Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Less stress (a.k.a. "Perfect is Imperfect")

'Tis the time of year now where we can easily get stressed. I, for one, felt the crunch last night. (Just ask my mom as I complained vented to her last night.) Not only does caring for my family take up huge chunks of my time to begin with, I am wondering when I will find the time to get Christmas gifts and do all the things I want to do on my December Check List. I have to keep myself in check: I am not superwoman, and it all does not have to be done. I am reminded by Lesley to "keep calm and carry on". Yes, that's just what I need to do.

This year I sat down with my children and asked them to make a Christmas list. In the past, I would not have done this, for fear it would cause greediness in them ("I want, I want"), but I let them dream this year. They were very deliberate about what they would like, and though I expected them to circle everything in the catalogs, they kept to what they wanted. I think I just came to the conclusion of: what is wrong with asking? Obviously, they won't get everything they ask for, but at least when they make a list, I know exactly what they want and can choose appropriately as the parent. This kind of ties into the lesson I've learned this year: that I must ask God for all things! He wants us to:

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."
~Matthew 7:7-12

As you can probably tell from reading here on my blog, I tend to over analyze and overthink things. This drives my husband crazy :), but thankfully, he does not do as I do most of the time, and we have a nice balance going on. This morning I read this post by Gina which basically reminded me to relax and enjoy. I think most mamas would appreciate this advice right about now. I know I did.

And, finally, you must read Elise's "Letters to Eliana" today. I loved this:

"Your character is being written these early years; it should be carefully tended. Carelessness in front of my mirror writes itself in an unlovely way directly upon your heart."

Perfect advice in that post to remind us that during this season where we celebrate His birth, are our children noticing our Joy about the season, or our stress about the season. I certainly pray grace and mercy in this area! Here's to "less stress"!

(Christmas card picture outtake: imperfect is perfect.)


Courtney said...

Well said my friend!

Brenda said...

Yeah, we could run through every single tradition and get it all done---in a stressed out way. Or get a few of them done and thouroughly enjoy every moment. They will remember the oddest things anyway!

Dawn said...

Very well said. A good reminder for all of us. Have a great day.

Terry said...

Andrea, You always know just how to express a relevant idea. We decided early on that this year we would not be stressed out during the holidays, and so far we've managed to honor that pledge. It makes things so much more relaxed and fun. More importantly, less time in the rat race means more time to focus on the real meaning of Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Amen to less stress! I am trying to do the same.
:) Ami

Anonymous said...

Amen. We need to rebel against the busyness of the season


:..Rebekah..: said...

Oh Andrea, I too tend to over-analize things, and my husband is always so gracious to listen and bear with me. I am also starting to feel the pressure that time is running out, and there is still so much to do, so thanks for this post and the reminder to relax and enjoy.

L.L. Barkat said...

Love that picture... the serious older one, little ones on the left full of mischief and, on the right, pensive (or shy... or distracted). Yes, perfect.

Crystal said...
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Real World Martha said...

Nice post. I am an over thinker as well. :)
Debbie aka The Real World Martha (S)