Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Tripping

Tonight as I was doing the last few dishes, Maelynn came in and pushed in the bottom basket of the dishwasher, and almost had the door closed before her daddy came in to stop her.  A minute later, I told my husband something that smacked me right between the eyes...

"She's trying to help, but isn't paying attention."

I've told her so many times to please ask before she closes the dishwasher.  While she has improved her technique, she still walks up and closes the dishwasher when I'm in the fat middle of dishes.  Not all the time, but often.

She reminded me of me.

Actually, she reminds me of me anyway, since she looks like me more than the boys.

Every year around October, I promise myself that I'm not going to wind up in Grinch mode.  I formulate what I think is a plan, then go about forgetting to work on things early until early has turned to on time.  On time turns quickly into panic time. Before I know it, I'm a wad of stressed nerves, completely consumed by the to-do list.

It's not that I don't like Christmas.  I love it and looks forward to it every year!  Every year comes with the internal promise to savor, not rush through, and certainly not begin bah-humbug-ing my way through, missing the joy. Every year I vow to slow down, focus on the true meaning of Christmas, and be sure to drink in every moment.

Guess what?

Just like every year, I'm freaking out.  I was up before my alarm went off in a panic over remembering how to do a mail merge to make labels for our Christmas cards.  We're talking tears, people.  Over labels.

Instead of being truly thankful that we can afford gifts, I'm worried about when I'll wrap them.

If that wasn't enough, the other day one of the kids mentioned something from the back seat about Christmas coming from Target.

Hoo boy.  Major Mommy fail.

It's not pretty, but there's really not much I can just decide to leave out at this point.  So what to do?

The only thing I can do.  Accept the grace and mercy of the Lord and my family.  Stop, look around, and remember that although I can't start over everything, I can regroup.  I can ask forgiveness of anyone in the path of my frustration, and I can ask the Lord's forgiveness for my neglect as well.

Too often I become so busy with finding the perfect gifts, preparing, and delivering them on time that I forget to share the most important gift.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Luke 2:11-14, ESV

I can't promise that I won't get stressed or overwhelmed again this season.  But I can share with you that when I catch myself grumbling or acting like the world will end if I can't remember how to make a label, I will stop.  I will forgive myself for grumbling, and I will ask forgiveness of anyone who received my grumbling.  

Then I will move on, looking for the joy.  

Why wouldn't I make the lofty promise that I will never ever stress again or act for a moment like gifts, decorations, movies, and the whole Christmas culture is what it's all about?  It's quite simple.  I can't believe I've missed it every year.  

Jesus came not to make us feel guilty.  He came to free us from the chains of sin and death!  So why in the world would he want us to feel guilty?  To pile guilt on our own heads because the ornaments aren't spaced perfectly, our Pinterest wreath project failed, we forgot the brownies for our kid's party, or got aunt Mabel the wrong size sweater... or even managed to forget to send a Christmas card... is to miss the point of Christmas entirely.  

So go ahead.  Bake your brownies, wrap your gifts, have those Christmas pictures made, Pinterest project your heart out.  But remember why you're doing it.  And if you forget why for a moment, take a second and remember.  And remember that it's the stopping and righting the ship that matters, not your ability to make the perfect divinity or assemble the perfect wreath.  

Now to get back to work on those Christmas cards... 

Thanks be to God!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for being real! :) I think we all have those moments...thankfully, God understands and is patient with us...we just have to take a deep breath and carry on.


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