It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year… but moms get the reindeer booty-end, don’t we?
And I know, good mommies don’t say such words. But tonight at dinner, I found myself bawling “FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY SHUT UP!!!!”
My two-year-old said flatly, “Mommy! Calm down missy!”
One more trip to the dollar store, one more brave quest to the market… just one more thing for one more stocking, one hour before you remember… you just need one more meaningless gift for your new brother-in-law… wait? Are they married yet?
What is all this stuff anyway? Did I really just buy this? Am I insane?
And yep, I did just sit in my car and cry and eat a package of cookie dough. And then used my Weight Watcher’s points calculator to tally the expense. According to the numbers I have been entering I am at a points deficit into June of 2018.
I texted my sister and asked her what she was doing and she said: “Hauling embarrassing amounts of crap to Goodwill so that we can replace it with more embarrassing amounts of crap in four days and then I can do this all again… next year.”
So, I can tell you to chill and rest in the blessedness of the season, but I know… we create the magic. It makes it hard to embrace the mystic when you alone are responsible for manifesting it. I am next to you in line, calculating the demise of next year’s budget on my fingers. My shopping cart is full of bows, ribbons, wine, cheese balls, gift cards, fancy holiday socks, and the whimsical baskets I will fill with semi-homemade treats for neighbors who called the police on us twice in the last year.
Who knew you could stick a Rolo on a pretzel and nuke it for 11 seconds, shove a pecan in the center and be made famous in certain circles. I chill those bad boys for 20 minutes throw them in a Ziploc bag with a bow, call them ‘turtles’ and BOOM: I am legend.
I am exactly the same character every year. Frazzled. Freaked out and desperate to manifest a perfect holiday memory for something that was made perfect already. Everyone will expect me to calm down, relax and take in the sights and sounds of the most wonderful time of the year… and yet – I know the numbers. I have list after list… I know one of the man-babies will soon be a Marine and may not be home for Christmas for a while. And I know that our foster-love will be leaving us soon… that the lady-baby is getting married… and the increased expenses that seem to grow with every single “Just one more quick trip…”
I am not here to chastise you or give you insider secrets on how to enjoy the season.
But I am here to silence a voice I have battled for years.
You’ve done a great job. If you spent too much, God isn’t mad or “gonna show you” this year. That is a lie from the pit of hell. If you didn’t have enough, it was not an object lesson from Him. If you chewed your nails off in line at Walmart or sat in your car and cried, He was there with you… not to condemn but to comfort.
Which of you moms who have worried over a detail this Christmas would break a child’s leg or take a sledge-hammer to their bike if they took an extra cookie from the cookie jar?
Which of you would give a snake to a child who asks for a fish or a stone to a child who asked for bread?
God’s name is Mercy.
He is all good.
Yes, there are natural consequences to poor planning and overconsumption. But no, there is no wrath. He came to heal, bind up the broken, and give you peace that surpasses ALL UNDERSTANDING. You may be convicted but you are never condemned.
This year for Christmas the greatest gift is Jesus, but you and I both know there is little time to ponder the baby in a manager. There are cookies to bake, carols to sing, and presents to wrap. We make the magic happen… and He never leaves or forsakes us.
Stop beating yourself up.
Stop waiting for Him to teach you some harsh lesson.
Start right now… BELIEVING HIM.
Believe there will be enough. Trust Him to show you how to get it done or let it go. Lean into Him in line at Walmart, or on the bathroom floor while you sob and eat two more sugar cookies. No matter the state of your marriage, your juvenile delinquents, your deployed baby or husband, health, pant size or the tally in your checkbook… He has done the work, you need only BELIEVE.
Yes, you create the magic… He works the miracles.
The blood worked.
Grace is the consequence.
Eternity is the prize.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
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You might also like: The gift I refuse to give my children this year…
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