This time of year brings to mind fun memories of childhood Christmases. The pattern in our house rarely changed from year to year, and I loved it. I would anticipate every second, from munching on Chex party mix at my dad’s house on Christmas Eve, to playing in the backyard at my aunt and uncle’s on Christmas afternoon.
I always knew what to expect, and I thrived on the predictability of it all.
I don’t know how my parents managed to pull it off, with the challenges divorce can bring. But somehow they did. I felt safe knowing what our holidays had in store.
As a wife, mom, stepmom, and step-Mimi, holidays can be a bit more unexpected now.
For years I longed to create a Christmas season our family could not only count on, but look forward to each year. But outside factors and challenges always seemed to interrupt my best laid plans.
Frustration has a way of knocking at our heart’s door at times like this, when lost expectations cause us to feel like our holiday isn’t good enough. With a simple scroll through social media, I easily become overwhelmed with post after post of recipes, decorations, and family outings that put my spur-of-the-moment schedule to shame.
When we’re tempted to compare our holidays to others, we risk losing the mountain of blessings right where we are. Expectations of what we long for become the enemy of what we already have. But God offers a better way.
Expectations can push contentment into the shadows, but God renews our contentment with the light of each new day. (Tweet this.)
So I’ve learned to be content with my circumstances. Even when they take an abrupt turn, like they have recently. In fact, our current circumstances will have an effect on my ability to plan, go, and do as much as I’d like through this year’s holiday season. But when disappointment tries to creep in, I will remind myself of God’s promise to me. His presence is always here, filling me with joy and peace through the holidays.
You may be thinking, “But my holiday can’t be wonderful. Not this year. Too much has happened.”
I am right there with you. I am, and I understand. May I share something with you? I’ve been inspired by the journey others have taken before me, and what they’ve taught me through God’s Truth.
We can let a diagnosis, grief, or hurt determine a death sentence for the days ahead. Or, we can allow it to draw us into the throne-room of grace, where mercy, hope, and healing reside.
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” Deuteronomy 30:19
We have a choice for this holiday, and I choose life. Won’t you join me? Then let’s take all the comparison, expectation, and frustration and cast it away. Let’s live in the moment, right now, where we are.
Let’s have a wonderful, imperfect, unexpected, sometimes painful but always grace-filled, happy holidays.