He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.
I love the imagery here of God as a loving shepherd, gathering us close to his heart. I especially love the last line "he gently leads those that have young."
I our culture women are taught that we can do it all, be it all and if we are not there is something wrong with us. We should be able to work outside the home, volunteer for many things, teach Sunday School, cook meals, get laundry done, have the perfect "Pinterest" ready Christmas decor, do amazing things with the 'elf on the shelf', provide endless opportunities for our kids to participate in or experience all the wonders of the Christmas season.
I'm here to say YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO IT ALL!
God gently leads those that have young. Are you allowing yourself to be lead gently? I know Mama's of many little ones, Mama's who are holding down the fort with preschool, toddlers and a newborn while their husband is on deployment, I know Mama's with kids in school, or who are homeschooling. This applies to ALL Mama's.
I want to encourage you to opt out of the millions of things to do and pick a handful instead. Choose a drive through Christmas display and eat donuts while doing it, or go see a school production of the Nutcracker, bake cookies with your kids. Keep it simple.
Be good to yourselves. Listen to uplifting Christmas music, after all "White Christmas" is an iconic song and I love it but it doesn't build up my spirit the way Lauren Daigle singing "Noel" does.
Watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas." It's a classic and it's about learning about the true meaning of Christmas. Hint: it's not the tree!
Kids love to make memories and traditions, and you as the Mama can decide what those will be. It doesn't have to be what other families are doing. You can give grace to yourself and to your family, by not trying to keep up with the neighbors.
Make cookie dough up one evening, and pull it out the next day, roll it out and let the kids cut out the cookies. One year we brought dough we had already made up, cookie cutters, sugars and went to make cookies with our friends. They had four young kids and a new baby. The girls and I had so much fun making cookies with them! It was a blessing to all of us, and we cleaned it all up! My sweet Mama friend and I got a nice visit in, the kids played and made memories. It was great and it's one of my kids favorite Christmas memories.
I guess my thoughts today are with you all. It's a busy season and we can feel compelled to keep up with what others think are "must do's" at Christmas. I want to encourage you to let Him lead you gently.