Every year, after Christmas, we have a post holiday review. “How did we do at celebrating and keeping our focus?” “What did we do that you liked?” “What did we do that you didn’t like?” “What should we have done more of?” “What do you want to avoid at all costs, next year?” (My answer: the mall!!) 😉
We finally had an opportunity to do that yesterday. We were all in one place, Squishburt was quietly playing (NOT with kleenex) and I was taking a writing break.
“SO guys – let’s talk about our holidays.” I asked with MUCH trepidation. You see, in my mind, this Thanksgiving/Christmas season was a BOMB! Not the good kind, but a total flop. Since I was pretty much spending all my time studying (I had to learn about real estate investing before I could write about it.) celebrating took a real hit.
This was the first year in many that we didn’t have Christmas cookies. (This would include last year, when I was recovering from a C-section) Nor did we have any candies. We didn’t even have a birthday cake for Jesus. (Granted, that was in part because we spent Christmas with my in-laws, not only the right choice, but a lovely one as well.)
This was the first year in many we didn’t have a jigsaw puzzle for New Year’s Eve. Nor a game day. Nor our annual fondue. All of the “normal” things of the season were set aside so I could study/write.
I can’t tell you how hard this was for me. I ranted at God at how frustrated I was that every time I tried to incorporate the normal things, my every effort was thwarted. Finally, after many weeks of this, I simply stopped fighting, opened my hands and let Father take my longing for the “perfect” Christmas away. “Father, thank You for this season of book-stuff. Thank You for Your plan for our family. PLEASE work peace in my heart! Please help me stop fighting what You desire to do in my heart. I just want to be malleable in Your hands.”
I wish I could tell you I was then able to totally rest in this. I still cringe when I see my neighbors. This even ended up being the only year in 18 that we haven’t given out goodies of some kind. But, we take goodies to them all year long – and we make a point of sending children to visit with our dear Grandma and Grandpa neighbors on a regular basis. They aren’t questioning our love for them, I hope.
What will next year be like? God knows. Literally. I’m just not going to concern myself with it. Instead, I want my focus to continue to be on being malleable in the hands of my Master and at peace with what He chooses to do with me. Selah.
So, what was the grade we received from the crew? A “B+ or A-.” A “B+”????!! For REAL? Yep. It wasn’t the best Christmas we’ve ever had, but it wasn’t the worst, either. What about the dearth of cookies? No biggie, we make cookies all the time. We can always make some of our favorite Christmas cookies for Valentines. Ditto fondue. (In fact, we think we’d like to do fondue on Valentine’s Day better anyway. We’ll enjoy it more.) We had/made the time to do what was most important and the rest just had to slip away. It was a good year, Mom. REALLY? Yep, it really was.
Isn’t Grace an amazing thing?!!!!!