Sunday, 2 January 2011

Christmas trees and crossness

Well, as you know Lord that's not some clever play on words, I mean crossness as in crabbiness, narkiness, bad temperedness.  That was me this afternoon when I started to dismantle the Christmas decorations with 'help' from the children. I'm not particularly proud of my performance.  At one point I was thinking to myself, 'The fruit of the spirit is love, PATIENCE, thingy, whatsit, SELF CONTROL and lots of other things...' and then straight away I'd be snapping at the girls for dropping precious decorations or pulling at the fairy lights. (Sorry for not remembering all the fruits of the spirit.  Will look it up, promise).

It was chaos.  Tinsel everywhere, strings of beads all tangled up, the floor covered in tissue paper. Why do I get so bad tempered whenever there's a mess?  Why am I so ill equipped to cope with chaos in my house?  You'd think that with two small children I'd be used to it, but all that happens is I run round with armfuls of stuff, trying to put things away and letting one job lead to another before the first one is finished in a vain effort to stem the tide of untidiness while glowering at everyone who gets in my way and letting cups of tea go cold as I can't seem to stop for five minutes.

Here's the thing, Lord. I've got a book on my bedside table waiting to be read and it's about Mary and Martha. I'm pretty sure that I am a Martha. At least, the busyness bit. Though quite often I'm busy doing nothing - busy surfing the internet, busy looking through seed catalogues, busy sleeping. But I'm Martha-ing my life as a Mum as well, and I can see myself doing it but seem powerless to stop. I know I need to let the mess accumulate long enough to let the kids have fun, and I know I need to stop so that I can have fun with them.  They won't always want to play with playdough (ugh. Hate the smell of it, the feel of it...) and they won't always want me to play with them will they?

So here's the thing. Please, Lord, show me how to stop dashing and tidying and being obsessive about things and how to enjoy my little girls while they're young. Help me to take more time to notice and not get so wound up. Help me to let them help and not bother if things aren't done as neatly or efficiently as I would do them.

There's a New Year Resolution for you. I've spent 40 years being perfectionist and wanting to have everything under control so I know I have no chance of doing it on my own.  But with your help next time I take down the Christmas decorations maybe I won't be so cross.  I'll let you know.

Amen.


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