I need to exhale…decompress…slow down. I don’t know what it is about this holiday season, but I have felt out of control. Is it because I am juggling work for the first time in years? Is it because I am not used to the school routine of a kindergartener? Is it because we had a shortened timeframe between Thanksgiving and Christmas which was compounded by the snowstorm? For heaven sake, we have yet to bake and Christmas is days away!!!
I sent a text to a friend that I was suppose to meet for coffee to say that I needed a rain check until after the new year. She totally understood and told me that she respected my ability to say when enough is enough!!!
It is a skill to know your limits, you know? It takes discipline. It is really difficult when the people in your life don’t respect your limits, but sometimes you have to practice extending grace to get grace.
When I was going through counseling, I told my counselor that I was so stressed because I was trying to do too much, but I didn’t want to let anyone down. I told her I lived by the principle “do unto others as I would have them do unto me”. I just couldn’t stand it when people would cancel on me or be late, so I was constantly killing myself to meet this unrealistic expectation. She told me that I had it backwards! She said, “Wouldn’t you want others to have grace with you? Don’t you want them to not be mad at you if they are late or cancel?”
She was right! That verse is just as much about how to treat yourself as to treat others. Did I really want people to treat me with such harsh expectations? I started to relax. I started to give myself permission to not accept too much responsibility, to bow out respectfully if needed, or to be late because that is what I would want my friends to do if they needed to. I want my friends and family to know that I will extend grace, and I need grace to be extended.
Does this mean that I became unreliable? On the contrary, I became more reliable! I now know my boundaries and have learned to watch out for over commitments. My life has become more focused and the reality is that I am more responsible.
Friend, I want to challenge you with extending grace to others this holiday season. Isn’t that how you would want to be treated?
Having said all that, I am officially signing off the blog until the new year. Taking a break. Exhaling. Sigh.
I need to focus on my husband and kids.
See you after the New Year.