It’s that time of year and the holiday hustle and bustle is in full effect. However, something strange is happening with me. I have no urge absolutely no desire to spend money I don’t have. I have pangs of guilt that the few gifts I have purchased won’t be nearly enough or well received. I’ve racked my brain for creative gifts for those that I love and I hope that they might like what I’ve come up with. All I want to convey is how much I love and appreciate the family and friends that God has placed in my life. I am trying to take this time to really reflect on the blessings that surround me. The small things that will never come my way again. (As in decorated Chest of Drawers to include garland and a bathrobe tie, say what?! Please note exhibit A.) The kids are getting older, parents and grandparents are too. I tell myself repeatedly, focus Barika, focus!
One thing that we have done as a family to help us focus on the meaning and reason for the Christmas season is by incorporating Advent readings at home. If you aren’t familiar with Advent it’s a time of reflection and preparation for Christmas. The 3 weeks leading up to Christmas we do our best to gather nightly as a family to read a passage on the advent focus for the week, sing a song, pray and talk about why we have, Peace, Hope or Joy. It has been awesome to hear the things that the girls have to say. To include a prayer to keep aliens from outer space from invading earth. I think that has a lot to do with the littlest girl’s obsession with Miles from Tomorrow Land. Or the request to sing God is So Good every night. Well because He is right? These little family gatherings help me and hopefully us, to keep the main thing the main thing. It takes less than 10 minutes and allows us time as a family to slow down and be thankful. I blot out the less than serene moments of crying and fighting over who will light the candle or sing the song. Or the one word answers and at times snarky response from the eldest. The shoving to blow out the candle, all of that isn’t stored in my picture perfect memory of our family time together. No, not stored in my mind just out here on the interwebs for all of the world to relive with me.
It’s easy to get caught up in spending way more than you have or focusing on what you don’t have or can’t give. We can ward off focusing in on our perceived lack and refocus on the abundance that surrounds us. I’m pretty good at seeing the big picture thankful for shelter, clothing, food, etc. I’m trying to improve my mindfulness of the little things each day. Here’s a list of 5 things I am really thankful for as I reflect on Hope, Peace and Joy that comes with the birth of Jesus.
- God has consistently provided for our family throughout this year. We have not gone without anything that we needed
- My Husband is a creative genius and is moving into a new season of opportunity and success.
- My heart baby has college acceptances and is maturing into a lovely young woman.
- My hope baby has a wiggly front tooth that is hanging on by a thread and is a reading champ
- My help baby recited her whole part for her school Christmas play and keeps us in stiches with her comedic timing.
What are some of the things remind you of the Hope, Joy and Peace that already surround you today? I would love to hear about some of the little things that remind you to be thankful feel free to share in the comments.