But when we take the time to set a goal the chance of accomplishing it is much higher than not setting a goal at all. So, as we go into the home stretch with only 10 more days to go, I pray you take a deep breath, try not to be stressed and try to finish what you can. Because the most important part of Christmas are the people!
I hope these few tips concerning the planning we do with our family, friends, neighbors and the needy will help you focus on this important part: the people in our life.
- As you make plans for Christmas dinner or brunch, along with the outings and the activities for the holiday, make sure you connect with your husband by asking what he would like. He needs to be involved too. Remember to ask him about his side of the family and try to accommodate their needs and requests. I know this is very hard when you are dealing with difficult relatives but I also know God calls us to have loving and forgiving attitudes.
- You may need to literally sit around the table with your husband and children to plan some of the activities and meals for the upcoming days. When everyone contributes you will have more hands to help and more memories formed! And if you are feeling stressed that you aren’t getting everything done, let this be a time to communicate with them with how you are feeling and delegate some tasks to each of them.
- I also feel that this is the time of year to give to others. Can you and the family make your own presents, as sweet breads or candy, you can give to your neighbors? Our neighbors live closer to us than most of our relatives and should be remembered too.
- Can you donate food, clothes or time for the needy in your community? Many churches have places and families already set up that need your help and when you reach out to the needy, you are teaching your children invaluable lessons that will last them a lifetime.
- Make plans also to be with your friends. With our busy schedules and all the activities we do with our children, it is easy to forget to plan time with our friends. Perhaps this year you could have a simple open house for all of them. Or, for a more quiet setting, invite them for pizza and games at your home. Everyone, including moms and dads, need friends and this time of the year is a good time to reach out to them.
- This last tip is probably the hardest for a mom to take but its important! Remember to take time for yourself. Just 15-30 minutes a day doing what you want is vital in keeping your sanity as your work load increases. Maybe take a bubble bath one night or a walk through the neighborhood by yourself; read magazines or books; play on the computer or talk with a friend over coffee. Trust me on this. I used to think I didn’t have permission to stop all I had to do. But I finally learned that life is so much better when we enjoy it!
I was reading an article that said every mom needed her own ‘secret hiding place’. It doesn’t have to be a large space – just enough room to sit. Clearing a whole room is too much to take on. But if we could find a tiny corner where we could place a soft cushion and a place for our Bible, journal, notebooks and pens, we could physically get away so much easier which will then lead to more. Your heart will sing each time you tiptoe to your own place, your very own little cocoon.
Manna from Heaven
(We are continuing from Luke chapter one)
“Now at this time Mary arose and went with hast to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
And she cried out with a loud voice, and said, ‘Blessed among women are you, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.’”
And Mary said: ‘My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave.
And Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her home.”
Luke 1:39-48, 56