Not-So-Simple Christmas Lists

Anna
Anna

Michelle. I need to ask for prayer because everything just feels so heavy today. I am looking ahead to the weekend and Christmas coming and just feel like my head is spinning.

Anna
Michelle
Michelle

Well, I am really sorry you’re feeling that way. Truly. But I also feel slightly better because I am feeling the same way! I feel like I have a running list in my head of all that needs to get done and it just feels overwhelming.

Michelle
Anna
Anna

YES, a running list for sure! It feels like the list is sprinting and yelling at me at the same time. Meanwhile I’m like, oh gosh, I am missing the merriest time of the year!

Anna
Michelle
Michelle

Exactly. We went to look at Christmas lights as a family and I was trying my hardest to enjoy the experience but I just couldn’t get my mind to shut off. The details just kept spinning in my head. And then I was frustrated with myself that I wasn’t soaking up the moment and enjoying it more.

Michelle
Anna
Anna

A mentor of mine sent me an email that said, “I hope you are putting your feet up by the fire and drinking hot cocoa and enjoying the lights on your Christmas tree.” And I was like, HUH? Maybe in a few days. Then again, at this rate, maybe not.

Anna
Michelle
Michelle

Oh man, me too. And you captured how I feel right now – I just can’t seem to let down and relax. I think it goes back to running list thing. And nevermind the fact that I still need to pick up my house, prepare food, and wrap presents before everyone comes!

Michelle
Anna
Anna

Right. See, the thing is, we’ve been talking about simple Christmas. But I don’t know how to make my list simpler. I feel like a lot of this stuff isn’t optional. It’s pretty essential. Like how can I cross off “clean the guest bedroom” and “get stocking stuffers?” And all the other things are like that.

Anna
Michelle
Michelle

I hear ya. Make the meal for when the family arrives and wrap presents all feel pretty essential. So what do we do about it? And what exactly is a simple Christmas? Does it mean taking things off the list or does it mean having a different mindset?

Michelle
Anna
Anna

Maybe you are right. I was thinking “simple Christmas” like “easy” or “less!” Maybe easy is not the goal. Because I don’t know if that’s possible.

Anna
Michelle
Michelle

I don’t think that’s how it works for moms at Christmas 🙂 But honestly I need something to work, so how can we make this a simple Christmas even with lots on our lists?

Michelle
Anna
Anna

Honestly, I don’t know. But here’s a thought — The other night I was getting ready to go to a Christmas party. I hadn’t showered because of all the things that had come up that day, I had not wrapped my gifts, and my van wasn’t very clean (I was taking 6 other ladies to the party) and I was just like – ya know, this is just me. This is what I’ve got. So I’m going with it! I sprayed a lot of perfume on me (and the van), and I threw my presents into really old gift bags. And it was FINE! Really fine and a lot of fun.

Anna
Michelle
Michelle

Ha, love it. So maybe it was a matter of letting go? That’s good…and what I need to hear as I think about hosting two sets of family in the next week and a half. I think I have a vision for how I want it to go and usually that is an unrealistic expectation. So what is realistic as we go into this busy time?!

Michelle
Anna
Anna

Do you remember when we talked about the whole concept that “C+ works”? Maybe we need to let ourselves off the hook that it doesn’t have to be A+ with everything going the way we pictured.

Anna
Michelle
Michelle

I think that is so true. I’m trying so hard to make everything be so amazing, but really, every moment for the entire season isn’t going to be like that. I think I need to be okay with real life seeping into the holiday. And to accept the grace God has already given us!

Michelle
Anna
Anna

I love that. We forget the grace. To ourselves, and to others…during this time of year that can be extra-intense.

Anna
Michelle
Michelle

And you want to know another thing? I was praying about this in the shower and this is the verse that came to mind – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest to your souls,” Matthew 11:28, 29.

Michelle
Anna
Anna

I think that’s what a lot of moms really want for Christmas. Rest for their souls. Being okay with crooked lights or kids crying with Santa or last-minute gift buying, or whatever the real-life case may be because, even in that stuff, we can rest in knowing God doesn’t require much of us. He just wants us to come with our tired hearts. And we will find rest. And maybe some simple beauty in this Christmas.

Anna

Soaking in the Truth

**Scripture to encourage you:

*“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest to your souls.” (Matthew 11:28, 29)

*“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, NIV)
“For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30, NIV)

**Music to inspire you:

*“I Need a Silent Night” by Amy Grant

**Readings and Resources to Come Alongside of you:

*”You can decide that every time people gather around your table, your goal is nourishment, not neurotic proving…you can decide…Nourishing the people around our tables means ignoring the clamorous voices of our own insecurities and tending instead to the needs of the people we have invited in.” -Shauna Niequist

**Related Posts on Texting The Truth:

What If We Had a Simple Christmas?

Living Out the Truth

**Ideas to try:

1. If you feel yourself starting to feel anxious about your to-do list or a certain task you need to get done, take a minute to step back and ask:
Is this thing necessary?
What would a C+ job look like on this task?
Have I let go of that A+ vision in my head?

2. Watch your self-talk: Is it sounding harsh to yourself? Is it sounding harsh about the people around you? Stop and give some grace. Maybe that sounds like…
I did my best.
I’m sure he/she did their best.
This is what I’ve got to offer! And it’s perfectly okay!
C+ works.
Really think about C+ Works for a sec — See if it doesn’t lower your blood pressure a couple notches!
C+ gifts work. They really do.
C+ class parties work.
C+ cleaning of the house works.
C+ meals work.
C+ decorating works.

3. You know what doesn’t work at the C+ level, at least for too long? Not enough sleep. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night if you can.

{These suggestions are ideas from novice moms. Sometimes our life situations need more. In that case, seeking out professional help is the right call.}

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