Family

Finding Joy In The Busy Seasons

At the writing of this post, we’re T minus three days until the turkey hits the fan. (See what I did there?)

Thanksgiving. Christmas. New Years.

I spoke with a friend on the phone this morning and our conversation pretty much summed up what the holidays do to us on the inside. We’re overwhelmed.

We look for ways to make the holidays (and summers, and birthdays etc.) amazing for our families, each year topping the last. We go into debt, push past people in line on Black Friday, and risk our sanity to make special days exactly what we dream of.

Perfect.

But, in reality?

Unattainable.

We want out kids to fit in with the rest of the world. (Do we really though?) We want to give them EVERYTHING. (Again, really?)

Why?

In 25 years, when they look back on their childhood, are they going to remember the latest iPhone that was nestled under the tree? The device that takes two years to pay off but they’re asking for an upgrade after one?

You and I both know the answer is, no.

What fond memories do you have of birthdays and holidays?

I remember playing with my cousins, participating in nursing home outreaches, watching A Christmas Story after dinner on Thanksgiving. I remember the thrill of Santa visiting, his jingling bells outside the door and belly-laughing at silly grab bag gifts.

Now, I look forward to building gingerbread houses, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Christmas brunch, driving around looking at lights, and making a birthday cake for the One whose birth saved the world.

How do we get back to that place? How do we readjust our focus? How do we relax when there’s so much to do?

We must give up perfectionism.

“Well, I’m not a perfectionist.” You say. “My house is a disaster, I’m late for everything, and I would lose my head if it wasn’t attached.”

On the contrary, I would argue that this is the exact definition of perfectionism.

We are unable to do something perfectly, so we put it off completely, no? We can’t make things exactly what we want them, so why try? We have 10 minutes, not 30 so it’s not worth starting a task.

Are you with me?

In my Facebook group, Simply Living Love’s Stay Sane For The Holidays, a group of people check in during the day, taking baby steps to stay on task. The goal is to spend 15 minutes a day (30 if you’re an overachiever) focusing in one specific area. It’s so hard to just spend a small amount of time somewhere, but you know, It’s amazing what an attitude of progress not perfection can do for productivity and for your soul.

Little steps DO make a difference.

Do your kids want a perfectly set table, perfectly hung decorations, and a perfectly cooked meal, or do they want YOU?

If I can encourage you to do one thing during busy seasons of life, focus on your growth and being present in the moment, not as it compares to others, only to you, and relieve yourself of the plague of perfection. I assure you, you will never attain it.

There is only One who is perfect – and it’s His sacrifice that makes you whole – not anything that you do or achieve, and no box you can check. Just Jesus.

Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you. 2 Corinthians 5:17-20The Message (MSG)

Find joy in today.

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