Friday, November 29, 2013

I choose Peace

I used to feel embarrassed that I wasn't balls-to-the-wall busy from Thanksgiving to New Years. I thought that being busy was a symptom of being popular, so I assumed I just wasn't as well-liked as my super-busy friends. As it turns out, busy is a choice.

When I sold real estate, everyone wanted to be busy. Busy meant you had a lot of business and a lot of business meant you were a good real estate agent. I had busy times and I had slow times, and both had their pros and cons, but busy was definitely better. Now I don't really like being busy. How about you? I enjoy a slower pace with some excitement thrown in. I like knowing that my schedule is open for a last-minute lunch date or a walk around Town Lake.

And during this time that is called The Most Wonderful Time of the year, I don't want to be so busy that I can't enjoy it. I think some of our frantic busyness comes from the expectations we place on ourselves. We want to come bearing the perfect the gift, the most elegant wrapping, the tastiest hors d'oeuvre, the most cookies, and -for sure- the cutest outfit. And so, not only are we going to a two hour party for 7 year olds, we're spending 5 hours stressing over it and $200 making sure we look good doing it. Say you have 3 kids in school and a husband who's in charge of "things" at work and several groups of friends from different circles plus your own work or volunteering, and let's not forget about extended family (!!!), and you do that sort of stressful, slightly insecure prep for each party you're invited to, not to mention just Christmas shopping for all the people on your list, and it's not too difficult to see how we end up as bloated, shoulder-hunched, enraged versions of our former selves come the New Year.


You know what helps end that insanity? Being broke.

Yep, the year I went through divorce, loss of a baby, and financial ruin was the year I stopped obsessing over "doing" Christmas with style. Do you know how nice it was to wake up on Christmas morning with my boy, in my parents' home, with my sisters and just BE? The months leading up to that morning were hard and full of their own stress, but I wasn't stressing over my image or pleasing others with wrapping paper or cookies. That was the year I turned into the worst friend EVER, but really all that meant was that I stopped trying to win my friends' love and approval.

I posted this as my thankful status yesterday on Facebook:

Thankful today for a weird, abnormal, beautiful, exciting life that looks nothing like I once thought it would. Every sharp turn sends me straight to the feet of my Lord. He has filled my life with amazing, authentic, fun, challenging, and supportive relationships. He births dreams in my heart and leads me along a winding path, all the while knowing where and when my dreams will come true. I am alive and thriving when I have nothing to cling to but hope and am surrounded by people who aren't afraid of a beautiful mess. Thank you to my awesome friends, near and far! xoxoxo!!

I let it all go. Anything that was attached to my trying to define myself and earn the approval of others. And the only thing that left was the heavy burden I'd been carrying around for years. What stuck around were my amazing friends. As it turned out, they had already seen glimpses of the real me, so when I embraced who I was in Christ, they were right there, walking with me, forgiving me when I messed up, and showing me who they really were too. 

This post came from a place of deep gratitude for my life and the people God has placed in it. I know people are driving from store to store and snagging good deals and their houses are about to be packed with more stuff and wrapping paper and tons (literally) of food. And while that may work for some and not cause stress, it doesn't work for me. So I choose Peace. 

How do you keep the peace in your home during this season? Please share!


xo,
Erin

1 comment:

aprilkarli.com said...

Amen. I like this. Prioritizing at the holidays can be hard, but it can be done.