It’s the last week of November, we can officially listen to Christmas music! We can deck the halls and put up the tree and bake the cookies and shop for the gifts and plan Christmas cards and ALL THE CHRISTMAS THINGS.
Do you ever get that sinking feeling in your stomach, just thinking about all that there is to do this month?
We look forward to Christmas, the music, the food, the decor, and the family time. But do you ever get that little nagging feeling that maybe you’re not doing enough? Or there’s not enough time to do all the things you want to, or enough money. You already know your schedule will be packed with activities and travel, and you’ll start off the new year frazzled and burnt out.
The holidays aren’t all jolly: all the expectations, especially our own, weigh heavily on us.
There’s the weight of expectations for a “perfect” holiday, there’s family illnesses, and sometimes family strife that seems to surface this time of year, plus the never ending list of things that must be done.
As Thanksgiving came closer, my struggle accepting help and letting things be imperfect grew. Yet, I didn’t have time or energy to do it all myself; I struggled managing the day to day. with all the holiday activity possibilities – cookie swaps, Christmas parade, cutting a tree, travel plans, snow days – piling on top of my already full to-do list, I’m overwhelmed.
Maybe you can relate?
More than another day in the week, or the ability to stay awake 24/7, or a full-time maid … What I really need is to let go.
“For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)
Think about it – how did Mary respond when the angel announced she was going to have a baby, the Messiah? “I am the Lord’s servant; let it be done to me as you have said.”
When we open our hands and release the expectations, schedules, responsibilities, people and situations we’re striving to control, God not only takes the burden – He takes our hand.
It’s like He’s saying, “Not only can I take care of all this, but I’ll also take care of you.”
It brings to mind picking up Edison from preschool. He tells me his backpack is “too heavy” even though I know it only contains his artwork of the day. But I shoulder the burden and take his hand.
I picture my Heavenly Father doing the same. The things stressing me out today are a light backpack to him. But he shoulders it anyway, and takes my hand.
To help us focus on what really matters this year, I created a little journal prompt. I’m hopeful that spending some time setting our intentions for Christmas will help us keep from getting swept up in the hustle and bustle. It goes well with a cup of hot chocolate and a weekend afternoon.
Reflect on what you really want this Christmas to look like. What do you need to say ‘no’ to this year? Overspending? Over-scheduling? Expectations of how you ‘should’ be doing it? What would actually lead to the most joy?
This holiday season, may we not let worry steal our wonder.
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