I should be cleaning my house. 

I should be responding to emails and working on homeschool co-op stuff and planning classes.

I should be grocery shopping.

I should be showered and dressed by now, as it's early afternoon and I'm still in my pajamas. 

But I'm not.

Instead, I'm relaxing a bit on this St. Nicholas Day.

Instead, I sent a little money to someone gathering funds to make an amazing someone's Christmas a little brighter. 

I'm helping to address a child's letter to a friend and finding a stamp so it can be mailed post haste.

Instead, I'm painting banners for the Interpretive Movement Ministry, watching a Christmas movie, and dreaming up gift options for my Christmas Angel.

Some days, there are more important things than cleaning and checking things off a to-do list. There are books to read and art to create. There are children who need attention and Christmas dreams to be dreamed. 

And today there was a giant St. Nicholas Day stocking awaiting us when we woke, its contents promising another day of Instead - a day of movie watching and special treats instead of housework and too much to do.

God, thank you for Instead days. Thank you for St. Nicholas, who was a shining example of what it is to give and to serve others. Thank you for people who think to organize something to help meet a family's needs and give them something a bit extra this Christmas ... and to all who donate to such causes. Please help us to be more giving and more forgiving, to put aside agendas and take time to enjoy life, each other, and all you have given us. 


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