Archives for December 2009

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

Holiday Trimming

4206456664_e6d530c4a1_zAnybody else ever have a moment of panic when the holiday season arrives? Mine happened just the other day when I turned my calendar to December and saw several extras already scheduled in a month where tasks and must-do traditions always seem to outweigh available time.

Somehow I know I’m not alone in my sudden case of H.P.I. — otherwise known as holiday panic interruptus. It’s a tricky condition. Sneaks up on you and grabs you by the throat when you least expect it, flashing everything you need to do in the next 30 days in front of your eyes in the span of five seconds. It steals your joy and interrupts your holiday peace faster than Christmas elves sliding down candy cane poles during a midnight toymaking drill.

My holiday conclusion? The Christmas tree isn’t the only thing that needs to be trimmed this year. The cure? Immediate evaluation and trimming of the December to-do list coupled with a guarded approach to saying “yes” to anything more. Anyone else need to follow this sage advice I’m trying to give myself?

In this season of “Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men” brought to us by the Prince of Peace Himself, let’s not let anything rob us of the fullness of joy He longs to give to us this Christmas. Like Mary did in choosing to sit at Jesus’ feet instead of stressing over details like Martha (Luke 10:38-42), let’s choose what is better and experience His peace. Let’s do some holiday trimming.

“‘The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.'” John 10:10

*Flickr photo by John Curnow, Creative Commons License