Our elves, Waldo and Joy, have been bringing the kiddos Kindness Challenges and this day was no different. They overheard us talking about our road trip so they challenged us to spread Christmas cheer by passing out candy to every person we saw working. They want us to have fun but also look around and appreciate how hard people work during the holidays.
Hope was sick towards the end of last week and started complaining about not feeling well. The last thing I wanted was to take her with me and for her to get sick and not be close to home. That's ok, I thought - I've still got the bigs! Next, Holden bailed - "mom, if Hope doesn't have to go, do I?!". UGH! Well, of course not! Who wants to drag kids on a 3+ hour road trip if they really don't want to be there?! And, before Colby could tell me he really didn't want to go either, I let him off the hook.
Sad, upset, disappointed, yes, even pissed (I might have even shot off a snarky text to a friend...). I was feeling all.the.rotten.things. I fully admit - I'm not good with disappointment. I love to look forward to things! I really love to look forward to things when I have friends or family to share them with. In my current state, this felt like an attack - like no one wanted to spend time with me doing something that I was excited about. (Hang with me - I'll make an exit from my pity party soon!)
I had a choice to make. I could either stay home and get more upset with my family or I could go by myself. It wasn't a hard choice to make. I grabbed my purse and keys and with quick (looking back, a little too quick!) goodbyes, I was gone.
I listen to KSBJ, a Christian radio station based out of Houston, and they have something called the Joy Challenge. I hadn't even made it out of our driveway before someone came on talking about choosing joy.
Have I mentioned how absolutely beautiful of a day this was? The sun was shining and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. I could feel the warmth of the day melting away my crummy attitude.
The first song they played after the joy segment happened to be my favorite Christmas song - Sleigh Ride. And, I heard it no less than five more times throughout the day. Each time bringing a smile to my face.
So, just to recap: I left my house pissed, only to be reminded that it was up to me to choose joy. I was blessed with an absolutely amazing day AND my favorite Christmas song was playing. And, this was only about two minutes in to my road trip! My day was looking up already!
I drove ninety miles north with no one to talk to but plenty of things to think about. I was upset that no one wanted to spend time with me but God used this to show me He was feeling the same way about me. He wanted a day (actually, He wants all my days!) where my focus was HIM, where I shared moments with HIM, talked to HIM. He wants the same things I want - why couldn't I see that?!
I decided to choose joy!
The kids had been challenged to look beyond themselves and see others as their kindness challenge. I was so caught up in "me" that I completely overlooked the terrible example I was setting. This was going to change. Today was all about seeing things through the eyes of others.
Fixer Upper but I don't have to stay caught up on the show to see how they "get it". Joanna has dreams and she's not afraid to chase them. Who would have ever seen these silos and thought, I see something great here? It's like how God sees us. We beat ourselves up on a daily basis when all He sees is greatness.
Buzzard Billy's (thanks to a recommendation from my friend, Michele!). It has a patio overlooking the Brazos River and today was the absolute best day to enjoy it! Normally I would feel a little self conscious sitting there eating all alone. But, not today! I was reminded that we are never truly alone. God is with us - through good and bad, ups and downs, and even when no one else wants to road trip with you! ;)
I made the hour and a half drive home and was a better mom/wife for having had those six plus hours alone. I was reminded that in order to teach our children to be less selfish, I had to set a better example. I chose joy!