The Bells have stopped ringing

Christmastide has ended, and I am alone awaiting Missy’s return from her trip with the girls.  The silence after the cacophony of the holidays is like the fading tone of a bell rung.  This time reminds me of the days after you bring home your first baby, the joyous celebrations have subsided, the pink or blue balloons have been taken down and you are faced with the lifelong responsibility of the child.  I wonder if this is what Christmas is really like, the Christ child brought into our lives, the celebration and gathering of the clans to mark the occasion has passed, and then comes the quiet labor of assimilating this child into our lives.  We have to change our schedule, we have to make arrangements for care for the child if we are away, we have to be responsible in our decisions because the baby is totally dependant on us.  I think if we are honest about accepting Christ into our lives this is similar.

Anyway, my wife has done an incredible job raising our children, and it has been her total focus for the last twenty-six years.  She doesn’t have hobbies, or activities, or any distractions that draw her attention away, with the exception of tending to her mother during her battle with cancer.  So it pleases me to no end that three of our four children have found their calling, and are immersing themselves in said calling.  Our oldest has found her voice in art and craftmanship in the world of design and printing.  Our son is starting his new position in the corporate world and has begun the ascent of the corporate ladder, and I unabashedly am cheering for him to become  a “one-percenter” .  Our third child has discovered her passion for working with underprivileged children and especially in an after-school program setting.  So they have all found where they are going to be plugged in and are on their way to following their passion and all the success that happens when you do that.   As a parent this is the reward, the satisfaction of  “a job well done” knowing your chilren are on their way to becoming productive and inspired adults. 

This year is about me, I am able to change my paradigm because of the kids knowing with uncommon certainty what they are supposed to be doing because they are internally motivated toward the goals of their choosing.   So I have resolved to put me first.  I will make decisions based upon what is best, most convenient, and in line with my goals instead of accommodating everyone else first and working with what time or money is leftover for me.  This will be a monumental shift of priorities and won’t be easy.  I need to change the way I use time, and to allocate whatever time is needed for what I want to do,  and then and only then give away what time is left over.  It will be exciting, but a little like that new baby in the house, our situation is here to stay and we will have to deal with it, 24/7.  I hope it turns out as well as the last time we had new babies in the house.

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