The stores are alive with the glittery, sparkly beacons of Christmas. Carols hum through the speakers, adding a jolly skip to the step of the shoppers. Can you feel it? “Holiday” is in the air.
I love this time of year–deeply. At the same time, the busier calendar and the growing “To Do” list can easily weigh me down and suck the joy – and the meaning – out of the holidays. I love this time of year so much, sometimes I overextend myself.
Meanwhile, bickering children hyped up on on sugar and Christmas Anticipation, can “ruin” my perfectly planned Intentional Moments and Special Memories. Low on time and patience, I soon find myself frustrated and bitter over ruined plans.
If I don’t watch my back, and my time, “tis the season to be jolly” can turn into “tis the reason to be grumpy.” It’s not pretty.
In the middle of my to and fro and bicker and grump, I sometimes wonder if I’m doing it right. Am I missing something?
Here’s the thing we have to remember, Sweet Moms–there is no one “right” way. There is only “as the Lord leads us each to do.” As long as we are following God’s lead and giving Him our very best, then we are doing this right.
God didn’t choose Elizabeth to be the mother of John the Baptist because she was perfect. God didn’t choose Mary to be the mother of our Savior because she was sinless. But God did use these righteous and obedient women for His Glory. Most importantly, it was GOD at work in their hearts that enabled them to be righteous and obedient – not something they inherently contained within themselves already.
We may not be an Elizabeth or a Mary, but God uses us, too. We are raising and growing children for God, too. He takes our obedient and willing hearts and enables us to go and do and serve. If we seek His will for our days, our calendars, our holiday seasons, and our memorable moments, He will lead us to make wise decisions and give us the patience and grace we need for the stressful moments. In Christ’s strength – not my own.
I have noticed that, as usual, time is key.
When I am low on time, when I am running late, when I am overbooked – the time crunch leads to stress and craziness.
When I spend my time on the wrong sorts of things, make unwise decisions, procrastinate or waste time – I feel overwhelmed.
When I let the busy schedule take the time I’m supposed to spend with God, when I forget to stop and seek His will for my day and His presence in my activities – I feel like I’m failing. One stressed out Crazy Mom.
Three Tips To Stay Sane During the Holidays
- Don’t fill up the calendar.
- Don’t focus on the “stuff.”
- Spend Time With God
Fill up with prayer and The Word before you give and give and find yourself running on empty. Seek His will and His wisdom when choosing which activities to join and which to forego this season so that you leave plenty of room in your calendar. Remember that neither getting it “right,” nor having a great holiday season with your family, nor serving God and glorying Him is measured by the “stuff.”
It doesn’t matter if you forget to do a Christmas craft, if you have to separate squabbling kids in the middle of an Advent reading, if you have many presents under the tree or if you have great decorations. What matters is the time. The time we spend with our family, our kids, and serving others. And yes, taking time for ourselves, time to refuel and refocus and reorient.
Yes, time is, indeed, a very key factor.
This holiday season, let’s make sure that we make enough time for ourselves that we don’t go crazy, shall we?
Image Source Credit: Christmas Table by Petr Kratochvil