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Breathing a sigh of relief

As it has been for most of you, my life has been pretty hectic the last couple of weeks, as I’ve worked busily on Christmas baking, sewing Ellie’s fantasy dress, making other Christmas gifts, shopping (barf), staying on track with my ambitious Advent calendar, and just the nice-and-easy job of running a household. I have been sleep-deprived, I’ve eaten too much and unhealthily because I’ve been stressed, and I’ve had a short temper with my kids. (Does this sound familiar to you at all?) But I have to say that I have clung tightly to my early wake-up time, and God has made those hours so worthwhile. It seems I’ve been able to talk to him authentically and have at least made an attempt to listen as well. He is not coddling me; on the contrary, the Holy Spirit is convicting me more than ever of the need to submit to him and not be apathetic about, well, anything. Anyway, he has been refreshing, real, and kind.
Seems like all my hard work is paying off now. . . . Yesterday, Reiko left for the semester break in Japan (she’s the international student who lives with our family). There is rarely a day when I can think about feeding only my husband and kids, and keeping the house presentable for only our family. Also, once a week, we host a potluck for our LIFE group. As much as we love Reiko and enjoy her, and as grateful as we are for our LIFE group, there’s something relaxing about having only your immediate family in the house. It’s like taking your bra off at the end of a long day. (Or just not putting it on to begin with. My apologies to my burgeoning male readership, since you can’t truly appreciate this metaphor. Or maybe you can, just with a different body part. Moving right along. . . .)
Earlier this week, I finally finished the dress I’m giving Ellie for Christmas. I’d been restricted to sewing only when she was in her room, and quickly stuffing the dress into a boring black suitbag if I heard her feet on the stairs so that she wouldn’t see it. Not a relaxing sewing experience. But it’s done now, and I just need to wrap it. I’m breathing another sigh of relief about that.
Today, Dan’s family visited for the day. I’d been stressing about that, too, for various reasons. Now, however, they are back home. The kids got their many brand-new gifts from their Aunt Annie, and all went well. Nobody verbalized any worries about how my family might not be getting enough protein, since we’re not eating much meat lately. The homemade gifts I gave were even received with enthusiasm, something I wasn’t sure would happen. I’m sitting in my recliner now, with Blankie on me, and I’m not feeling driven to make any more Christmas gifts tonight.
Fact is, I doubt I’ll even have to cook between now and when we leave to visit our families for Christmas. We have so many leftovers from this week and today’s family event that I might get to coast from now through Monday. And hey, if we run out of healthy food, we can just eat cookies, right?
I’m not done making Christmas gifts, but it’ll be a breeze from here on out. I have a bunch of stuff to wrap, but that’s pretty stress-free.
So, folks, I’m taking off my bra and breathing a big sigh of relief. I’m going to relax now and get quiet for Christmas.


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  1. * Terri says:

    I’m happy to read this post! Have a peaceful and blessed Christmas. I’ll see you in the New Year. 🙂


    Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  2. * Erika says:

    this post cracked me up!! I’m so happy to hear that time with the Lord has been “refreshing, real, and kind.” That’s wonderful. Way to go on all of your tasks. I’d love to know what your homemade gifts were…I like homemade gifts. 🙂

    Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  3. * manhattandoula says:

    Erika, hi! Hmmmm, should I tell what my homemade gifts were? OK, this will be a spoiler. . . 🙂 Of course, I made Ellie a dress. I also made some fabric wipes and a lot of rice socks. And I made fudge, and the kids and I made coasters out of a pile of tiles I found in our basement. I’d kind of like to post some pictures, but it might not be till after Christmas. Merry Christmas!

    Posted 9 years, 5 months ago

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