I have a feeling that God is trying to teach me a very important lesson. And that He has been for the last year or so. I'm the type of person who loves to plan, pays way too much attention to tiny details, and thinks all of these things matter when it comes to celebrating a holiday. There's a plan, we better stick to it. I know this about myself, and though I know it's not necessarily the most important thing in the world, I have fun with it, so I don't mind going to the trouble.
Enter my lessons.
1. Last year, on Christmas eve, my plan was to make it home after celebrating with my side of the family. We left in a terrible blizzard, and though both of us said we should turn back and stay with my brother, we never did. About a mile away from our house, we got stuck in a snow drift, and decided to walk the rest of the way home. I won't go into details, but I can safely say that was the worst decision I was part of. At the end of it though, when I was slightly less traumatized, I realized that all that mattered was that Mike & I are an incredible team when we're up against a challenge. We support each other and encourage each other...we succeed together and fall apart together.
2. You read about my Thanksgiving weekend. Again, plans galore, and they all fell apart.
3. This year, it looks like it's going to be another bad snow on Christmas eve (not as bad as last year, thank goodness). I feel the panic attacks coming already about this. My Christmas eve dinner will most likely be cancelled. We probably won't make it to church. I may not get to see my family anywhere near Christmas this year. Yesterday, we found our that our foster nieces will be going home before Christmas. It feels like part of the family will be missing from our celebrations.
So what should I be learning from all of this? Perspective. Does it matter that I didn't get to go black Friday shopping as planned? No. Does it matter that we might not get to have Christmas on Christmas? No. Does it matter that I maybe didn't buy the perfect gift or get every decoration up or get my Christmas cards in the mail until today? No. The sentiment is still there. The reason we celebrate is still there. We are lucky we lived through last Christmas. I'm lucky that I'm in reasonably good health. We're lucky to have had our foster nieces in our family for as long as we did. We're lucky to be able to see our families on a regular basis.
I hate being a couple of days away from Christmas and being bummed, so I'm choosing to be thankful instead. I hope that whether your plans go perfectly, or everything falls apart, you choose to be thankful for what you have.
Merry Christmas, everyone!