For the Love of Others

I’m on mouse patrol. Have been every December for the past few years — ever since our nest emptied and the girls left me to fend for myself. Moving the mouse had always been up to them. In fact, they still fight for the chance to move it when they’re home for Christmas. They’ve even taken to staying up till midnight on the 23rd to try to move the little guy before the other sister does. Pretty silly — but fun :)

Kristin and Kelli’s move-the-mouse shenanigans started years ago. One holiday season when they were little girls, I bought Avon’s countdown to Christmas calendar, and overnight a new tradition was born in the Barker house.

As you can imagine, it gave rise to daily sisterly conflict until I devised a plan for them to share the coveted move-the-mouse privilege. One sister moved the mouse while the other got to turn on the tree lights. The next day, they switched… and so on and so on. But now? It’s just a free-for-all when they’re home. Shawn has learned to stay out of their way, and I’m sure Jake will, too :)

And me? I complain to them every year now about having to move that silly mouse myself. I’d like to retire it and put up something a little more classy (imagine that!), but any time I mention that possibility, the girls nearly come unglued. They are both big on tradition and about as sentimental as you can get. In other words, I think I’m stuck with the mouse calendar :)

So now, every day of December finds me moving the mouse. I guess you could say it’s one of those things I do purely for the love of my girls. If they want the mouse calendar up at Mom and Dad’s, up it will stay. Fact is, I’d probably miss it now if it wasn’t there :)

What do you do for the love of others? And I’m not talking just traditions or just among your own families. Many times we’re faced with opportunities to do something, not because it’s what we want to do, but because it’s good for someone else. I have a feeling many of you are living unselfishly, putting others’ interests before your own. I have a feeling many of you are on mouse patrols of your own. Rock on :)

“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4

*Additional note: Kristin found the Avon mouse calendar on Ebay and surprised Kelli with one for her birthday this year. She also bought one for herself :) I’m still not off the hook, though. Gotta have one at our house :)

*My photo


  1. My mom has a little handmade train with Santa and elves that she made for my first Christmas from a pattern in Better Homes and Gardens. It’s been up every year of my life and she made reference a year or so ago about not putting it out. That’s when I became unglued! :o)

    Some of those traditions are such a part of the fabric of our memories that we can’t imagine our Christmases without them. However, I have a feeling that it will be passed down to me, once my own little grandbaby makes his or her appearance!

    Have fun with your “hunt”!


  2. We have a similar calendar; we put up a piece of the manger scene every day in December.

    For the love of others…

    Well, tons of kids stuff are always at the top of this list, but mostly I don’t mind. I love my kids more than anything, which usually means my days are littered with tons of stuff “for the love of them.”

    I hope to always do other things “for the love of Jesus”; it’s hard some days… like today, but this is where the growth happens for me.

    Glad your mouse isn’t real; I was worried at first.


  3. Hi Cheryl! Love the mouse love! ;)

    We have 4 little angels that each hold a letter of the word “NOEL”. My kids and husband constantly change it from “NOEL” to “LEON”. :) It was something he did while still living in his mom and dad’s house. So my sister heard the story and painted the angels for him.

    I need to go put them out on the table now. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. To set the record straight, I found the mouse calendars and got one for Kelli and one for us :) But I will still enjoy moving the mouse at your house, Mom! :)

    P.S. For anyone that wants a mouse calendar, there were a ton of them on Ebay!!!

  5. Oops, Kristin! I had forgotten it was you who found the mouse calendar. I’ll go back and change that in the post for those who don’t read comments. Must give credit where credit is due!

  6. Awww, Cheryl, your love for your daughters is clearly evident in this post!

    Laundry. I do the laundry because I love my family. I cook. I clean. I think you get the picture. ;)

    Have a blessed week!

Leave a Comment