I love Christmas to infinity! The lights, the fudge, the cookies, the decorations, the nativities, the family time, the cheesy hallmark movies that make me cry Every.Single.Time., the candlelit services…I love it all. But the holidays also equal Christmas Stress. They equal busyness, being overextended financially or making sacrifices of things that are good for the things that are best. And none of that is easy, is it?
I’ve struggled mostly with the busyness aspect of the holiday the last couple of years. Specifically over guilt associated with busyness. Over the years I’ve learned plenty about how to “create margin” and “say the best yes” and “ban the busy” but that is an ongoing project in my life.
I’ve gotten pretty good at saying no. When I first tried that word with true intention on a good thing, I feared the kickback from my answer. But do you know what? There wasn’t one. I didn’t even feel the need to justify it with a list of twenty reasons why I couldn’t do that thing. Instead, there was respect. No is a good answer, people.
I’ve also found that no matter how hard I try to be intentional and to only say yes to the things in my wheelhouse, the things that I enjoy, the BEST things for me given my gifts, passions, talents and callings…I will encounter busy seasons.
No matter how hard a girl tries to carve out time, create margin and all those other buzzwords…sometimes we have to accept that the margins may be downright skinny…almost miniscule.
Most of the year I manage to keep my margins pretty wide. I love that freedom and am learning to embrace and crave the rest. But here’s my truth..I struggle with feelings of guilt when my margins shrink so substantially in December. They make me want to hyperventilate. Or they give destructive ammo to my inner voice. She’s the one who still needs schooled in the ways of grace and she loves to layer on the guilt.Sometimes the margins in our lives are skinny, no matter how much time we carve out.Click To Tweet
So today, can I extend the gift of grace to you? No matter how hard you try build margins, create space, embrace Sabbath rest, and say the best yes, there will be busy seasons. It’s a fact. It happens in our mothering, in our ministries, and in our careers. It’s not necessarily because you’re bad at building margins or you’re letting the devil fill your life with busyness to distract you from important Kingdom work.
Don’t beat yourself up if your family has to eat some Hamburger Helper or dine on takeout during the month of December. If your elf has to come with a doctor’s note saying that he’s sorry but he’s going to chill out in one spot, or just move once in a while because his magic’s a little unpredictable this year, that’s perfectly acceptable. If you only have time to bake one batch of Christmas cookies or you have to say no to that cute craft you really wanted to make for your child’s teacher and you end up buying her a Starbucks card instead, it will be okay. She might even like that better. I would.
Grace is the best gift I can give to myself during the month of December. I need it in spades.