taking a breath.

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Are you feeling like me?  Running from one thing to the next?  More on your to-do list and not very many things crossed off?  Isn’t this EXACTLY what I did not want to happen during this season?! 
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Waking up to a pure, white snow was more than refreshing.  I am stopping to enjoy that this morning.   Before I go on to my list.  Before I give in to the crazy whirling thoughts circling my head and taking over.  Before I take my kids their coats—which they left at home.  Seriously. 

Can I tell you that there are things I’ve had to give up this year, that are normally very important to me.  Enter the first:  CHRISTMAS PICTURES.  I think I even wrote about our upcoming Christmas picture day—which I had scheduled with a photograher—and then cancelled at the last minute because it was becoming too much.  Have I ever missed a Christmas picture for a Christmas card opportunity?  Never.  If I let it, this one tradition of our family could bring me to tears.  Missing a Christmas Eve service at the church our kids grew up in.  If I let it, this one tradition of our family could bring me to tears.  Hearing all four of my kids play a Christmas piano piece at a recital before Christmas?  Not going to happen this year.  If I let it, it could bring me to tears. 

This year is a harsh reality of change.  Change is so stinkin’ hard.  Even when it’s so good.  And I think at Christmas time, you want to keep things the same as they’ve been.  It is important, I believe, that there are things you keep constant.  To hold on to the good—and even let go of some of the good.  It has to happen.  We have to sift through what is most important for our family, right now–here in the moment.  Not to let it bring me to tears!!  But to meet each tradition we love right where we are at.  And if it doesn’t happen the way it has always been?  That’s ok.

What a pep talk, huh?!!  More for myself, obviously, than anyone else.  We are so incredibly blessed.  I could have a Christmas card picture taken and cards in the mail with one or more of my children missing now from that picture.  We have a Christmas program for our precious children and they will all be there.  If I want, I could pull each of my kids down to the piano in the basement and have a Christmas recital of our own. Steve and I both have jobs we love and can provide a Christmas for our kids and for others.   Blessed?  Oh my, yes.

At the end of all of the rush of this season—keeping traditions alive and letting go of some—we are left with each other.  And the promise of hope and life in Christ.  A sweet tradition  that will never, ever die.

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