I avoided writing this post.
Bloggers will tell you to take cues from magazines and theme posts for major holidays. People are thinking holiday, want holiday spirit and joy and inspiration. Go forth and do likewise!
Because I just have the tiniest amount of performance anxiety when it comes to holidays. Do I really want to add one more Holiday Thing when I struggle with whether to make the commitment to a gingerbread house?
Look, the drumbeat of the holiday season starts in summer for me, because my eldest’s birthday is right before school starts, and then my youngest’s follows a month later. Then it’s Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and New Year’s, and then my husband’s birthday in January.
Every year, I am astonished by how quickly the next event to plan for comes. Every year I struggle to not feel overwhelmed by this six-month stretch.
Even writing this out this way makes me feel guilty. These holidays and celebrations are blessings. They are fun. They bring joy to my family, and I enjoy them.
It is not about my anxiety. At least, it shouldn’t be.
So when holiday season comes around for my blog, my instinct is to say no thank you to anything holiday themed.
Except writing breaks open my heart. It helps me move from a defensive crouch into a generous stance. It reminds me that I don’t have to worry, don’t have to be afraid, that I probably am not alone in feeling ambivalent about the holidays. That I’m not the only one that struggles with the vulnerability of having fun.
I have a choice about what attitude I bring to the holidays, to blogging, to preparations and an abundance of joyful events.
This year, I want to bring an attitude of peace.
I want to rest in the assurance that I do not need to be afraid, do not need to worry. That there will be enough of me these months. And that it’s not me that will bring joy to these events.
For me peace means openness to try new things and expect that I might like them. It means that I don’t have to be frugal with myself, because Jesus is my abundance. It means I can throw these words out there, largely unedited, because they are first-fruits. It means I can accept where I am right now, anxiety, overwhelm, imperfection and all. It means I can rest in what the holidays and birthdays simply for what they are, rather than feeling like it’s up to me to make them meaningful.
Meaning is never, ever up to me. It is a gift given when I am present and accounted for.
So today, I bless you with peace. Peace to show up, fumbling, to this Advent. Peace while waiting for the One who stills our hearts. Peace to not try harder or be more, but simply be filled, and rested, and enough. Peace for a bright winter morning where you wake up and find your limbs heavy with needed sleep.
Peace to let the coming King find you instead of feeling as if it is your job to usher Him into the world.
Image credit: Martin Fisch, with my modifications