Panicky thoughts overwhelmed me yesterday as I was about to finish up everything for Christmas.
It’s what happens to me each time I approach a deadline about anything. And even though I try to plan well and organize my time, the moments still come.
It’s a mystery. I can so easily get caught up in the frenzy and the rush around me.
We are mere hours away from celebrating Christmas and I am working to practice what I’ve been writing to you about, embracing the gifts of imperfection this Christmas. These are the questions I am asking myself as I ponder the why’s and the how’s of my crazy emotions. I ask them of you too….
Can we embrace the fact that our lives are messy, our families aren’t perfect, there are problems, money, relationships, jobs? Can we stay out of the pit of denial and just get that life is messy?
Can we let go of the need for perfection for gifts – what is the perfect gift anyway? Who needs anything? Does it really matter if we get the wrong gift for them? If you and I can shop for our loved ones embracing that attitude we can actually enjoy the process.
Can we let go of the need for perfection in our relationships? Wanting that Uncle or Mom/Dad, brother, sister, child to act appropriately so we can all enjoy Christmas? Can we just accept the fact that our family is messy and just not let it rob our joy? Let that relative be cranky and set a boundary? I know it’s harder than we can imagine, but if we can embrace the imperfection, we won’t be disappointed as much.
Can we let go of the need for perfection of having the perfect home at Christmas and that it’s not going to even look close to the commercials we see on television?
Can we embrace the imperfection of the beauty of what we have to be festive with our own creativity in our house? If we can do that, we will see Christmas through a whole new lens.
Can we let go of the perfection of expecting others in our world to act with kindness and joy when we are out and about? Instead can we embrace the imperfection in our society and instead seek to offer a smile or a kind word when someone is being crabby because they think we stole their place in line, or picked up the last toy they wanted?
Can we be kind to ourselves and be self-compassionate so we don’t have remember like my grandkids sucking the daylights out of the straw to get what we want? We really don’t have to suck it up to feel good about ourselves or guilty because we can’t seem to find the joy and peace we need. If we just embrace the imperfections, we will experience the joy, peace and love we so want to during Christmas. Even if it isn’t perfect!! In fact, right now, let me tell you, it won’t be perfect!!
Mary had no choice, there was imperfection screaming all around her in every way.
Mary was probably only about 14 years old and yet she was a young girl wise beyond her years.
Can we follow her example and with humility ask for help when we need it this year?
Can we accept what happens even if it isn’t in the plan, and keep our hope in believing God for the future no matter now messy our lives are?
Can we practice self-compassion?
Can we treat ourselves the way we love to treat others?
Lastly, can we receive and accept the Jesus that was born in an imperfect barn and died on a rough imperfect wood hewn cross for us?
Can we receive the gift of His love for us this Christmas?
God came near.
That is what Christmas is all about. God reaching down into our messy, unruly and broken lives to touch our weary soul with the kiss of His love.
Receiving the gift is so easy. It is acknowledging our need for him, that we are imperfect, that we’ve made mistakes, we’ve failed, we’ve sinned and we just plain need him in our lives, every waking moment!
Can we take a few moments and “be still” inviting the Prince of Peace into our frenzy?
Letting go and being still calls me to remember that phrase from an old song~
”Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”
It starts with my heart, inviting Jesus to bring rest to my busyness.
It calls me to unwrap the gift of choosing joy in the midst of how hard I try to keep up with expectations for Christmas.
and choose joy.