Every year as December hits, the calendars seem to overflow with activities and things to accomplish. Looking forward to our calendars, we have something every. single. day/night. from tonight through December 17th. I generally try not to overextend our schedules because it can stress me out.
Does it stress anyone else out, too?
When I feel overwhelmed with places to go, people to see, and things to do, I tend to shut down. Even when the events filling my calendar are things to enjoy with the kids, fun nights with friends, serving others, trips, or family activities…it has left me weary in the past. Why? Because I focus on the busy….and not the blessed.
My attitude around schedules and stress has always had room for improvement. I knew this busy time of year would quickly put to the test the attitude and perspective changes I have learned over time.
Blessed. Not busy. Blessed.
That way I can look upon each event, no matter how big or how small or who with, with the excitement and anticipation each deserves. This past weekend kicked off the blessed, not busy, season with quite a few fun events with loved ones.
Jesse Tree Ornament Swap with Friends
Have you ever heard of this? It is such a cool idea and I feel immense gratitude to my friend, Kim, for putting it all together. Jesse Tree is a devotional of 27 days of readings plus a corresponding ornament to do together as a family. Each day includes an important story and message from the Bible with a short devotional reading and a special ornament to reflect the message you get to hang fresh on your Christmas tree.
Twenty-seven ladies put together 27 single ornaments, then brought them to a special ornament exchange party where we all exchanged ornaments to put together a full set to bring home. I can already tell this little tradition will bring much meaning and fun to our family. And I got a fun night with some dear friends out of it, too.
Town Christmas Tree Lighting
When our church announced its partnership with our local area’s special Christmas tree lighting and festival, I knew I wanted to bring the kids. The night had live music, food trucks, vendors with all sorts of unique Christmas gifts for sale, and even Santa & Mrs. Claus.
It ended up being a lot more crowded than many of us expected, so we didn’t get the chance to see and do everything. The night still brought smiles to all of our faces, though. Live Christmas music from the all too talented singers and performers from North Point never fails to put some cheer in me.
The kids would be happy, of course, when the night involves cupcakes.
Peter used to work with the owner’s husband, so when we saw them as the faces behind the cupcake food truck we picked one up for the kids to share. Of course, I had to steal a bite and WOW. If you live in the Alpharetta area, try out Yum Yum Cupcake.
More importantly, we got to witness the tree lighting while further building the wonderful friendships we have started at our new church home. Blessed, indeed.
SEC Championship Game
And to get a little different flavor than Christmas, I invited my parents over for some football action!! What a nail biter! And even though UGA didn’t win, I couldn’t have been happier with that game. Both teams played tremendously and it was likely the best game I have ever watched. It meant even more by extending that invitation to my dad to watch together.
Many of you know we had very rough years in the past, but to live with grace and love….nothing more rewarding than that. I truly now feel blessed to have him as a father for the things it taught me and places it brought me. That night together, shouting “Gooooo Dawgs! Sic ‘em!” reminded me of that blessing all the more.
Blessed. Not Busy. Always, always, always…. blessed.
Your Turn: Do the things that fill your calendar during this time of year ever leave you feeling stressed instead of blessed? What are you choosing to look forward to and focus on this season?