Label: Faith

Blogmas Day 4: Finding Joy when Christmas is emotional

blogmas 4

Christmas can be an emotional time for many, there are so many expectations that come with this season that it is understandable emotions can be wound tightly.
It may be the pressure of providing the perfect gifts for family and friends while having financial pressures, it could be that family member who is avoidable throughout the year cannot be ignored at Christmas. You may have responsibility of cooking dinner for a small army or perhaps planned expectations for the season haven’t gone to plan. I am you could fill in your own example of an emotional Christmas.

I have my own, this Christmas Day marks 20 years since my Mum died. It feels like an age which it is, but then as so often with emotions it can creep up on you and as if by time machine you’re in the same spot hearing “you don’t have a mummy anymore” from your Dad who has lost his wife at 35 years old. It’s just all a bit crazy when you write it down, and there is no explanation for it and I am ok with that now.

I can remember the first Christmas without my Mum, everyone counting down with advent calendars, and friends at school writing Christmas lists with all the toys they had wanted. At 10 years old I had done the best to steel myself as much as I could, I had been brave through Mother’s Day and I had got past her birthday, the worst was over I told myself.

The thing about Christmas however is it is encapsulated by family traditions, what are you doing to countdown to the day, whose house are you celebrating in, trimming the tree all of that your parents play a huge role in and my mum and her family had this one sorted.
Now that she was gone, Christmas wasn’t the same. It was a sad time, as a child you soak up the atmosphere you are in so I didn’t want to make my grandparents more upset at the devastation losing their only child causes, and my Dad from that first year changed Christmas completely we always went away on holiday, it was preferable if it was abroad as if the miles would change the reality.

Christmas always loomed, I never looked forward to it, yes some of the day was good it would be a lie to say it wasn’t, there were presents but I could have happily scratched the day off the calendar.

Which makes it all the more remarkable don’t you think that I am blogging my way to Christmas, and have a calendar full of Christmassy things planned.
I think this all comes with maturity not just because I was 9 then and now it’s 20 years later but I have walked this grief, tear stained trail first by myself in my own strength and now in later years with God.

It sounds too simple to say that once I focused on the date of my Mother’s death and now I focus on the day of my Saviours birth because that should be the reasonable Christian answer right? You know the kind of blog posts I mean “I had a tough week, but God is good” it’s true I am sure but it all comes off cookie cutter Christianity when you don’t know the writer personally.

I have some battle scars and if I wander off my wounds can have a tendency to reopen and then I am need of repair again, but surely that is real life, my struggles with grief at this season and the ability to celebrate through it is a testimony to God’s grace and not through my efforts.

If you are approaching the first year or the 20th year without a loved one around the Christmas table, there is a God who understands, who cares and who will walk with you through it.
Thousands of years ago when he sent his Son, clothed in frail human flesh, He wasn’t ignorant of what would happen for it had been planned from the start.
Jesus would die for our sins. God willingly sacrificed His son because of his great love for us. He is not unaware of the depths of grief at Christmas time.

Zeph

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Easter Basket

As we approach Easter I thought I would share what will be in Nathanael’s Easter Basket.
I first came across similar baskets via You Tube and I fell in love with the option Pottery Barn Kids Easter Basket and Liner where you can purchase a customised liner with either your child’s name or initials on it.

I can’t fault the quality of this product at all and where I am sure you can purchase something similar or perhaps even make one yourself I don’t mind paying a little more outlay for something that will stand the test of time!

Easter Basket outside

What really appeals to me with Easter Basket is that we can choose to fill the basket with whatever we like rather than the quick fix of Easter Eggs.
I remember as I child my sister and I would have in the region of 20+ eggs from family members alone.

Our mum would take them and store them in a “sweet cupboard” and our reward for us being good was to share half an egg or the contents inside. Now although grateful as a child for all this chocolate it would take us till at least the end of summer to clear the cupboard and only now do I appreciate how restrained my mother was because I just don’t have the inner strength to sit on 20 chocolate Easter eggs for half a year.

blog inside

I am not such an ogre to not allow Nathanael a “treat or two” in his basket but I am looking forward to using his Easter Basket being used like his Christmas Stocking with things he might need and activities we can do as a family.

So here is what is in Nathanael’s Easter Basket!

Veggie Tales Easter Bundle
My Very First Easter Story Sticker Book
Cadbury Mini Hollow Bunnies
Muffin Cases for us to bake later on in the week!

My Mission 2016

Welcome back to my blog! Thankfully it is now a New Year and a fresh start and I could do with one of those thanks to a crazy December 2015.

If you have been following my blog for a while you will remember me picking up the awesome Inkwell Press Live Well Planner, on one of the very first pages is a space for “my mission.”

Thankfully Tonya, the owner of inkwell press doesn’t leave you hanging with no clue what to write in this empty box and has videos of how to set up a mission statement, as well as a Facebook group where people have share their ideas.

It was on that group that I stumbled across my mission for 2016,

Mission Statement 2016

I think many of us, particularly the women in my life who I adore, hold ourselves to an extremely high standard. Whether that be our marriages, our careers, our parenting, from what we wear, to what we buy.

We have – I have, a set way of how i want to see things carried out, now hear me it is one of the qualities I do like, I think it has helped me out immensely in certain areas.
I do a really good job (or try to) for most things I put my mind to, because I work hard, nothing has been given to me for free.

There are occasions though where my quest for doing a good job (some would say perfection) has caused me some pain, usually when I feel I put extra effort in for others who should take more ownership of something or other.

I struggle to let anything go because if I did what the heck would happen (chaos) but this year I am going to try to let myself off the hook now and then.
The whole world I am sure won’t fall apart because I have … I think … possibly … so here is to 2016 where I live more by grace.

Let me know what your mission/goal/resolution is for the year ahead!

Bible Memory 2016 Verse 1

Bible memory verse

Join me as I plan to memorise 24 bible verses this year – I usually crash and burn around March so at lease you can join me in a non judgemental road to see whether I last out the whole year!

”Be for me a sheltering rock,
where I can always come,
You have determined to save me
because you are my bedrock and
stronghold”
Psalm 71:3