Even now, in the Renaissance Years of our marriage, Christmas letters can be hard. I know that it is silly and sinful to compare myself to others; silly because I am comparing my worst to their best and sinful because when comparing I either judge myself to be better which makes me proud or worse which hurts my pride. Either way, pride is involved and it is not righteous pride. I know this. But knowing does not always equate with doing (or not doing) and I still have to be very careful NOT to allow myself to compare. My children still do not play the piano or any other instrument for that matter. They dance only when they accidently step on a hot coal and most of them don’t even sing hymns in our worship services. They don’t enter Reflections contests (or Science Fair for that matter) and—until Grace began her basketball blossom about 3 weeks ago—they do not excel in sports. Still no scouting merit badges and no bishopric (THANK HEAVENS!!). The dastardly Compare and Condemn Duo can still get me, if I am not constantly on guard.
Why do I write this? Why confess my shortcomings? Why expose one of my vulnerable sides?
I do it in case, my dear loved ones, you are susceptible to the same dastardly Compare and Condemn Duo that ruthlessly attacks me. I quake at the thought that perhaps my letters might have the same effect on someone that many Christmas letters have on me. Oh please NO!!!
Please know that although I publish pansies, there is plenty of dog poop in my life. (Refer to February 2, 2014 letter.) I tell great stories about my life because God is great. He has given me great children and a great husband and the tales I relate are generally great but please know that my life is not always great. We certainly are NOT flawless—I just don’t usually publish our imperfections. I have children who lie to me sometimes….and sometimes the lies are BIG. None of my children make their beds. Some of them don’t brush their teeth consistently and none of their rooms are even tidy, much less clean. Sometimes there are bad—really bad—grades on the report cards. Occasionally I get really frustrated with Lance and occasionally he gets really frustrated with me. Money is a constant worry as is trying to maintain a healthy weight. Sometimes I say mean things; no one will ever be able to say at my funeral “She never said a negative thing about anyone in her life”—it simply would not be true. Sometimes I question my faith (though my questions always lead me back to God). In short, we are VERY not perfect. Please, please do not let my letters catalyze an attack from the Compare and Contrast Duo in your life.
Having said that, let me share some more pansies.
Grace’s basketball team took second in the State Tournament this week. They played Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings and all four games were nail-biters; the first three because they were very, very close games and the last game because it was not. Grace started in all four games and did a fabulous job. End of basketball season.
We spent Wednesday evening that Regional Wrestling tournament watching Chick. He was eliminated early in the tournament though he wrestled an aggressive final match. End of wrestling season.
I found the pansy in my dismissal from the Standard Examiner Editorial Board. (See link below.) http://www.standard.net/stories/2014/02/07/editorial-board-opens-another-slot-public End of Editorial Board season.
Still no lambs…………though we are hoping for them any day now. Beginning of lambing season?
I told Sallie that I wanted a green leather couch for my living room and several weeks ago she found a free one on ksl.com. I told Sallie that I wanted a tan, hide-a-bed couch for my basement and this week she found a free one for me on ksl.com. I wonder what would happen if I told Sallie I need a million dollars…..
After asking me if she and her friends could have their pre-dance dinner in our basement (and after I had said yes) she told me that she wanted me to turn the basement into a castle. (!!?!?!?!) I told my Facebook friends my dilemma and the response was overwhelming; 12 dress forms, 17 ball gowns, buckets of flowers, tiaras, carriages, even a frog (to kiss). Chick, Miles, Grace and I spent Saturday (all day!) in the basement, hauling furniture out and dishes down, hanging false walls and real dresses, and arranging flowers, frogs, and carriages.
In the early evening our royal guests arrived: Cinderella and Prince Charming, Tinkerbell and Peter Pan, Rapunzel and Flynn, Maleficent and Dr. Falier, Ariel and Eric, and Anna and Kristoff. They laughed, we took pictures, they giggled, they ate, they laughed, they thanked me, they giggled some more and then they left. And we cleaned up.
We are still cleaning up. And now I owe favors to many, many more people. Continuing of service season?
Whatever season it is (or is not)—be it basketball, wrestling, lambing, Editorial Board, service or Christmas season—please don’t let the dastardly Compare and Condemn duo destroy your day!
Sure love you!