December 15, 2012

great{unrealistic}expectations

How easy is it during this busy time of the year to set very unrealistic expectations for ourselves?
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We want our homes perfectly cleaned and beautifully decorated. We imagine the amazing meals and decadent desserts and cookies we will serve. A perfect family picture on our Christmas cards and creatively wrapped presents under the tree. We think of wonderful Advent activities to do as a family and what fun times will be shared as we happily gather together. Hot cocoa, carols, smiling children…..
I think you understand where I’m going with this. In all of our planning we tend to romanticize the season and set a standard too high for any family to live up to.
All too often, we end up with far less than what we hoped and planned for in our minds.
The lights on the tree keep going out and only half of the decorations make it out of storage. Ornaments get broken and recipes turn into disasters. Some of those fun advent activities with the kids, turn into flops. A time of family devotions turns into a discipline session with your children. Sickness happens and too many events end up on our December calendars. Our Christmas cards.…well, they didn’t exactly turn out the way you envisioned them when you spent all of that time painstakingly picking out outfits. So many things on our lists are still un-done as time is winding down. We find ourselves overcommitted and so busy that we just can’t find the time to fit it all in. Possibly, we set ourselves up for failure by trying to fit in too much to start with! The reality is far from what we had pictured in our mind and we are disappointed.
We fall into the snare of comparison and beat ourselves up when we think we aren’t measuring up. We browse Pinterest and instead of getting ideas, we see all of the things we aren’t doing. We visit blogs and linky parties and rather then receive encouragement, we condemn ourselves. {Please don’t get me wrong! Pinterest is an awesome place to go for inspiration and ideas!  And I LOVE blogs and the wonderful linky parties hosted on them. They inspire me and point me to Christ as I live out my calling. BUT if I am allowing them to become my focus and my bar of measurement then something must change.}
I must check my heart, my focus. I need to pay attention to myself, my actions and attitudes. Am I disappointed, rushed, anxious, overwhelmed, frustrated?
Am I so caught up in being a Martha that I forget to be a Mary?  Am I neglecting important things and people in order to check things off my “list”? For everything I say yes to, I must say no to something else. What am I saying no to? Am I majoring on the minors?  Am I neglecting my husband and over filling our schedules? What is the balance? What is the goal for the season?
Running myself ragged to accomplish all of the items on my romanticized Christmas list won’t make me a better wife or mother. I’m not a failure if I don’t spend everyday in December running here and there while simultaneously crafting and baking every goodie I’ve imagined. I need to check my heart and know my limitations.
There is nothing wrong with planning fun things and wanting a beautiful Christmas. The problem comes when I sacrifice the important things in order to make it happen or let those activities run our schedules. Christmas is about our Savior and focusing our hearts on Him. That should be what my thoughts and actions are centered on.

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11 comments:

  1. Yes, wonderful post!! So glad you shared - found you through Better Mom!

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    1. I am sharing your post on my blog's FB page today!!

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    2. Thank you so much Sarah! That is so sweet:) I'm glad you hopped over from the link up:)
      Blessings!
      ~Heather

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    1. Thanks so much Aprille! I know these are the thoughts swirling around in my head this time of year. So glad you stopped by!
      Blessings!
      ~Heather

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  3. So true. it's almost to easy to do excess (whether in time or money or things, etc.) in December. This is a great reminder that simple can be better and is definitely more peaceful! :) Blessings to you and your family this Christmas!

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    1. Thank you so much, Heather! Have a blessed Christmas!

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  4. Hello, I so hear this post with my heart. Yes, to sit at His feet and to put things in His timing and flow. I ask myself often and take the time to pray and ask the Lord is my Blog bringing You glory? (Or Me)??
    It was really nice to see your sweet Blog!
    Blessings, Roxy
    Merry Christmas

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    1. Thank you for visiting. I definitely ask those questions of myself. Oh, to have a heart to please Him. Blessings to you!

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  5. Reading through some if your posts...
    This is a good one! So true with the Martha and Mary comparison we easily fall prey to! I'm a new follower!
    Blessings,
    Leslie

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