Most of us love being generous with others and connecting with friends and family at holiday festivities, but there is fact that cannot be denied. Holiday fun is connected to the stress of busy schedules and endless opportunities to help the less fortunate. I love living in a community that is so others oriented. In the last twenty-four hours I’ve been invited to to feed the poor, buy coats and shoes for those without and donate toys to needy children, and Christmas is still four weeks away!!! However, my question is, “How do I show love to others AND manage my time, money and energy responsibly?”
Holiday demands can do one of two things: 1) squeeze the life out of you or 2) squeeze life from you. I know I’m not the only woman that has run herself into the ground with busyness and counted down the days until the holidays are all over, but I’m learning some things I’d like to share.
- The weight of the world in NOT on your shoulders. –Spend a little time analyzing the needs in your community. Decide what and where you’ll give and be at PEACE!! Your gift will go farther and have a long-lasting effect when the motivation behind it is joy and not pressure.
- The world won’t come to an end if you STOP and take a break.-Do the unexpected and give yourself a moment of refreshment. Put your pjs on at 5 in the afternoon, let the kids have popcorn for dinner or skip washing the sheets, just once. (If you bathe before bedtime, they’re not really dirty anyway.)
- NO is not a curse word!!-Saying no doesn’t mean, “I don’t love you” or “You’re not important.” In the right context, it means, “I realize I’m only flesh and bones and I’m going to be smart enough to take care of this flesh.”
When holidays, needy loved ones or career goals pressure us to give from an empty tank, life is siphoned from us and we end up empty-handed for the “life assignments” that do belong to us. Recognizing our limitations isn’t weakness. It’s smart, it’s mature and it’s freeing!!
There’s a fruity cliché that says, “When life give you lemons, make lemonade.” I’ve decided I want my life to be like a plump, juicy orange and therefore am initiating my own fruity expression…
”Freshly Squeezed-Giving Life!”