Attempt to take perfect family photo. Raise eyebrows and smile-yell at kids for refusing to look happy and/or face the camera. Ignore inner voice asking why such small details matter. Tell yourself they just do – at least according to some unwritten, hand-me-down rule of thumb. Verbally accept defeat. Hold grudge.✓

Buy a hundred Christmas cards. Scribble merryish greetings. Stamp. Mail. ✓

Scour ads searching for deals. Drive all over town to save $10. Go home, bad mood in tow. Separate “stuff” into piles for each kid. Bag it up. Cram into closet for future after-hours wrapping. ✓

Pretend baking cookies lights your fire, especially multiple varieties. Buy all ingredients at store. Unpack groceries with Zenlike mantra, “I will -AH- enjoy cleaning the volcanic remains of flour, frosting, food coloring, and candied toppings all over my -OM- counters and floors.” Freak out in middle of peaceful meditation when realizing the most important baking item missed the grocery list. Go back to store. Yell at car radio both ways for playing Christmas music on every station. ✓

I’m embarrassed to admit the above scenario described a couple Christmas seasons back in the tiny tot days of raising kids. When looking back over the chaos all I see is a neon sign flickering, “Scrooge You Lose.” Don’t get me wrong, every Christmas had love, merriment, and celebrating the birth of our Savior. But a couple of those years my priorities were askew. I invested so much energy in trying to accomplish everything society told me a young mom raising a family should do that I missed the magic and sabotaged the joy of being a young mom raising a family.

Read the rest of my revelation over at Her View From Home.

Embrace the magic, crazy Mommas!

shel

A self-described “sappy soul whisperer and sarcasm aficionado,” Shelby is a wife of 26 years & mom of three 20-something kiddos. She has a deep love for Jesus and storytelling, and most days she muses in rhetorical wonder over what God was thinking when He put her in charge of three humans. Although God’s quick to remind her how capable she is, apparently He sometimes does so while crossing His fingers behind His back. You can read her stories around the web and in print at Guideposts.