.  I can't tell you why, I just don't, but I do know that it has to do with my need to make my home a place of refuge and peace and tranquility for my family.

These days, there we are really lacking on the peace and tranquility as we run from swimming lessons to scouts to basketball practices and games to piano lessons, co-op and church school on a weekly basis!  Did I mention that most of these activities are X 3 boys? I don't know how I got us in this mess situation, but, it happened and at the time of the year when we crave peace and tranquility MOST!

Did I mention that I realized at 3:30 this morning that we missed church school last night :(

I want my boys to enjoy what they do in life and not feel the overwhelming feelings of being rushed from place to place.  Even while we are at the activities I sit and watch as they are being rushed through said activity that I have placed them in for enjoyment.  For me...rushing does not equal enjoyment!  But, again I am one simple momma with an opinion and many people thrive on running here, there and everywhere. 

Of course, I am also trying to give thanks amongst noise that comes this time of year which includes Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the onslaught of emails in my inbox assuring me that I can have it all and at the lowest price ever!  The last thing I ever want to do is to get out of my warm bed in the middle of the night, get dressed and go to Walmart to watch people argue about things they "just have to have!"  To me it is the total opposite of what I hold dear about this time of year.  It brings about our natural tendencies to have it all and get it now and at a lower price, which of course appeals to us all :-)

All of this hustle and bustle has affected our lives in other ways as well.  I can clearly see it and am trying desperately to fix it.  Each morning I wake between 4:30-5:00 and begin the day in prayer asking Jesus to show me what He wants me to do for Him today and to show me His way to do it best.  I rise feeling good and motivated to begin the day and have great hopes that it is going to be a wonderful day :-)  Some days are wonderful, but, more days are challenging lately.  I have the blessing to be able to teach my children at home and these days that blessing has been challenging at times as well.  It seems nobody is usually happy at the same time, everyone needs me and the teasing and noise are never ending!  This is a typical day with three boys and a Border Collie, don't get me wrong ;)

It is just how life is at this moment...a little chaotic, very loving (these little ones are extremely loving), very loud and somewhat challenging.

I *think* I am up for the challenge that lies ahead.  Well, most days anyway. I did have a migraine the past two days that really wore on me, but, usually I am wearing my battle gear!

I need to keep focused.  I need to realize that these little people see me all day and what I do will influence them more than what comes out of my mouth.  I am *trying* to model Jesus for them in everything I do and I get alot of it right and some of it wrong most days, but, I continue to talk with Him throughout the day and I realize what a great treasure and comfort that is!

So...here is what I am *trying* to do this Advent:

***I want to share the peace, joy and thrill of the season with my family to love and honor Jesus.
      This means I have to cut WAY back on our outside activities so we may have time to reflect on Him!

***Make a plan and put it in writing!  I have been wanting to do this for years now. A plan I can refer to each year and not try to re-invent the wheel each year.  A plan complete with what I want to do (craft, activities and the like) and a wonderful reading list of beautiful books to celebrate Christmas.

***Streamline and focus our homeschool activities for the rest of our term until Christmas break. 

I *think* that this will help restore the balance of our peace and tranquility to where it was before all of the outside running was added.  There will still be some activities, but, not overwhelming where nobody enjoys them.

I have great hopes that it can be a wonderful season!


  1. Great goals, Ann-Marie~! That "make a plan and have it in writing is truly the key" for me...I know still owe you an e-mail too!!! (I haven't forgotten my friend:) Wishing you a peaceful Advent...It's possible, I just know it! Love your new blog header with those beautiful boys:):):)

  2. Your plan sounds good! May you find the peace in the quiet moment, however fleeting the moment may be, and carry it with you into the blessed chaos.