Wednesday, December 24, 2014

When All Else Fails

 If you know me, you know I am a woman of order. I like things to be organized. I like to have a schedule. I like to know what lies ahead with plans. Spur of the moment drop-ins by random people at my door puts me in an immediate paralyzed state as my first thought is, "my house isn't ready yet." When I make plans for an event and it doesn't work out the way I thought, I go into worrisome mode. If the house starts to get cluttered, which happens frequently with six children, I get panicky and start to fret. I have the need to feel prepared for everything.

But what if life isn't supposed to go that way? What if I remember that life is dynamic and cannot always go as planned?  What if I start to let loose and have a contingency plan? When all else fails, I should remember that God's got this in His plan. It's His timing and His order of events, not mine.

Sometimes things don't go as planned and that is okay. I used to be much worse when plans changed and I wasn't always okay with it. My super organized self would go into "Panicky Carrie Rhythm." It wasn't pretty, people! You can ask my husband. He'd take a duck and cover.

"What? Change of plans? Methinks that is impossible." Breathe. Breathe. State of panic. "Uhhhhhhh! This isn't happening!!!"

Over the past couple of years, this is an area I've been working on. During the Christmas season, it's easy to get bent out of shape when we have certain expectations on how we should celebrate or the way things should be. Family members can upset us over Christmas dinner. You've realized you've spent too much on gifts. Or maybe you got carried away in the receiving end of things. Perhaps the weather changed and isn't what you expected. Or you got delayed at the airport and now you are later than you wanted to be. It happens! That's what we have to remember. Things happen, plans change, and people will say things we may not want to hear. Yet, that's not a reason for a person to go haywire. No matter how prepared we are for something, it isn't always in our control. But what if  we let go of those expectations and go with the flow of it all.

As I teach my children to prepare their hearts for Christmas, we talk about forgiveness, redemption, and the attitudes we portray. I've learned to share with my little ones the kind of attitude I've had over being stubborn as things have changed. I am trying to teach them to let go of these expectations and be opened to new options. More than anything, I am trying to teach them that sometimes God allows these changes for a reason. Perhaps He is protecting us from something. Or maybe He is teaching us patience. Maybe the people coming to our home at random times is a moment for us to work on our hospitality. There are reasons for everything and we may not always understand.

Let me encourage you to let loose a bit when you celebrate this season. Go in with an attitude of "that's okay" versus "I must be in control." Prepare yourself to remember that anything can happen. And try to find the bright side of the situation versus the negative side. Instead of preparing for a moment of perfection, prepare for glitches along the way. You'll be all the better for it and so will the people around you. God Bless and Merry Christmas!

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