Inside: What is your biggest struggle or challenge of the season? Skip the pat answers and go deep. Here are 10 helpful holiday tips when you struggle this season.
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Today I have the honor of sharing a post from Maree of Embracing the Unexpected. Her site is filled with encouragement and inspiration when life isn’t going how we expected. I know you will find a wealth of encouragement at Embracing the Unexpected.
Does the mere mention of the upcoming holidays cause you to gasp for air, sweat profusely, or wish the season was over before it begins? Maybe you know up front the holidays are going to be a struggle; which makes it hard to look forward to them. However, understanding what helps can make a world of difference.
What is your biggest struggle or challenge of the season? #HeartBreakHoliday Click To Tweet Skip the pat answers and go deep. The difficulty will be unique to each of us.
As I sit here pondering how to describe the difficulty my eyes well up with tears and drop one by one on to my lap. The screen becomes blurry as my fingers attempt to capture my thoughts.
Holidays are hard around here!
I don’t share my pain too often because I get so caught up in knowing someone else’s pain is more. You see I am a momma to loved ones with mental illness. The holidays are tough for them so speaking of my struggles seems wrong. Yet – I am the first to tell others –
All pain is significant and should be mourned and acknowledged.
All you mommas out there know when our children hurt, so do we. Watching their struggle unfold breaks my heart in two. But then to add insult to injury, sometimes I contribute to their misery with my out of whack desires, expectations, and wants for the holidays.
If it were up to me, I would have a house full of people, music playing all around me, and jam-pack my schedule with the many activities available during the holidays. I would live it to the fullest, but I have found through trial and error this doesn’t work for my family.
It is a delicate balancing act being able to meet others unique needs and your own. #HeartBreakHoliday Click To Tweet. What should be seasons of joy can quickly turn painful, stressful, demanding and sometimes a little bit ugly.
Does this sound a little familiar? Sometimes our quest to make it perfect or to fulfill our expectations can turn it all upside down and miserable.
My ten-page list of things to accomplish in December had to be adjusted. The perfect china setting, ideal presents, and gorgeous decorations were just no longer a priority.
For me, focusing on God became most important because Christmas was impossible without his love, peace, and guidance. God was able to show me incredible blessings in the midst of my child’s mental illness.
Maybe it is time for you to take a look at what is most important.
Through the blessings, a new attitude was born, and you know the funny thing even I enjoyed the holidays more.
So when the holidays are approaching or a season of strife, I choose to minimize the battle by adhering to a few things.
What Helps in a Season of Struggle?
Put God First in Your Day
Be on your knees and in your Bible without ceasing.
The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.
(Psalm 29:11, NIV).
Know Your Priorities
Remember what is most important and keep those thoughts at the forefront of your mind. My mantra is “Relationships are the most important thing.” So in those intense moments, I remember what is most important it’s the connection, not being right, not getting something accomplished but the gift God gave me to be in a relationship with others.
“It is what it is.” No time to waste worrying about what could have been or what I want it to be.
Quit People Pleasing
You can’t make everyone happy.
Release your need for perfection and the expectations you set in your mind. #HeartBreakHoliday Click To Tweet. One can’t attain it anyways, and what we dreamed up is usually unrealistic.
Grieve Your Losses
No stuffing or pretending them away. Yes, it is sad your Christmas is not what you thought it would be. Grieve the sadness you feel for your loved ones. Mourn the milestones not yet reached, and the parties you will miss. Grieve because when you do, it will allow you to see what you have.
Count Your Blessings
When we focus on being grateful, it brings an attitude change and an abundance of love.
Recognize Two Things Can Be True at the Same Time
We are capable of feeling great joy and great sadness at the same time. One does not cancel the other out. Yes, it is sad someone is missing from the table, but we can also feel joy for those who are present.
Live in the Present Moment
We don’t have to live yesterday and tomorrow right now. Sometimes the current minute will ache but better to experience only one moment of pain rather than all the past and future suffering.
You can’t fit an entire season into an already busy life. It just doesn’t work.
When you recognize, the holidays will carry an extra struggle, knowing where you will turn and what you will do is imperative. Make a choice this Holiday season to head in with your priorities set and your game plan ready. It may be the best one ever.
Please share with us what works well in your home at the holidays.
Maree Dee is a Writer | Speaker | Advocate – passionate about “Embracing Life In The Midst Of The Unexpected.” She is a work in progress, accepting God’s grace and mercy every day. Maree believes together with God we can find incredible blessings along the way – even in the midst of the unexpected.
Drop by and visit her at www.embracingtheunexpected.com/ She can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Embracing Faith and Mental Illness from a Caregiver’s Perspective.
To read other posts in my Christmas series, HeartBreak Holiday:
Christmas, Celebrating the Christian History of Classic Symbols, Songs and StoriesCelebrating Christmas: Touch and FeelCelebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas: Seven Traditions to Lead Us Closer to the SaviorCelebrating Christmas Without Going Into DebtChrist, the Light of the World: A DevotionalCelebrating His Birth Music Special DVDCelebrating Abundance: Devotions for Advent