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  • Writer's pictureColleen Nelson

Challenge Accepted

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

One of the most important lessons I have learned came from my dear husband. Several years ago, on Christmas Eve my dear husband, our son, and our daughter headed out for, or traditional Christmas Eve family get together. When we left the house, I did a quick walk through. I took time to admire the tree with the wrapped presents. The room was so pleasant I even stopped to kiss the dogs on the head before heading out the door.

We laughed and sang on the way to the party. When we go there, we ate, shared stories, stayed out too late… A good time was had by all. As we walked back through our front door, we discovered our Jack Russell had a party of her own. She had not just opened but shredded open many of our gifts. I quickly got the kids through the front room and upstairs without them seeing their exposed gifts. I came downstairs to help my husband who had started to clean up the mess. I expected to see him tired, angry, and fed up when I came downstairs.

Instead, as I came down the stairs he was coming from storage with tape and scissors in hand. He got a big smile and said, "Challenge Accepted!" His look and words completely changed my mood. Those two words hit my core and re-centered me. He had made a daunting task seem manageable. He had turned work into play.

Him and I set to work, while laughing, rewrapping the presents. But it was not going to be fun enough to just wrap them in new paper. He wanted to wrap them in the shredded scraps. I pulled tape and he assembled wrapping paper like a jigsaw puzzle. He embraced the chaos and mixed and matched the scraps for each present. He turned the chaos into something better than it had been before.

There are times since, one of us will hit a wall. We will feel tired, ready to move on, frustrated or even mad. And one of us will say with a big grin, “Challenge Accepted!” These were the last presents we opened on Christmas morning because they were so fun to look at.

Even when you see the storms of life coming you cannot predict the aftermath. You can decide your response to the chaos. I hope this story about our Jack Russell storm on Christmas Eve gives you a little laugh and allows you to look at moments in your own life where you can change the whole outlook of a situation by saying with a big smile, "Challenge Accepted!"

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