Controlling Christmas

I love my mother!  She does so much for me, and truly is an angel sent from Heaven!  My house is just as much her house as it is mine, and one day, she was at my house saying that I didn’t have enough Christmas decorations up.  I respect her opinion, but I’ve finally learned to minimize and only do what I can do.  I don’t stress over Christmas any more.

It only took me 17 years of being married and having Christmases of my own to realize that Christmas should be a stress-free time for family and other loved ones, not for putting on a show for others.  I used to worry about everything!  I’d worry about my decorations, the meals, the perfect gifts, what to wear to all the parties, if I was eating too much, if my family was happy.  My list was endless of worries.  Finally, I decided, I’m not stressing any more.  I pick and choose what I have to do, when I have time to do it.  If it gets done, it gets done and if not, oh well.

I used to end up sick every Christmas from working day and night and then not sleeping at night because I was going over my to-do list in my head and worrying that things might go wrong, not turn out right or that I was forgetting someone or something.  Now, I sleep like a baby, and realize that everything that needs to get done will get done.

This is the season of much worry, for everyone.  People are stressed about money.  People are anxious over family gatherings.  People are nervous if people are going to like what they bought them.  People have more commitments than time permits and wonder why they are frazzled.  Not me!  Not anymore!  I’m realizing that I have no control over many things and the more I try to control things the more helpless I felt.

Matthew 6:31-33 explains, “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

We have to remember this, especially this time of the year.  We have to have faith that all will work out and happen the way it is meant to be.  Sure we have to put some effort into things.  Maybe set a priority list, but there is no need to go overboard with anything.  We just need what we need, not necessarily what we want.  Wants are our controlling demons sneaking their ugly heads again.

Even the Tao Te Ching, written by Lao Tzu states in Chapter 29 states, “Do you think you can take over the universe and improve it?  I do not believe it can be done. The universe is sacred.  You cannot improve it.  If you try to change it, you will ruin it.  If you try to hold it, you will lose it.  So sometimes things are ahead and sometimes they are behind; sometimes breathing is hard, sometimes it comes easily; sometimes there is strength and sometimes weakness; sometimes one is up and sometimes down.  Therefore the sage avoids extremes, excesses, and complacency.”

Try to keep all this in mind over this crazy busy time of the year.  Let all control go and just let what will happen, happen.  Pray to God that you will have all you need and he will provide.  This just might be your best Christmas ever.  Overly decorated or not.  Remember extremes and excesses are not needs, they are wants.  Seek out God, and he will make sure you have everything you need and more.

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