What’s one of your craziest Christmas memories? I can easily tell you mine: 1996. We were in St. Louis and I was big and pregnant with child number three.
It was Christmas Eve and my husband and I took our three-year old Eric and one-year old Rachel to an amazing family’s home, The Zeidlers.
I had taught the Zeidler children and I loved them all and I loved how they loved my people.
Well, that night one of my people, Eric to be exact, puked in the Zeidler’s trash can.
We wrapped up our little family and went home.
That night my toddler Rachel got sick and puked her brains out. Having children is so beautiful. Well, early the next morning, ON CHRISTMAS DAY, I began labor.
We called our neighbors, a couple without children, to come watch our two very sick children and Russ took me to St. John’s Mercy Hospital where Mitchell Paul Doerneman was born around 9:30 that morning.
That night Russ got pukey sick.
It’s the ying and yang of life. Beauty and vomit co-existing.
What’s your craziest Christmas memory? I’d love to hear it but more importantly, share it with your kids over dinner tonight.
Welcome to the Parenting Dare Blog + Podcast!
My name is Lori Doerneman and I love this life. So much.
This is Week Two of the Advent Challenge. I started this challenge for myself; my goal is to restructure my brain so I can be kind in my THOUGHT LIFE and NOT talk badly about others.
Last week I started the challenge with focusing on what God has done for us and who we are because of it.
If you missed that post, I invite you to it: Week One: The Advent Challenge.
Okay, guess what? I knew I held negative thoughts about some people (as I shared last week) but this little challenge is revealing something else.
I trash talk.
I make these snide little comments. I noticed it when I was sitting at a basketball game before Advent and I would casually say things about the players.
I thought I was just observing life.
And I kind of want to pin this on the fact that I have older kids and well, they trash talk with the best of ‘em.
BUT I AM THE MOTHER, people.
Lucky for me, I have read A Complaint Free World, where Will Bowen explains the process of change.
He said that no one can smell their own bad breath, meaning, we do not even realize we are complaining/talking poorly of others. It’s just the way we do life.
The good news: when we enter into a challenge of some sort, we become more aware of our thoughts and actions.
That awareness brings the issue into the light.
As we go along, what we want to achieve becomes easier even though we still have to work for it.
Eventually, if we stick with the process, we will become totally transformed, in this case, not speaking negatively of others. And it will be easy.
The Four Stages of Competence:
I have entered stage two. I am conscious that my tongue does damage.
This has been shocking to me.
But, good news, now that I am aware of it I’m ready to do something about it.
As a baptized believer, I am already part of God’s family. Doing good is not about winning approval or winning salvation. That’s already mine. But God does desire something from me. The goal is to become more like Him.
I also know that the focus in today’s world is on gifts and presents, those treasures which are SEEN. I want to store up unseen treasures.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” Matthew 6: 19-21
This week, every time I am confronted with the desire to trash talk, I will hold my tongue. Holy Spirit, take that effort and transform it into a gift for baby Jesus. Thank you.
May we store up ETERNAL treasures in heaven!
P.S. I wanted to add a little practical LIFE TIP today.
If you are stressed, there are ways you can help alleviate it. Sometimes our To Do List causes the stress. JUST THINKING about it can overwhelm.
Instead of thinking, commit to doing.
Example: Last week my David, age 10, wanted me to make kolaches for a cultural day. Thomas, age 14, needed bake sale items. It was Malaysia’s 16th birthday and I wanted to get a last minute gift for her. Then Eric called and needed a favor. Plus I had cooking, cleaning, laundry. I wanted to get this post done AND two of my very favorite friends were in the hospital.
I did three things.
1. I created a better environment for myself:
a. I stopped the normal stimuli. I didn’t watch any screens (I usually watch NetFlix while I work out and sometimes when I fold towels...and if it’s a good show, I will watch it while cooking).
b. I also intentionally kept my phone away from me.
c. I let the quiet be my background.
d. I also breathed deeply every so often.
2. I stopped thinking about the list and started accomplishing tasks. I told myself, “Lori, stop the drama. Just do the next thing.”
3. I enlisted the help of my children to get things done. Many hands make light work. (So many times I try to do everything. Duh. That teaches nothing.)
Hope that helps. (And here's the book I mentioned above...)
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