Hello, favorites! This post will be a bit different than usual because I wanted to share something from my heart. This mama loves celebrations and making everything special…especially around Christmastime. I want my children to leave our home someday marinated in memories. Beautiful, together memories.
What I want to share with you is the importance of savoring the season and living fully present. Holidays can tend to be busy. Maybe because of obligations or maybe just for the sake of fitting in all our traditions…traditions on a list that seems to grow longer every year. But why do you do what you do? I want to encourage you that it’s okay to step back and take an inventory of your day-to-day and really become aware of the choices you make and why.
Do I Want a Steak Sandwich?
For example, this summer I took a trip back home and went to my favorite restaurant. They have the best steak sandwich, fries, and strawberry lemonade. As I looked over the menu I went right for the steak sandwich. Yes, even at 9:30 am. After all, it would be a long time before I would return.
Something funny happened. This strange little voice inside told me I wasn’t hungry for a steak sandwich. I wasn’t even hungry for eggs benedict, my favorite breakfast. No, I wanted quiche.
“I make quiche all the time at home,” I thought. “This is a special treat and one you don’t often get, I argued internally.”
When I stopped to connect to the moment instead of continuing on autopilot, I realized I was free to want quiche because that is what I wanted in that present moment. How liberating. I told myself there would be other times and even if there were not, there would be other adventures to have and roads to travel and that is what living joyfully present is all about. To eat a steak sandwich simply because that is what I always ordered or because I may never get the chance to have one again was a limiting belief and a poverty mindset. It wanted to rob me of living fully present and fully engaged.
Are You on Auto-pilot?
So why do I bring this up this Christmas season? Because the holidays can tend to be over-stimulating and overindulging, and if you are not careful, autopilot takes over. Rather than savoring the season, thriving, and living fully present, you trade it in for the bondage of “this is what we always do,” “this is what everyone else is doing,” or “this is what I have to do.”
The Gift of Choice
We don’t need to completely uproot our lives for an entire month, simply because it is Christmas. In fact, because it is Christmas, we have the freedom to enter in and receive the gift of choice. The gift of free will. After all, Christmas is a time we celebrate the fact that the God of the universe chose to pour Himself into a tiny, helpless babe, grow up to show me the way, die in my place, and then raise from the dead to show me that the Christian life is not about remaining at the cross but stepping through it to live a resurrected life. He was born to die so that I could truly live.
Jesus on the scene is our gift of fully connecting to our rebirth and inheritance for those who are born into His family. Christmas is a time to remember that the Answer to every issue we would ever face was born into the world as a gift we could never earn. His death and resurrection provided a glorious exchange. We were not just saved from an eternity apart from Him but saved to a place in His kingdom, to bring heaven to earth with Him. My point…we have the choice to exchange what is in our lives for what we truly want. We can shift our atmospheres and bring joy and love and peace. This is the power of choice…and I am choosing to savor this season.
Jesus Came So That We Can Have Life Abundantly
Don’t let the holidays become what they were never meant to be. John 10:10 declares, “The thief does not come except to steal, kill, and destroy. I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Of course, the enemy wants to steal away our joy in celebrating the birth of the King of kings. But Jesus came so that you can choose life. Keep the celebration in the season. Savor each moment that you choose to embrace. Don’t uproot your life for the sake of culture. Create your own culture. Keep ritual in your life in every season so there is a rhythm you can depend on. Eat healthy even amidst the sugary treats. Rest and take time for self-care. Breathe. Drink it all in. My questions to you are these: What do you want? If you don’t have a clear picture of what you want, how do you know what truly matters to you?
Take and Inventory of What You Really Want
This Christmas I am taking an inventory of what really matters. What sparks joy? Laughing faces, together cuddles with my littles, cinnamon scents, family around the table, early morning treats and quiet escapes, candlelight, warm drinks, soothing songs that lift the heart, and yes, even normalcy. I enjoy my life year-round and don’t want to disrupt that flow. I want to continue to read stories aloud to the children and take hand-held walks with my Favorite decked out in cozy hats and scarves and see our breath on the breeze. I want to wake up every morning refreshed for my date with Jesus (my favorite part of the day) and not be exhausted from overindulging in every party, Christmas movie, or holiday activity on the calendar. Truthfully, it’s really not that important to have greenery in every nook and cranny or necessary to watch White Christmas simply because it is a Christmas movie. Maybe that isn’t floating my boat this year. It doesn’t mean it never will again. Sometimes you just need to know you don’t have to…and see that you do survive. Maybe you even thrive. That’s what I want.
The Gift of Living Fully Present
So, this email is not going to have something from each category like it usually does. I simply wanted to share what really matters to me this season and what we are enJOYing. I bless you friends to have a beautiful Christmas season. Savor each moment. Take time to make a memory because it is the memory you want to make. I am not saying purge your life of all activity. I am simply saying to ask yourself if this activity is what you really want right now. Give your family and yourself the gift of living fully present and engaged by connecting to your heart and giving it a voice.
Check Out a Few of My Favorites:
A few new things that might interest you from my blog:
For Winter ideas… 60 Ways to Savor the Winter Season with Family
Two of our favorite family dinners: Spaghetti & Meatballs and Maple Glazed Chicken & Mashed Sweet Potatoes
This is the time of year to Preserve Lemons …my favorite add-to-everything condiment.
Two of my favorite Christmas treats: GiGi’s Nut Crunch Christmas Candy and Pfeffernüsse cookies
Two of my favorite Christmas Traditions: Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar and snuggling on the couch with my Favorite and watching The Christmas Card and Let It Snow (I am a sucker for Hallmark this time of year).
A winter craft: Orange & Eucalyptus Winter Wreath
You can check out the video here:
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