It’s here, the start of crazy season. This week I’m taking it easy at This Beautifully Imperfect Life – not so much at home! But I thought I would share a little last minute inspiration for your thanksgiving table. Enjoy!
Is it the most wonderful time of the year? Can it be?
In several, recent, years I have wrapped my holiday season up in the doctor’s office with anxiety coming out my ears, toes and everywhere in-between.
Some of it I bring on myself, and some of it others generously give me.
There are so many fun and exciting things to do during the holidays. Parties, shows, planning, decorating, baking, cooking, prepping, church services, family gatherings, shopping, wrapping, lists, notes, dressing up, going out, elves, rain deer, sleighs and bells, hustle and bustle, christmas tree lighting ceremonies, Santa breakfasts and brunches, movies, treats, presents, oh my.
Let’s take Christmas Eve for starters. We have so many traditions packed into that night it is neither Jesus focused, relaxing or enjoyable. In that one life-changing, history-making night when our dear savior was born we celebrate it with: a full day of cleaning, cooking and preparing, followed by an early evening of church services, singing and pictures, followed by a sit-down dinner, clean up, listening to the Christmas story before we rush out the door to spread out reindeer food on the lawn, leave our cookies and milk for Santa, watch the Santa Tracker on cable, open our one gift, more pictures, get the kids in bed, wait for them to FINALLY fall asleep, while we finish wrapping and prepping breakfast, then digging out all the gifts and stocking stuffers from their hiding places, trying to remember what you had and what is missing, placing it under the tree and in the stockings, rearranging the furniture so it all fits, taking “before” pictures and then finally settling down to a very, short, winters nap. Only to wake up very early the next morning for more of the same. Add on to this very chaotic schedule some lovely family drama and voila – you are in the doctor’s office being diagnosed with a very serious case of holiday anxiety disorder.
Can you relate??
This year, my husband and I have decided to change this story. We want a different ending and we need to have a clearer focus along the way.
This year we want to be intentional about our holidays. Not only WHAT we do, but HOW we do it. We have to make changes. And we want to make changes.
If your holidays are anything like mine, how about coming with me and doing it different this year?
Be intentional about what you want to get out of your holidays
1. I want to enjoy my family. I want to lay around and watch movies on the floor with them. I want to look in their eyes and tell them how much Jesus loves them, how much I love them and that I know God has a beautiful plan for their lives.
2. I want to keep the focus on the real reason for the season. I want to prioritize Jesus this year. Plain and simple.
3. I want to keep the stress and drama around me to a minimum. This may mean thinking about appropriate boundaries now and having others help keep me accountable to them as the season progresses.
Those are my priorities. What are yours?
If you too need to change your holiday ending this year let me challenge you to list your priorities: what you want to get out of the holidays, what you want them to feel like and what you want to avoid. Then when you are scheduling the next several weeks, if something doesn’t fit with these priorities, nix it. Share your priorities with a friend or two and ask them to keep you accountable to them.
In the next few days I am going to share some of my plan for how I will accomplish my holiday priorities.
Sorry I’m sending this again, the link didn’t take before. So let’s try it again.
I love this letter! It is a great reminder of the things we should be teaching our boys and girls. Our girls should read this too so they know how a boy should treat them.
When I was younger I said I would have my boys opening doors for me at the age of 2. I have to say I haven’t accomplished that yet, but now that the little dude is 7 I should start working with him on it. Every girl loves a boy with manners!
Please click on this to read the post:
My mother suffered from serious depression during much of my childhood. I don’t remember her ever getting me up for school, making me breakfast or packing my lunch. I did all of that myself starting in the 1st grade. I was given an alarm clock, poured a bowl of Cheerios for myself every morning alone, and made my own lunch everyday.
I don’t tell you this so you will feel sorry for me, I turned out ok. But I tell you to explain how I turned out OK.
My mother and I had a conversation recently about these years when I was young and taking care of myself. There is still much pain over the subject that we are slowly working through. But at some point in the conversation she said to me, “I knew I wasn’t being a mother to you. And when I couldn’t do things for you or be there for you – I could pray. And that is what I did. When I couldn’t do it myself, I asked Him to fill in the gaps for you.”
And I can sit here today and tell you that He did just that. He filled in the gaps. He pursued me, gave me strength, discernment and wisdom. He was with me and had a great purpose in mind for my life. I had to go through some hard stuff along the way, but He was with me in every painful step.
This fall has been a difficult one. We are over scheduled and I hate that. I can’t spend time with the kids as much as I would like, we are always rushing and I feel like I am not being the mom I want to be. So I take hope in prayer. Because of my story, I have buckets of faith that when I am weak as a mother, God is strong. He will fill the gaps and protect my children, give them strength and bring people into their lives who fill them as well.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
On the days that we just don’t have it to give or when we make mistakes in mothering our little ones, He is made perfect in our weakness. It’s not fashionable to boast about such days but maybe we should – at least to ourselves and close friends!
Thank you Lord!