My Christmas Battle

Typical. Just typical. The power would go out on Christmas Eve. This is the one week we have to relax and just be a family.

The dangerous thoughts spread through my mind like poison as we sat there in the darkness.

So much for getting the boys to sleep. No fan to muffle the Christmas celebrations outside. And no blanket for Noah since the washer’s locked. This should be fun.

Leyton’s whimpering snapped me out of my selfish, gloomy reverie for a moment.

“Don’t cry, buddy – Daddy bought some new candles. We’ll be able to see in no time.”

Seriously. No electricity – tonight of all nights?! And right when I’m heating up dinner…

I listened as Scott fumbled in the drawer for the matches. And the guilt settled in.

C’mon, Ang. What a horrible attitude. You’re going to be mad about a simple power outage? This happens all the time. It’s Christmas Eve. Take advantage of these moments with your babies.

The match striking against the box brought me back from my raging, internal mind battle. A small light stabbed out into the night. I paused to stare at the tiny, flickering flame in front of me.

What verse have you been drilling into your kindergartners over the last month, Ang? Could you really have forgotten so quickly?

Then I almost heard the little batey voices shouting out in unison.

Luke 2:11. For unto you is born this day…

Scott lit another candle. Light radiated throughout the kitchen.

… in the city of David…

A third flame. More darkness obliterated.

… a Savior which is Christ the Lord.

Another shining candle. Each new light drowned out more of the shadows that had been lurking in the dining room – and in my heart.

The tea lights in the living room were glowing. I looked around at the bits of brightness that had collectively served to remedy my negative thoughts. My heart was humble and full. My eyes locked on my babies sitting patiently at the table.

“Wow, boys! Look at all the candles! Now we can see!”

“See!” Leyton repeated perfectly in his sweet, high-pitched voice.

“OK – sit tight! Dinner’s coming soon.”

My leftovers-in-the-microwave-for-dinner game plan changed to a new gas-stove strategy. As I continued preparing the food, I was left to my thoughts once again.

Lord, are you really trying to teach me this simple lesson? Surely I’ve learned it by now. I know Christmas isn’t about the turkey dinners and the lights and the perfectly planned parties and the presents. I know tonight isn’t about my Christmas Eve plans complete with electricity. Or… do I?

The candlelight danced across the oven backsplash as visions of a tiny Baby in a dingy, dirty manger waltzed through my mind. And I thanked my Savior anew for setting aside His throne, putting on flesh, and willingly laying down His life. For me.

Edward and a Proud “Momma”

Teaching kindergarten feels like being a part of one great big family.

There have been frustrating moments. My kids don’t always want to listen. Sometimes they complain and cry. They are hard to please – they want routine, but they want variety within that routine. It’s been a huge learning experience for all of us as we do life together.

There have been some “momma-bear” moments with these kindergartners, too. If I see older children in the bateyes bothering or making fun of our students, it makes me so angry inside! I’m surprised by the protective feeling that comes with being a teacher to these little ones.

There have also been some proud moments where I’ve watched these students take huge steps in learning. Even today, I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face as Achuchu repeated Luke 2:11 word for word in English (OK, so maybe there was one little hiccup, but my momma-pride demanded that I brush over that little blunder and gave him a sticker anyways.)

Another little guy who has recently caught my eye and stolen my heart is Edward.

Edward is the newest little ball of cuteness to join our “family”. When he started school with us this year, he was dreadfully behind the rest of the kids. However, he’s catching up at lightning speed! He is actually one of the best at enunciating and repeating in both Spanish and English. Kurt has been helping him recognize and correctly form the letters in his name. At the beginning of the year, Edward had no idea how to trace letters in his writing notebook. Now he needs little help in copying the letters across the page. This kid has some serious potential. His charming smile and delightful little laugh put me in a good mood every time he’s around. You could say that I’m one proud “momma”!