Our tree turned out beautiful this year. This photo does not capture the beauty of the tree, but perhaps that is because it can't possibly capture the memories that go into the tree each year. There are many ornaments on our tree that just doesn't flash, but they hold special places in our heart so they will remain. One of my most treasured ornaments got broken this year when Hope was hanging it on the tree. It wasn't her fault, it was truly mine. I knew it wasn't anchored correctly on the hook, but I didn't know how to fix it. The ornament was a glass antique ornament that had been on my parent's first Christmas tree. It was down right ugly, but it had hung on my childhood trees all of my life. When it crashed to the floor, I was saddened, but not heartbroken. I knew better than to try to use a makeshift hook, but I didn't take the time to find the correct solution for the problem. Hope was horrified, but I didn't catch it at first. Shortly I glanced at my rocking chair, and I found her with tears in her eyes. I smiled and told her the mishap wasn't her fault. I don't think she believed me at first. I asked her to come hang another special ornament for me, and that was the key to her smile coming back upon her face. She knew I trusted her. I knew I had done the God thing that she needed in her life at just that moment.
It was hard to smile at her when I saw the broken ornament. My first inclination was to fuss at her. After all, I had warned her to be careful. I chose the better path. Perhaps it came because just the week before I failed in this same test miserably. I had a small shelf of Precious Moments figurines in my kitchen. These were gifts that people had purchased for me over the years. They were special because people had thoughtfully chosen ones that reminded them of me...a momma rocking a baby, a momma holding a child...well you get the point. Our second son and our little guy were playing in the living room on the love seat. The oldest was tickling the little guy, and the little guy's head hit the wall. This is the wall that divides the kitchen and the living room. Then we heard a series of crashes, and sounds of broken glass filled the air. I was angry. I didn't want to look in there, but I knew I had to. I said things I now regret. Things that sting hearts of children. Things that cause a 14 year old to come back with red swollen eyes. Things that were harsh. Things like "I can't have anything valuable in this house. It always gets broken!" In the midst of my ramblings, I glanced up on the shelf and I was amazed to see the one Precious Moment that meant so very much to me was still standing on the shelf. I have had this one for almost 20 years. He is a little Navy Sailor standing with his sea bag. This was given to me by my brother's family. Just seeing this Sailor Boy snapped me back to reality...these things are not valuable....they are nothing more than glass. The valuable things are downstairs feeling awful over broken glass. My heart was heavy and it had nothing to do with broken figurines. As I finished the clean up procedure, my children starting coming back to me one by one to offer their apologies. I made sure the 14 year old heard my heart as well as my apologies. I made sure to ask him to forgive me for the things I had said. I wanted him to know he was my valuable thing not man made stuff. He smiled, and I knew it had been made right. My other children also told me they were sorry my things had been broken. I assured them it was just stuff that really didn't matter. My soon to be 11 year old came in to tell me that he would buy me a new one with his soon to be birthday money. I smiled from deep within, and hugged him tight. I assured him that he and his siblings were my real precious moments and I didn't need any others.
Even in the midst of an angry outburst, God still whispers into my ear. I have a choice to make. Will I do it His way or my own way? I am faced with these choices many times throughout my day. Sometimes I fail and sometimes I have victory. I am growing each and everyday in Him as I walk this journey called life. I just want my children to know that they are my precious moments and they are truly my treasures in my life. Thank God that His mercies are new every morning just as the Word says.
grace and peace,