One thing that helps you be your best this season

What if Christmas music reflected what’s really happening in our lives right now? For example, as a mom, I could imagine this version set to a beautiful arrangement of 12 Days of Christmas:

Twelve dirty dishes
Eleven bills a-piling
Ten friends to call back
Nine forgotten groceries
Eight broken ornaments
Seven loads of laundry
Six school activities
FIVE hu-uge spills! 
Four kid melt-downs 
Three pressing tasks
Two traffic jams 
And a dog who keeps jumping on me!

Fortunately, most holiday music doesn’t reflect daily life! It reflects ideals and values of humanity – joy, hope, family, and God – enduring truths that can get lost in our alter-carol-inducing lives.

How do we live the ideal of the best holiday songs we’re hearing on the radio and in malls this season?

We choose to. Whatever it takes.

It may just be that one thing that makes all the difference. Something small that helps us remember what we’re really about. For me, the one thing came in a very unassuming package recently.

That day, life was playing my version of 12 Days: my oldest awoke yelling at people, we ended up late for school because there were no non-itchy socks, and my 7-year old was threatening to barf up her morning medication again.

As the music of my alter-12 Days crescendoed in my ears, I saw the bracelet – a bright blue, well-worn YMCA lanyard from one of my kids that had the word “caring” written all over it. (Literally.)

Like it was a gift straight from heaven, I snatched it up and snapped it around my wrist. I didn’t care that it was bright blue and I was wearing a nice black outfit for my next coaching appointment. Because in that one small thing on my wrist, I had a reminder of what big thing matters to me. It became a support to live what I value, no matter how wild and crazy the day got. It reminded me that above everything else I’m about in life, I care for people.

Now, we all know that real change comes from the inside – from an attitude that keeps us going in tough times. But the reality is, sometimes we need tangible help too. Things like words (“thrive”), smells (coffee), sensations (favorite sweatshirt), certain people. Maybe even ratty little bracelets from the Y. Whatever it takes to live a life that honors the things we value, even when those things (or people!) make it tough.

After that day, I’ve kept the bracelet in my jewelry box. Every day this holiday season that threatens to pull me from what matters most, I get it out and put it on. That one small thing helps support me from the outside in, and reminds me that I value caring for people in my life.

Even when their actions help write new lyrics for my alter-carol!

What’s one thing that could help you honor what you value during this holiday season?
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Come say hello at these sites where I’m featured this week:
– Highlighted at Coming Clean: Confessions of an Imperfect Parent
– In the expert’s corner in a December 8 interview with Esteem Publishing

And if you haven’t checked it out already, come by and check out Moms Together on Facebook. It’s a dynamic new group of moms at all stages – sharing stories, resources, prayer and support.

Have a great day!

-Laurie

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