I haul around with my checklist as if it were something sacred. I can be guilty of putting my work (and maybe even my rest )before my relationships. I may say a quick no to my kids, only because I don’t want to toss another idea it in to the pot of possibilities. I try to do my errands alone so I can finish more quickly. There is a lot of “I” in my decision making.
The gift of presence in my relationships is way more important than chasing after the perfect present. I know this but I am not so sure I live it. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not sitting a Jesus’s feet. I’m not loving him or loving others the way I want to be loved.
So…how can I value my relationships and have a sense of family fun, holiday cheer, and some Christmas peace?
My goal is going to be to show my love with time rather than streamlining my checklist to save time. This is going to be a challenge for me. I know I’ll need to pray to refocus each morning, each afternoon, and each evening.
I’m putting C.H.R.I.S.T. back into Christmas. This is how I’m going to love God and love others:
Cleaning is not THAT important. If I want to avoid hosting something because my house isn’t white glove clean, it is time to prioritize. If my kids dread company coming over because I turn into the white tornado something is wrong. My new goal is neat plus one clean bathroom.
Hang out, chill, enjoy time with people. Carve out time just to talk. Ignore the clock (to the best of my ability).
Reflect on the meaning of the birth of our Savior and worship BIG. Take time to listen to and sing Christmas songs, read the accounts of Jesus’s birth in Matthew and Luke. Read the prophecies in Isaiah.
Institute a not-critical list. I may not do a Christmas card this year. Instead I might send a New Year’s one or even a Valentine’s card. Hey, I may go crazy and give myself permission to skip it this year!
Spend time doing something someone else would enjoy. Because the relationship is more important than the activity. Sacrifice some peace or convenience for another.
Take a moment to express affection and appreciation to family members by writing a card or sending an e-mail.
This Christmas my eighty-plus mama, my sister, brother-in-law and kids, Tom’s and my four kids-including our out of state Samantha- will be here to hang with us in Colorado. I. Can’t. Wait.
My priority this Christmas is going to be God and people! (I’m already feeling a little free!)
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By Lori Wildenberg
Wife to Tom, Mom of 4
Co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting
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