How to make eye contact this Christmas (gaining freedom from the distractibles)

Ruthie Gray mothering 4 Comments

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How to make eye contact this Christmas and gain freedom from distractions.  Creating deeper family connections during the savory moments of the season.The most distractible time of the year

You know you are super distracted when you realize you are attempting to apply under eye concealer to your armpit.

That was my profound thought this morning as I finished applying my makeup.  My mind is in a million places just as most mother’s minds this time of year.

The shopping, wrapping, baking, Christmas dinner planning, inviting, organizing, and making-sure-everyone-is-happy-and-taken-care-of  jobs of the season. Finding the perfect gift for mom, hubby, or son.

We just finished our church musical program, which dominated a large chunk of my time.

My kids and I have been ministering with music together for years, ever since they were old enough to play their instruments in public.

In our family, we have:

a violinist

a guitarist

(who also plays drums, keyboard, and anything else he can get his hands on)

a flutist

a banjo picker

and everyone plays piano to some extent.

(Yes, I was THAT mom.  The one who taught each child piano before they were allowed to move on to other instruments.  It built discipline.  For both children and parent.  Ahem.)

Through music we enjoy a special bond – it’s what we do – how we communicate.


Differing levels of communication with our kids

I’m especially thankful for that when it comes to my son – who is Mr. “Yes”, “No”, and “Fine” (aka short on communication in general).

But when I’m on piano and he’s on drums (or keyboard, or guitar) we reach a different level of connection.

The eye contact, the sense of enjoying the rhythm together.  Working towards a common goal of musical excellency, sharing a giggle or two over missed notes or timing – it’s all part of our communication.  We are making eye contact this Christmas.

My daughters and I attend the Nutcracker the first weekend in December.

Every year they remind me, “Mom, don’t forget our tickets for the Nutcracker”.  Like I would forget I want to spend time with them.  Granted, I usually wait till the last minute to purchase said tickets, but I still make sure it happens.

This year we have had to work a little harder at finding family time during the holidays.  Our oldest is married with her own home, my son is involved with work, middle daughter commutes to college, and the “baby” is busily involved in her home school senior year.

So, things are different this year – and yet, the same. We are still working to make eye contact this Christmas = time together.


I’ve probably said this before, but it’s a proven fact in this household:

spend time with your kids when they are growing up, and they’ll want to spend it with you when they’re adults. 


Your time is never wasted when you're sharing it with your children. They are eternal souls. Click To Tweet


This year, the first person to remind me about the Nutcracker tickets was my married daughter.

My son kept yelling from our music room, “Mom, come here and practice this song with me.”

The 18 and 16-year-olds asked me to cozy up and read Christmas stories to them like we have in years gone by.

These are all gifts of time – not easily gained, but oh, so worth the effort!


How did Mary connect with her son?

Remember after the birth of Christ, Mary spent time pondering in her heart? The shepherds had entered, full of excitement to see this Jesus-King, and then they rushed to spread the word.

Everyone would soon know about the King.

I’ll bet she wondered what her special connection with her son would be.


As Mary pondered, did she wonder if her son would have time for her someday? Click To Tweet


Knowing this special child from God was to become Savior of the world, I’d be wondering how I would humanly connect with him and if there would be time for me in His life.

And yet, God became a man, born of this virgin – this is how He chose to come – to be among us!





God among the people.

Of course there would be a connection. 

She reared her son, and Joseph taught him the family carpentry trade.

Later, on the cross, Christ would entrust his mother’s care to one of his most beloved disciples – John.

He maintained contact with her to the end.


Remember to make eye contact this Christmas

This special, savory, fleeting holiday season, as you haphazardly bake those Christmas cookies with your little ones (who will decorate the floor and every surface with flour and red glitter) and dash off to Christmas practices (applying makeup to strange parts of your body),

remember to make eye contact and connect with your people. 

For those connections are eternal, and you’ve only got one life.

Now, where’s my deoderant?!?


Don’t miss out!

This Christmas!I have a free gift for you that you can access when you sign up to receive my parenting newsletter (which by the way is chock full of valuable resources, with a little bit of humor thrown in)!

Just click on this picture and it will direct you to simply fill in your email.  Next you’ll receive your Wife and Mommy Survival Kit, containing 5 Secret Strategies to keep your marriage thriving (among other valuable resources)!

Thanks, and may you experience Christ’s presence in the little things this Christmas. 🙂



Comments 4

  1. I loved this post!! Thanks for writing. I love that you play music with your kids. My parents also made me learn piano first and I so glad they did! 🙂 Thanks for the great reminders to keep the connection with kids of all ages!

    1. Hi Stefani, so glad to see you ’round these parts! Welcome!
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, my kids didn’t have a choice in the matter with piano, but then that made it easier to transition to other instruments. It worked out well. Now they come home from college and serenade us for hours from the music room – and we don’t even have to ask. It’s in their blood. 😉

  2. Some days I definitely need the eye contact reminder. So thank you!!

    I love that you connected through your children through music. My brothers and I both played piano for years…and so I can appreciate that. 🙂

    1. Hi Emily! So nice to see you ’round here. 🙂 We all need the eye contact reminder. I’m still preaching this one to myself. For my people – husband, Tiny Tornado, and kids, as well as my parents.
      And that’s so cool that you had the musical connection also – you know what I’m talking about then. My kids were in the music room last night playing violin and guitar before bed, and selecting a couple Christmas carols for ministry in church next Sunday. What that does to a mama’s heart!

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