Griswold Family Christmas:

Yeesh, Christmas is already over. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and you are not suffering from holiday PTSD like I am. Now to be sure I am not blaming any of my family for my PTSD. My traumatic stress is all self induced. It goes something like this….

“Oh gosh, I hope she is having a good time. Is she happy with where she is staying? Is she happy with how my kids are acting? Is she happy with my house? Is my house welcoming? What is that smell. Does she smell that? Is he ok? Why did he just say that? Does he think I am stupid? Am I stupid? Why did they bring their own water? What is wrong with my water? Are my glasses clean? Are they too clean? Am I trying too hard? Am I trying hard enough? Does everyone see Christ in me? Or am I behaving like a non-believer? Am I being too Christ—like? Did Christ have to get through family get togethers? Is what I am about to say biblical or am I leading her away from God? Why are the kids so loud? Why do I not have crafts ready for them all to do? Why are we not all gathered around the bible reading about the night Jesus was born? Is Jesse ok? Is Sydney ok? Is Brock ok? Is Laycie ok? Are they all feeling emotionally stable? Where is Kohen? Am I supposed to watching him? Did I get all my shopping done? Did I wrap everything? Do I have enough ribbon to make all my bows from scratch? Am I having a good time? Do I love these people well? Am I making everyone feel at ease? We should all play a game together. We should all be singing Christmas Carols. We should all go to church like a big happy family. Oh man, I can see she is hurting. What should I say? Should I say anything? Did I make enough dinner? Is it even good? Will they feel the love I am trying to show them by making this damn dinner? What the freak am I doing? I can’t make anyone happy. I am such a loser. Why am I trying to cook, everyone here knows I can’t cook. I am not even emotionally stable enough to cook.I feel like I am about to lose it. Don’t lose it, they all think you are insane, you will just prove them right. Breath you moron! It is just Christmas. Ok, plan B, go to your room and get your head right. Don’t stay in your room too long or they will know you are about to lose it! You have to get out there! Someone might not feel loved or welcomed because you just ran out of ice again! What kind of an animal runs out of ice? You are such a failure, way to ruin everyones Christmas.”

Is it just me? My hearts desire every year is to have this magical Christmas gathering. To have everyone here and love on them and spend time together. And every year I ruin it for myself because I put expectations on myself that I can never live up to. Expectations are the destroyer of all things fun and lovely. I am left reeling asking myself does everyone hate us now? Will they ever come see us again? Am I emotionally stable enough to have family gatherings at my house? Gosh, I hate to be Debbie Downer here. I really hope you can see the humor in this. I set out to make a traditional holiday gathering, much like Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation, and with every plan laid I set a mine field for myself. With every vision cast in my head, disappointment waits for me. Instead of taking whatever God has for me, I wrestle with Him for the holiday in my head. Guess who wins.

Jesus is just so patient with me. I love Him. He never once leaves me in my disappointment. He is there, in the middlemarch of me having to walk through my self induced disappointment, encouraging me to go on. He is making holy moments that were not visions cast by me. Special times that I will remember forever. Times of new understanding with my SIL while talking through some of the aforementioned disappointments. Tender times of thankfulness for these people that God brought to our house for the season. Thankfulness to be Auntie Crazy (the super funny and sometimes crazy favorite Aunt). Thankfulness that grew in my heart when I got out of my own damn way and just looked around at what was actually going on. And renewed thankfulness that I am not in fact a failure, but a child of God. Thankfulness that His power works best in my weakness. That when I stop trying to cast the vision and just be present and honest, that is where people that come visit us will encounter God. And thankful that if anyone ever comes and visits us again, I have the chance to practice what God has taught me.

Something new I am trying.

So lets not get too excited but I am going to try to do something new. This time of year makes you reflect on the things you have done the last year. This blog happens to be in the top three of my favorite things that happened in 2018. It has been my joy and I want to dive deeper into this writing thing that is happening in me. The experts of blogging say that you have to have a focus. My focus has always been writing about what God is teaching me through this middlemarch of life. The biggest way God teaches me things is through His word. I do the One Year Bible reading every year with my church. This year we are going to do be going through the One Year NLT. I am going to try to write a little blurb everyday about the bible reading for that day. Now, don’t get too overwhelmed because I am talking like 500 words, not my usual once a week 2000 words. Just something quick to solidify what He taught me or what stood out to me that day. If you have known me for 5 minutes you know my mode of operandi is to take on too much to do. So we are all going to make a pact that we are holding loosely to this plan. If we get a week in and I stop doing it, I need you to just get over it. I promise I am still reading the bible, I just decided it wasn’t worth getting up at 5 am to write about it. Deal? I hope that we all can journey together through Gods word. That is the vision I have cast, but I have learned not to get too attached to my vision of how things should go. Happy New Year! Looking forward to 2019 with y’all!
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