A Little Christmas Grace

When K and I make plans for a big date night or vacation, or I’m planning a crazy party or preparing for the holidays, or when I just feel like I’m lagging behind as far as being a good wife/daughter/friend/dog parent goes, I put a massive amount of pressure on myself. It’s an ugly, unkind, nagging pressure.

And I’m only so big and strong, so sometimes that pressure leaks out and it morphs into a carping, badgering, stressful attitude. And I stain everyone and everything around me: the dogs, K, my family. And to add to this toxic pressure, I’m fully aware of the insanity and I bury myself in guilt for not controlling my thoughts and behaviors.

Christmas Grace

I know it’s not just me. Last week Erin touched on this kind of pressure and it’s effects. It’s absolutely maddening and poisonous and draining… but when you’re a Type-A perfectionist (or even a Type-B perfectionist), it’s an annual monthly weekly pressure.

But that night, however long ago, buried in straw and blankets, a baby was born. And that baby wasn’t born so that our cutout cookies could rival Martha Stewart’s. He wasn’t born so that I could gift the perfect toaster oven to Aunt Beth. He wasn’t born so that I could scrutinize the placement of every single ornament. He was born for me and for you and for your neighbor and the guy at the gas station and the woman from the homeless shelter. If the tree slants and the presents look frumpy and the ham is over cooked it’s ok- because regardless, He was born.

Whatever your beliefs- whether they mirror mine or not- Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Cheers to you and yours. Enjoy the imperfect, crazy, messy moments this holiday. Dismiss the pressure and make room in your heart for joy.

Whether your holiday morning is spent around a tree with your significant other or around a table with your 35 family members, make it a good one. Try to replace the nagging with gratitude, the greed with selflessness, and the pressure with joy. We’re not perfect, but that baby is. And because He is, we don’t have to be.

Enjoy the holiday, friends. You are loved.

-Louise

A Grateful Heart with Ember Grey

Grateful Heart: link-up

I have been waiting for this link up since Friday. Sometimes I let my heart get dark and jagged, and when I finally realize what’s happened it’s too late- I’ve already pricked someone.

Yesterday we celebrated Jesus’ resurrection. He died for our sins. My sins. Sins like my prickly heart. And for that I am so grateful.

I am also trying to change. Laugh more, get angry less. Forgive more, envy less.

Forgive

This weekend I have been especially grateful for:

– my brother, who has the most forgiving heart

– my mother-in-law, who always tries to make things a little easier for my husband and me

– my husband, who accepts me on my good days and bad days

– my dogs, who shower me with endless love and adoration

– my God, who is forgiving and merciful and listens to my prayers and pleas

Starting this week with a clean and happy heart, and praying to end the week the same way 🙂

-Louise

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey