Here we are about to go into the busy season. Thanksgiving, Christmas (or Hanukkah, Kwanza etc…) followed by New Years and the resolutions we feel obligated to make.
We are supposed to feel joyful and at peace with our families and the gift-giving season. Often times easier said than done, our lives become anything at all but peaceful. Money may be tight yet we want little Johnny to get that cool, new ______ (fill in the blank) that he wants. If your children are older you still want to gift them with something amazing and now often have to also remember to buy a gift for the boyfriend or girlfriend of your child, especially if he or she is spending the Holiday with your family. How do you politely explain the sleeping arrangements? Is church mandatory for the non-family member? There are so many ramifications to consider.
And the cooking. Do you make your cranberry sauce and pumpkin pies from scratch? I do. I want to put my years as a Certified Health Coach to good use, and honestly, then I am more aware of the quality of the ingredients. To complicate matters, we have a range of eaters from vegetarian (yes I make a Tofurky too and two kinds of gravy) to ketogenic, to high protein. Thankfully, my husband eats whatever is put before him. Kudos and a shout out to this man.
As we approach this season of good tidings and peace, let’s remember to grab a piece of peace along with that pumpkin pie. Here are my bullet points that should help things run smoothly and effortlessly (OK, well maybe effortlessly is a stretch)
Delegate some of the chores and cooking assignments to others.
Be honest with your husband when you want help. Most will surprise you and really want to be included.
Budget earlier in the year for Holiday expenses. Christmas should not be an excuse to service the credit card companies with your poor decisions.
Even though it may be the last thing on your mind as the days get colder and shorter, get outside for as little as 10 minutes or as long as you can afford. You won’t regret the sun and air on your face.
Be in the word. Take a moment to reflect on a couple of your favorite Bible verses. Here are a few about hope and peace.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 16:11You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Colossians 3:13 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
What a lovely time I had reflecting on my weekend as I was traveling back from California. I did a book launch party for the birth of the book Letters to the Dead Men – Unexpected Revelations on the 11th.
What a wonderful opportunity to expose the book to the other side of the states, but also to see the lovely sister I have not seen in three years. In the journey I took writing about the men I have lost in my life, I realized that family can no longer be blown off for such silly excuses as “I’ll miss four days of work”, “I can’t afford to travel so soon after the three day conference I just attended” and so on.
I want my only remaining sibling to know how much she is treasured and adored. I want to experience new opportunities and meet new friends. My trip to San Diego did not disappoint. We ate at various restaurants, attended a yoga and happiness workshop, enjoyed some sun and then she threw me the best party ever at her healing studio.
Staying home just to make four more days of a paycheck just seems so silly. The money I may have lost in taking days off (entrepreneurs don’t get paid days off in the traditional sense of the word) is rather insignificant compared to the memories made. Embrace the opportunities to travel, grow, and love. May you be blessed beyond measure with silly stories, goofy pictures, and delicious food. Live your best life.
So many times in a relationship we are forced to cross a bridge of some sort. It may be the bridge from health to disease. From financial security to financial devastation. From being pregnant to having a miscarriage. Will you be just as eager to love and appreciate your mate when a brand new stress has been added to a perhaps already tenuous relationship? Can you two cross the bridge together holding hands?
In an attempt to get through many of my own bridges of life, I try to think of the Bible verses that helped my dad through tough times in his early life, and I think of all of the leadership audios and books I have read throughout the years. One reoccurring theme keeps emerging. That theme is to reframe the situation and to continue to be grateful for something; anything.
What is a reframe? Simply what it sounds like. Put a new “frame” or perspective on the “picture” or situation you have been given. Could a miscarriage teach a lesson?
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 “We are hard pressed on every side but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed”
Could a financial difficulty draw you closer to your spouse as you learn to budget better and rely on God more?
Philippians 4:12-13 “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength”
Could a health issue force you to learn to slow down and ask your husband or wife to help more so that you can do more self-care and recover? You may be surprised that your partner really does want to see you well again.
Philippians 4:6-7 ” Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Crossing a bridge can be scary but never forget that it can take you to a whole new place where new growth and lessons learned can occur.
I have been dealing with a somewhat snarky teen lately. I get that we were cut from the same cloth and share so many of the same personality traits that we can get on each other’s nerves. I know I am not alone. There are scores of parents with multiple teens and tweens dealing with the “I-know-it-all-and-mom-is-stupid” mentality of the adolescent mind.
It’s crazy how much we still love those kids, and what great lengths we go to make life easier for them. In my case, often I just choose not speak unless spoken to. You see if I ask a question that he had already answered two weeks ago then I am the fool for not having remembered which day he is going to Homecoming, or which classes he has on Wednesdays, right? Wrong! Still, until he has to juggle the responsibilities of career, bill paying, and the myriad of other grown-up stuff, he will just not understand that my main concern is not remembering every little facet of his life. I will often need to ask the same question again and again. Oh well.
When I grew tired of yelling at him and got bored with always trying to prove that my way is the only way, my relationship with him got tolerable. But better yet, the other day I found an old Women’s Daily Devotional and began flipping through it to see what my life was like 11 years ago. Oh, the entry I read was a sweet as it gets. The past gave me hope for the future.
6/10/2007 “After church this morning I came home and felt like doing nothing at all. Theo (not his real name) and I took pillows and a light blanket and stretched out on the swinging lounge chair in the backyard. For just over two hours we talked, dozed, talked a bit more and listened to the birds. We enjoyed the soft breeze and I felt renewed. I felt honored to have this alone time with my eight year old”
Wow. 19 is just a season in his life. I must be content to know that we were close once and will be close again. I gave him all of me and all that I am. It is enough. It is sufficient. He still loves me and all of my annoying questions and I still love him and his impatient personality. I was just like that at 19 when my parents wanted quality time with me. I was too busy with people my own age and my own agenda. I grew and he will too.