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Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's been an interesting month in the Whitwer house. Christmas 2007 will go down in our family history books as the holiday of simplicity. And I mean really simple.

I wonder if anyone else has ever gotten to the end of their time and energy, when you figure that not one more thing can be done. I've got boxes of Christmas decorations that are still in a closet. My Christmas cards (bought last year on sale) are waiting on the counter. I've got unmade cookies, unplanned parties, and unseen neighborhood light displays. It's been one of those months - or more accurate to say - one of those years.

In moments throughout my day I look at what I haven't done, and feel like a Christmas failure. After all, some women manage to get everything done, and look good doing it. Why can't I?

But then God reminds me of what I have done:
I have run a home-based business that cares for the needs of my family.
I have supported my husband so he can run his business.
I have attended every holiday concert and sports event this month that my kids have been in (and wrestling meets last for hours).
I have cared for the needs of five children (two of whom need hours of work each day in academics).
I have loved Jesus with all my heart.

No magazine will take pictures of my house this year. Martha Stewart won't want to know my secret for amazing home-made gifts. And I hope my friends and family will forgive me for not sending out Christmas cards for the second year in a row.

Maybe this Christmas is my year to just get down to the nitty-gritty of what's really important. What's really important this time of year is to remember that God sent Jesus as our Savior and He is our only hope in this world for peace and life. And He's our only comfort when we feel like we just can't get it together.

If you feel like a Christmas failure, then come rest in the arms of Jesus for awhile, and be reminded of what's really important.

Merry Christmas!

In His Love,


P.S. After getting over the flu myself, I did manage to make one more dinner that my family loved! It's the easiest recipe ever, called Chicken Roll-ups. Here's the link: http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,1639,147162-239200,00.html

P.S.S. We'll be leaving on a family vacation tomorrow for one week. When I resume posting in January, I'll be starting a series on organizing our workplaces. Please join me then.


Cindy said...

The chicken roll-ups sound tasty - thanks for sharing!

Merry Christmas,

Laura said...

My Dear, you are in such good company! There are so many "undones" on my Christmas list this year. For some reason, this year I have had to make a deliberate effort to focus on the real reason for Christmas. It hasn't come easy this time around. that is unusual for me, but it has helped to hear the stories of other mommies who feel the same way at times! Thank you for sharing.

April said...

Mrs. Whitwer,

Thank you for being a great source of encouragement for me so often. The Holy Spirit often uses what you have to say to encourage and push me to grow. An example, a few months ago you wrote a devo. about being a writer. I wrote to you and shared how I had battled with a desire to do so since childhood but college was a battle for a lot of outside reasons for me such as my family's divorce and other unmentionable personal wars. You encouraged me to keep trying. After your letter I began praying. So your Christmas gift to me? I printed your email and went to take the THEA (Texas college entrance test) to be able to register to finish my degree. I begin in the spring. In the area of writing, I max out at 100% 6 out of eight areas! I was at 80% for the other two. (We won't talk about Math, but I don't have to take remedial courses at least ;) and after being out of college since '98 I think that's pretty good!) What you have to say really matters. God is using you and the other ladies at Prov. 31 for so many of us, your readers, to encourage, inspire, and yeah, convict us into being the beauty His bride is called to be. I just wanted to thank you again, for the time you took to specifically bless me. What you and your family sacrifice for you to have the time to write and send out what you write matters! I am living proof.

Jodi said...

Amen to that!

MrsProverbs31 said...

Thank you for the devotion today. Knowing that someone else out there agrees with your belief feels good.

Linda Sue said...

My cousin sent me my first email from you and I immediately signed up. I sent it to my daughters and one of them signed up. So many times you speak right to my heart and seem to know exactly what I need to hear. I am back at work after Christmas and was a little sad about not putting up a tree or decorations this year. I live alone and no one was coming for a visit and I was making a scrapbook for a friend & making Christmas ornaments for gifts. I also worked on scrapbooks for my grown children and my granddaughter. I think we have entirely too much to do during the holidays and I work full time and I am 63 years old. I wanted to be a writer too, but didn't pursue it do to raising my family, working, putting my husband through college, etc. Thank you again for all your encouraging words of wisdom. Linda

Chappyswife said...

Glynnis, I love the Christmas season, the decorations, the music. I love blogging and sharing about what we're all doing to prepare, but if we aren't very careful, some of us can be made to feel inadequate, and I believe that is the last thing Jesus would want for us.

I so wish we could separate Jesus's birthday and all that that means to us and the whole gift exchanging experience. I think we've gotten so far off track. Don't feel bad!

Bonita said...

Glynnis, I'm right there with you on the "simple" Christmas. I didn't send out cards or bake cookies. I didn't attend a single Christmas party, play, or musical event until Christmas Eve night. I didn't go look at the Christmas lights even though our "Christmas town" is only 15 minutes from my house. I kept my shopping simple and as inexpensive as possible. We put up very few decorations and if it hadn't been for my daughter we wouldn't have done any decorating.

What we did do was focus on relationships. We spent time developing our personal relationships with the Lord. We opened our home to my mother-in-law who moved in with us. For the first time in 14 years we spent Christmas in New England with my husband's family. We've spent family time just the fours of us and my husband and I have gone on several date nights during the season. And I've spent time with my neighbor, friend, and mentor who has terminal brain cancer.

I don't feel like a Christmas failure and I hope you don't anymore either. This is definitely the most unusual Christmas I've ever had, but I look at it as the one where I finally got it right and put the focus where it really needs to be.