This last week has been rough. Alex and I arrived home from a two week long Thanksgiving/work trip and realized we only had NINE days before we left out of town again for Christmas! What?! Who planned these trips anyway?..:) Needless to say, I've been running around with my head cut off planning lessons and musical numbers for church, helping prep for holiday parties, shopping for and making gifts, balancing the budget, finishing up work projects, taking JR to dr. appointments, wrapping up details for our next trip and oh yeah, being a wife/mother/daughter/friend and all the wonderfulness that entails.
Despite many of these things being good things, I totally broke down yesterday. I was holding JR in my arms and I just started crying because I didn't feel ANY holiday cheer in my soul. The word "Christmas" literally brought anxiety and stress to my already frazzled brain. Thanks to a wise and understanding husband, it was just a phone call later that I was calmed and settled down again. He encouraged me to focus on my lesson that I would be teaching in our church this coming Sunday (which kept getting pushed to the bottom of my to do list). How grateful I am to him for that little nudge in the right direction.
As I sat reading about the first Christmas story in the scriptures and it's beautiful simplicity, my anxiety melted away and for the first time since we returned home from our trip, I felt peace. I turned to look at my nativity (one of three Christmas decorations I put up last minute this year due to being gone for the holidays), and I realized I was missing the boat. I then found a gem of a video ad on YouTube (see video below) that my church recently put out. It pretty much sums up my whole Christmas experience thus far and called me to repentance. I needed it. I needed to re-align my priorities and get my focus back to what was most important. My tears of anxiety turned to tears of gratitude and hope and I couldn't help but want to share that feeling with others.
Christ is the gift and because of him I can be better tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. Here's to a Christmas that doesn't bring anxiety, but brings peace, joy and laughter because of one truly remarkable gift.
For more on how to #ShareTheGift, click here.