Sunday, November 29, 2015

Turkey Day Dish

We are wrapping up a lovely holiday break.  The house is an utter disaster, four out of four kids have been in tears in the last hour, tonight's dinner is a compilation of air popped popcorn salted and buttered and reheated whatever catches your fancy from the fridge.

These rainy family filled days have been full of all of the good things of life: naps, board games, football games, fun dips and drinks, long hours lounging in bed with the lamps on and a good book in my hand, staying up too late, sleeping too late, pumpkin pie, Piecaken, Turducken, you get the idea.

In about an hour we'll put the exhausted kids to bed and I will go from room to room fluffing and tidying so that the morning will greet me with a smile, but there is something that I read recently that has changed me in so many ways and I wanted to share it with you.

I'm not sure one sentence from a book has ever stayed with me like this one four word sentence.  I may not even be quoting it verbatim, but in my mind this is how I remember the words.  As soon as I read this sentence, I had to put the book down and process for a day or so.

It is the application of these four words that infused my holiday with peace that in turn filled me with joy.  So, here you have it.  Eat more chicken.  OK, really, here you go...

Rest begins with acceptance.

I imagine the freedom that comes from understanding this concept will play out differently between you and me.

There are so darn many things we don't have control over.  We can fuss and get all worked up but at the end of the day nothing has changed.  Could taking steps toward happiness begin with accepting what is?  I'm saying, YES it can.  Change what you can, pray over the stuff bugging you, and then try accepting what is, and then step back and see if your perspective doesn't begin to change.

One of the hardest things for me to accept was that my family hated the "Family Fun Christmas Shopping Day" experience I tried to create for us several years in a row.  Bunch of freaks.  They went postal on me every year I tried to implement the new "fun" tradition.  After year three ending in shambles I raised my white flag and ditched the tradition.  (I wanted us to get dressed up cute, go shop for gifts all afternoon, end at a restaurant with a good dinner, the kind where you can order a Coke and an appetizer if you want, and then come home to watch Elf and eat Candy Cane cookies by the fire)  Turns out, all my peeps hate shopping.  Long story short, I accepted the fact that I live with mentally strange people and now I just shop and eat alone and it rocks.

This year I accepted that my high need for order and the fact that I live in a house with other people who make messes ev-ah-reeeeeee-where often clash.  Somehow I was able to accept that the Mickey Mouse, blanket, sweater, orphan sock, and dancing Santa on the floor don't have to derail me.  Might've been a Christmas Miracle, but I'm going back to my earlier statement that accepting what is might just be the ticket to living in rest.

In the midst of stuff littering every surface, I put into action what I could control.  I lit my candles and tree.  I drank fun drinks.  Every day I napped.  I read a book and played games with my kids.  Most nights we restored the order before bed so we could start again the next day.  It makes me think of Nester when she says it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.  Being able to accept reality brings rest.  None of it has to be perfect.  Change what you can, pray about what you need to, and accept the rest (no pun intended).

(awesome quote taken from Sarah MacKenzie's book, Teaching From Rest)