Our house is pretty full. With three young teenagers, my husband and I, a fish and a bearded dragon. So any more room left? Well after years of saying no to a dog I finally succumbed to the constant nagging from my children (and husband) and we bought a puppy last week. I can’t tell you the similarities with adopting that I’ve noticed before and since we’ve had the puppy. It’s probably also very similar to having a baby which I’ve not experienced personally but have seen many friends struggle with those initial intense weeks.
It’s Christmas coming up too and of course the Christmas story is everywhere. If you have young children or work in a school, then you will be familiar with the story and especially the ‘no room at the inn’ part. It’s made me ponder these last few days with us changing our lives to accommodate a very demanding puppy, about the Christmas story and how it relates to our current every day lives. There’s many times when I feel completely saturated with stuff – work, kids, home, family, friends, studying – whatever it might be. It can feel like there’s just no room for anything else.
Putting my life on hold this last week to welcome a new member of the family has been easier than I thought. Whilst the hassle of not being able to leave Max alone or even go to the toilet in peace has been challenging, I’ve been surprised at my capacity to take on something else. Like adopting there were the mixed emotions of excitement and dread before he arrived, and since the feelings of having no clue what I’m doing. We’ve never had dogs in our family – actually very much against animals in lots of ways, so I’m the most unlikely person to have a puppy but life changes I suppose and we either adapt to those changes or stay the same and never experience anything new.
Of course there are times when we need to say no to things. Taking on too much can be devastating to our health and we can find ourselves doing nothing well. I constantly have to review what I do with my time and my hope is that part of having Max will slow us down in some ways and make us spend more time together as a family or indeed on my own outdoors with the dog.
Christmas time for me is often more about slowing down and reflecting then doing more and getting stressed. For the last few years we’ve tried to have quiet Christmas’s as it works better for us with the children. To be able to spend time together, do things we might not normally do such as long walks, and to reflect on the meaning of Christmas and looking forward to the New Year.
I wanted to share the best nativity I’ve seen in a long time with you as a Christmas treat. This video was done by the children in my church in Halesowen and I think it’s a brilliant rendition of the story. I hope you enough it – have a wonderful Christmas and make room for what’s important to you this Christmas time.