Sunday, December 4, 2016

Winter Wonderland Woes

We're just a few days in to the holiday season and stress has already reared it's ugly head.  Yesterday it was the "Search for the winter coat tote fiasco".

Crunched for time, hoping to get in a bit of our downtown festivities before Noah went to work, I popped open the blue tote that should have contained our winter coats.  Instead I found it full of spring jackets and hoodies.  Poor hubby made numerous trips to the shed, up and down the ladder, pulling back out the near empty Christmas totes to see if one got shoved in the back.  No luck.

Clock-ticking, Noah still not fully ready for work, no coats in sight.
I chose to deal with it by having a bit of a meltdown.

Yes, with a wonky thyroid, not having a warm coat and gloves can send me spinning this time of year. I knew my fingers would go numb, my teeth would chatter, and I'd feel miserable.  But it wasn't my hubby's fault, who caught the bulk of my fit.

Now, there are several factors I could blame in this scenario.For one, I obviously wasn't as organized as I should have been last spring when putting everything away.  For another, I've needed to get our coats out and organize the hall closet for a few weeks but just haven't made the time.  And, we were all a tad lazy Saturday morning.  It is rare the guys can sleep in and I treated them to a big breakfast as they awoke.  We then lingered and caught up on shows we never seem to have time to watch, played pool and enjoyed each other's company.  As such, Noah was more than a little delayed in getting ready for work.

But when I really press in to the reason for the meltdown it has nothing to do with any of that and more to do with adjusting to the changes in our family.  Noah is nearly grown and the holidays are just different as your kids get bigger.  With work and being a teen, he's rarely home.  Family moments are harder to capture.  There's a shift, a transition in time and this momma bear is struggling.

The picture perfect Christmas festivity I envisioned didn't happen.  

Instead of being pouty that Noah couldn't be with us, I should've been thankful for the time we had together that morning.  Instead of whining over the coat that matched my outfit, I should've changed clothes and added layers (and been grateful to have more than I need).  Instead of wishing for what was or could've been, I should have thoroughly enjoyed the couple time and my supportive hubby, who tried his best to appease his cranky wife.

How often does that occur this time of year?  We dream up an idyllic Christmas and anything less is a disappointment.  Overbooking, tight schedules, and thin wallets can add to the chaos.  Toss in healthy doses of family drama and you have a recipe for disaster.

But in the hustle and bustle that can become Christmas, how many of you hope to slow things down and simply soak up the goodness of the season?

As my calendar begins to fill and time gets squeezed out, I begin to feel that way myself.  When we have to decline a function and feelings get hurt, it makes me question priorities and relationships.  As the date draws closer to the 25th, I'm mindful that the relationship which should be my priority is the very One whose birth we are celebrating.

Amidst the chaos of Christmas, why don't we instead seek a moment with Majesty.  To be still and know...  To let everything else go and just be in His very presence.



I'm reminded that my Christmas wish should be so simple...

To not compare the presents (or lack of) under my tree with those I see
and focus more on the presence of who is around it

To say no when there's no space to give and be well in my soul in doing so

To pause whenever I feel the stress of the season and remember the reason we celebrate

To be fully in every moment, grateful for the memories in the making

To seek Him in the midst, to search Him out, and surround myself with His very spirit

To let it go when others hurt me and share examples of His love

To let His light shine through me everywhere I go

To be still...and know that He is God.
Above all else.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My Thanksgiving Wish

Maybe it is pressing the invisible brake on time, as we're days out from our first college tour with our baby boy.

Maybe it is the numbness from the horrifying news of the bus crash in Tennessee, on the cusp of this holiday weekend.

Maybe it is that this weekend holds horrible, terrible memories of our own in losing our firstborn the night after Thanksgiving.

Maybe it is sharing in the pain of loved ones facing the chaos and sorrows of life.  Unexpected upside downs.

Or maybe, it is the mixture of it all.  All the melancholy, on the heels on "the most wonderful time of year".  Whatever, it has me extra grateful for time off, a slowing down for the season.  Welcomed relief and rest, space for self-care.  Retreating and staying in with the ones who mean most.  Serving others and giving thanks.  Coffee and board games.  Random acts of kindness.  PJs and pie.  Family dinners.  Fireplace and Christmas movies.  Kitchen messes.  Macy's parade.  Christmas tree scents and sparkles.  Laughter and tears.  Memories and mementos.

Unplugging and reconnecting.

And so I'll leave you all with this, my wish for each and every one of you.
Be kind to yourself - and kinder to others.  Seek gratitude.  Embrace and treasure the day, whatever it brings.  Prayers it is filled with goodness...

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