Friday, December 2, 2011

sowing: worn out knees and planting seeds of tradition

If you're just joining us (and we're so glad to have you along!), we're taking two chapter per week from the book, The Power of a Positive Mom: Revised Edition by Karol Ladd.

On Mondays we focus on reaping: What are we gleaning, discerning from the reading?
On Fridays we focus on sowing: What actions from the Power Points can we apply in our lives in order to become more positive mothers?

(For a link to previous discussions, please click here.)

To read what we reaped for Chapters 15 &16, please see Monday's post.

Reading Karol's stories about the two moms on pages 192 and 193 convicted me. I often do as the Mom-who-used-her-voice did - trying to get my words to do the work for me. But, oh, how much kinder, gentler and Jesus like it is to be the Mom-who-gets-on-her-knees.

I often feel my husband does a better job of this...I tell the kids to clean their room and then leave to go about other tasks. My husband will sit in the room with them and help direct their focus. A Martha/Mary (or in this case, maybe it's Martin?) story played out in our home.

Since reading this chapter, I have tried to be more intentional about getting on my knees and helping my children with their tasks, and in the reverse, to have them help me with mine. And God had me notice something in one of my on-my-knees jeans. Specifically, the knees. Almost thread bare. And I felt a whisper to my spirit that this is something He loves to see. Clothes worn out from loving and serving and giving and getting right in there to tough it out with the ones He loves. The knee on those jeans finally gave out yesterday. They were always my favorite pair - now even more so. While I'm now in the market for a pair of new jeans, I want to hang on to the old pair as a reminder of the message in the worn out knees.

Paging over to Chapter 16...
So far this week, I've written about a Christmas tradition that wasn't and shared yesterday about my favorite tradition we started with our own family...the seeds we began planting several years ago. It's only fitting today, especially given the title of this book, to share another day our children look forward to...St. Nicolas Day (December 6).

In a nutshell, it's the day when the kids get their "stockings." I put stockings in parenthesis because I don't really use them. Instead, depending on the gifts for the year, I set them up in different ways. One year I used my riding boots from bygone days. It mixes it up a little and keeps them guessing. :) Up until this year, the kids always were surprised by the day itself. Now that Brianna and Reese are learning about the concept of time, I don't think I can sneak it up on them.

Why St. Nicolas Day and not the traditional Christmas morning?

It's an attempt to share the joy of giving and receiving gifts while wanting to keep the focus on God's gift to us on Christmas.

You see, when I was growing up I loved the whole Santa and getting presents thing, especially the stockings - 99% of the time I was the first one to wake up every year. And, although we went to church and I knew about Jesus, I didn't know Him. Christmas never was about Jesus for me. So it wasn't too hard to justify celebrating Christmas as an atheist. Also, I was impacted a few years ago by the Christmas memories my brother-in-law shared. He grew up in a family who actively knew Jesus. His memories? Not one centered around the toys he received. Instead his family choose significant ways to help those in need.

This history and knowing all my fond Christmas memories revolve around the stuff I got, cause me to pull back from those childhood traditions and anything less than a focus on God. It's a big part of why I wrote this post.

For our children, my hope is that, as adults, they will look back on St. Nicolas Day as a time we rejoiced in giving gifts to one another and Christmas as a time we rejoiced in a baby in a manager who would grow up to die for us so we might live.

Now it's your have you sown seeds from the chapters this week? Any memory makers you'd like to share or ones you'd like to try? Please join us in this discussion by leaving a comment. If you blogged about it, please leave a link to your place so we can find you there.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

Love the image of your worn out jeans. Often I complain about too much yelling in our house, but I realize that I'm the one doing most of it - just hollering at the boys to do this or that instead of going over to where they are and asking them to do it. The constant need to project my voice is exhausting and definitely sets the wrong tone. If I walk into their rooms (rather than stand in the kitchen and yell) and ask them to clean up, and yes, even help a bit, everyone is much happier. This is something I need to be reminded of!

As for traditions, we are starting The Advent Storybook this year because of its emphasis on counting down to Jesus's birth. Our two other Advent calendars count down to Christmas, but the anticipation is for the presents. I'm trying to help the boys (and myself) remember what we are really waiting for this month.