On Christmas Eve of 2020, we ate take-out Chinese and watched an online church service, desperately missing our extended family and our special holiday traditions together. Later, on that oh-so-strange night, I lay on the couch, tears falling, and told myself that I would never again take family and friends for granted. Or crowds, live church, in-person shopping, or in-person anything! Shoulder to shoulder, face to face, hand to hand. People.
These last few years have changed all of us.
In the curriculum called the Covid Years, I’ve learned an old lesson in a new way: relationships are vital. We all know this. And I’ve always felt this as fact but wow, was it drilled down in those weird times. I vowed then to intentionally make my loved-ones and Jesus my focus each holiday. Despite the oddness and sadness, there was a beautiful unfussiness in the 2020 holiday and life seemed slower.
Yes, responsibilities are important and necessary, and during the holidays, many of us juggle more than our typical load. So often, I struggle to get it all done while remaining present. There is a boost in my self-esteem, a feeling of value that surges when I am uber-productive. I’m addicted to checking things off my list to the detriment of my relationships. I love people, and I love God, but if I’m not careful, I’m swept up in my typical seasonal trap. Yes, most items on my list are others-focused (buying gifts, charitable giving, baking, cooking, house tasks, etc.) But I want (and need) to connect deeply in my relationships at Christmas.
Perhaps a bit of Patty (or Paul) Productivity lives in you as well?Continue Reading