Monday, November 11, 2013

The Chase

(Try to ignore the fact that my blog title sounds like a Miley Cyrus song--pre-twerking, of course.)

Is it me, or are we trying to skip Thanksgiving this year? 
I was overhearing a conversation at the grocery store yesterday where a girl was telling her friend that it just seems too early to be thinking Christmas already and I was so happy to hear that I'm not alone! The day after Halloween I felt myself feeling overwhelmed with Christmas. Wish lists, decorating ideas, traditions for our family, and above all the looming question of "how are we going to afford this!?" I found myself getting bitter about our financial situation (being a stay at home mom means giving up certain financial comforts) and being bitter about our house (even the fact that we don't have a fireplace!) and worrying that I won't have enough time/energy to decorate and fill our walls with impressive things....

And then I realized, it's slightly ironic that Thanksgiving comes right before Christmas. Maybe I'm just WAY behind on this epiphany, but I was so convicted that I was spending more time getting stressed about a holiday that is almost two months away (at the time) that it was causing me to be ungrateful and discontent. Those habits creep so easily into my day-to-day and during the month of November (and, uh, the rest of my life) I just want to be still. To indulge in the joy of the gifts I have been given. To not feel behind in planning for the next big thing. 

Don't get me wrong, I seriously love the holiday season and I don't think there is any shame if someone wants to start celebrating early, but I noticed that all the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas way in advance was causing a lack of gratitude. And I don't want that for myself or my family. When I was little, I could have cared less about Thanksgiving because it didn't involved getting presents. I'd like the month of November--the gratitude month--to be just as important in our house as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our savior. Easier said than done, right? But I'm going to try to slow down. To rest in this time of family and food and for goodness sakes to quit lusting over the fancy, cozy homes of Pottery Barn and Pinterest. ONLY by the grace of God will I be free of expectations and busyness...and silly, worldly idols that are never easy to admit.

I have learned first hand that gratitude is not natural. It has to be cultivated. And as the mother of my home I take the responsibility very seriously to teach my children the importance of a thankful heart.

Cheers, J.

P.S. I'm not judging you if you've already whipped out the Christmas music. Do your thang.


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