A life lesson we've been
pushing, insisting upon, fussing about, emphasizing with the kids is family loyalty. God chose each child to be born into this family, and they are each a gift and a blessing.
I recall too many incidents in my growing up years of sibling battles that were never resolved and the distrust and distance that has carried over into adulthood. I want my children to remain close, to have one another's backs and that their families when they are grown would be close. I believe we have to be intentional about this and not dismiss squabbles and mean behaviors as "sibling rivalry." We have been teaching the kids that love, patience, attitudes of the heart, character, etc. are developed at home - though it may seem easier to be kind to a friend than a sibling, eventually any behaviors that we exercise consistently will manifest outside of the home. It takes self-control and choosing to do right over what we feel, especially at home!
Today, on Day Three of the 25 Days, we had back-to-back swim classes. The boys started out playing well while waiting for their sister's class to end...then started the downward slide into teasing and frustrating one another. Weary, so very very weary, of lecturing, hushing and getting riled up myself, I pulled out my camera phone. And asked them to show me love. It worked. They started giggling. hugging. tickling and smiling at each other. loving. Thank You, Lord.
After swim classes, we dashed over to our awesome public library for a Gingerbread House Making Party. They have fantastic programs throughout the year, and we have gotten to know the librarians and several other families that are "regulars."
Who can pass up an opportunity for messy fun, especially when it's not at my own house??? The children have chipmunk cheeks in their pics because of the candy canes and peppermints that somehow bypassed the houses into their mouths. I had a wipe in one hand and my phone in the other, trying desperately to not get frosting on myself while capturing their gorgeous creations. I'm realizing this Christmas season that I really enjoy the simple. Though glitz and glam are wonderful, they often add an element of stress to me. Getting back to the heart of this season has been life-altering, even three days in. And the kids even told me on the drive home that they think they want to keep the 25 Days of Christmas tradition going. We'll talk about it once Christmas Day arrives and see what has happened in all of our hearts.