I love Christmas. I really do. I love to celebrate Jesus’ birth and the peace and love that come from honoring that joyous day. I even like to see a beautifully decorated tree, holiday lights and a child’s eyes when they find the perfect gift from Santa on Christmas morning. I enjoy the random acts of kindness that spread like a virus. If only this bug didn’t seem to pass by the time January 1st rolls around.
The negative side effect of the season for me is an increase in impatience. There is more to do, but it takes longer to do everything because everyone else has the same deadline: December 25th. The kids are more likely to misbehave, even though the threat of being skipped by Santa should bring out their best. By Tuesday, I’m counting down to the weekend for my days off (so I can get more stuff done.)
Instead of bothering myself with checking cookie ingredients and waging the never-ending battle for order in our house, I should be relaxing in a chair with a cup of hot tea, reflecting on Jesus’ birth and His life on Earth.
Still, on this day, exactly one week before Christmas, I found myself filled with annoyance and impatience. I was annoyed at being awakened by my sons working out their differences with flying fists and screaming…at 6 o’clock in the morning. After only five hours of sleep, I wanted to steal another hour or two. I asked the boys to each go to their rooms and clean – and to not talk to or touch each other.
Yeah, you guessed it. The fighting continued. More sleep was not on my agenda. I stomped out of bed at seven, only to find their rooms were still a mess and our dining room table littered with craft supplies. In that moment, I wished they were more responsible, could interact without fighting, and realized that mommy is best left to sleep on a Sunday morning.
After the wish flashed through my mind, I wanted to take it back. This day is no doubt somewhere in the future, though I can’t see it on the horizon yet. I felt guilty for my impatience. Just like they learned how to use the toilet, write their names, and say ‘thank you’ for a gift they didn’t like, they will learn how to communicate (and respect my wishes for more sleep.)
In the meantime, I will do my best to soothe my impatience and enjoy the moments that God has given me now. It helps that my older son has the right idea:
So, with that, I’m going to sip my cup of hot tea amid the clutter in my house. I plan to make peace with the disorder that surrounds me.
I hope we all can find peace amid chaos rather than let it become us during these potentially stressful days leading up to Christmas.
Impatience isn’t a new thing. I found comfort in that fact that even David could relate to the struggle with impatience:
Psalms 27:13-14 – “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”