Over breakfast this morning, with our local Christian radio station playing in the background and our Christmas tree decorated in the corner, our daughter burst into tears and told me that maybe she shouldn’t be part of our family anymore because I keep getting so angry with her.
My heart broke.
We worked it out and each ate a slice of humble pie so we could move on with our day (although my heart still wonders how I keep seeming to fail at this whole motherhood thing), but when it comes to the big, heavy, and sometimes hard emotions we face during the holidays, I get it. Thanksgiving can be a reminder of how hard life is and it can be easy – especially when faced with broken relationships, loneliness, and other people feeling all their big feelings, to feel more grieved than grateful.
I’ve been putting off writing about this particular topic in the series because I struggle with it, too. If I’d received an email that asked me to share my holiday struggles, emotions would have been part of my answer. It is a daily battle to lay down my internal expectations of what the day SHOULD look like so I’m not disappointed. I’m a work-in-progress when it comes to balancing my introverted personality with the holiday gatherings and trying not to shut down when I’m overwhelmed.
Maybe you struggle with some of those areas too, or a few of these?
- Approaching the holidays with a heavy heart
- Keeping a good attitude
- Celebrating good things when others are going through a hard time
- Desiring more
Holy hustle holidays aren’t about smashing down and ignoring those emotions and feelings – they’re real, and they’re important. But instead of heading into the holidays with a heavy heart, let’s spend the next few days acknowledging every expectation, fear, past failure, and emotion and asking God to help us navigate our time with friends and family. Give yourself grace, trust God to be big enough to handle everything you bring Him, and look for small, ordinary moments to be thankful for as you gather together this week.
Here’s a verse I’ll be focusing on: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
- As your prepping and planning for your meals and travels over the next few days, take time to also prepare your heart for what’s to come. Ask God to help you have reasonable expectations, outdo others in honor, and give Him the glory in your celebrations.
- If you have a close friend you can confide in, share your struggles with them and ask them to pray for you, too.
I’ll continue the final part of our series after Thanksgiving as we tackle the remaining topic: gifts. I’ll hopefully have a Holy Hustle Gift Guide for you, but in the meantime you can check out my past gift guides: