So Mom’s are you ready for Christmas?
I am not asking if you finished your shopping and if the presents are wrapped? I am not asking if all the decorations are up and if the house is sparking clean? Rather I am asking, are YOU ready for Christmas? Are you ready to pause and ponder as Mary, the mother of our Lord, did? She marveled at the fact that God would come to her.
Today at our Woman’s Bible Study a participant asked specifically for prayers for young Moms who are feeling stressed organizing and juggling everything. The regular daily stress of parents is extremely high – and when you add the expectations for a ‘perfect Christmas’ then the stress is downright overwhelming. So, Mom’s we prayed for you and now I want to offer up some ideas how to help you de-stress.
Now first of all, stress is not all bad. In fact our lives would probably be pretty boring if all was easy and ‘just fine’ with nothing to stress us once in awhile. But we also know that too much stress can cause physical and emotional problems and can cause loving relationships to be stretched to the limits. And that is the last thing anyone wants at this time of the year. First of all take time for all of your relationships and most importantly for your relationship with your self. Mom, take time for your self. Close the door and take a bath, workout, listen to your favorite music or sit down and start reading a book that you have been wanting to read.
When it comes to the family get-together, I used to feel distress when the grandkids came over and tore into a pile of presents – without really seeing and receiving their gift. A lot of time and love went in the gift selection - and in their excitement they tore threw the gifts without really appreciating what they just opened, before they went on to the next gift. To address that problem, my husband and I started to play games with the grandkids – to determine who would open the next gift and we created a ritual make the opening of the presents an ‘experience’ to treasure and build family memories. Now this time is fun and the stress is gone!
If your family tends to rush through things without really enjoying them – the best thing you can do is put the brakes on and slow things down. Take the time to enjoy and savor your relationship with your spouse and with the children. Develop family traditions - that connect members of the family with each other. Talk to each other. Play together, sing together, or watch a favorite Christmas movie every year. The list of things to do is endless. The key is to slow the pace down and relax.
Always, the best thing you can do to lower the stress is make a connection with each other and most of all with God at this most wonderful time of the year,
Remember Christmas is not all about the stuff that we get under the tree – it is about sharing God’s love with our families and friends – and pondering all that God has done for us.
Christmas is the new Mom, lovingly looking at her baby fast asleep – delighting in every sound the baby makes. Christmas is the visitors (shepherds) telling of their experience of the angel announcement that Christ the Lord is born. Mary ponders all that the shepherds said – and what it means for her life.
Mom, Christ comes to you this Christmas, so take the time to slow things down and ponder, wonder and treasure every moment that God gives you to love and to receive love. Set the pace that you want your family to have. They may wonder what you are doing but in the end they will be glad that you did
Finally, there are many great churches in Havertown that are offering Christmas Eve Services giving you and your family an opportunity to ponder. Seek out a neighboring church, go and sit and just be for an hour as you worship Christ the newborn King with your family. As you go home share with each other what you heard and what it means that ‘unto you a Savior has been born’.