New Snow Day Expectations [Choosing Joy by K. Albers]
With the big snow storm last week, we had a surprise week-long vacation at my house. Snow Days! Whoo hoo, right!?
Growing up, snow days were wonderful because I got to do whatever I wanted all day long. So, I am conditioned to spend my snow days like this as an adult, doing whatever I want to do. However, being a mother now, snow days now include my small children hanging around too. Unfortunately, my mama guilt won’t allow me to plop them in front of the TV all day, and any games that they come up with always involve dragging all of their toys into the common areas and quickly moving on. By the end of these “surprise” days, I am left with frustration and a messy house. Praise God that through His Word He convicted my heart.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)
What I realized by the end of snow day two was that I needed to put my own, selfish expectations of how to spend a snow day aside and come up with a routine and some activities to help fill our time. Snow days are supposed to be fun! So that night before bed I hung up a piece of butcher paper in the dining room and put out some crayons. The next morning the kids spent an hour doodling on the paper and made a beautiful mural. The entire rest of the day we alternated a fun activity with a bit of clean-up time (the house was still a disaster from the previous two days) and the day passed with no whining, no yelling, and lots of happy moments!
When I think about it, isn’t that what we all want in our home anyway, less whining, less yelling, and more happy moments! But what does that require? It takes setting aside our own selfish desires and choosing to be engaged in what might make someone else feel good.