As a little girl, I remember riding in my mom's minivan around town when the sky was dark and the angels were lit up on light poles at major intersections.  Staring out my window, my mom would have Christmas music playing on the radio and I could hear her singing "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer."  We would come home and eat date nut balls, divinity, buck-eyes, and white chocolate pretzels.  These are cherished memories. Now, as a mom, I'm also trying to create memories with my children.

Marlee & Adeline won't sit still for a picture these days!

The buckeyes, the Christmas music and turning the house into our own little Winter Wonderland.  At the same time, I've been buying Christmas presents, ordering Christmas cards, and making special outfits for each holiday party.

It is exhausting.

While I love the holidays, I must admit that this year I have been stressed.  I think my Type - A personality has gone into overdrive.  I make to-do lists that are way too long and I stretch myself way too thin trying to make everything just right.

For instance, Raleigh and I decided to take the girls to Home Depot last week to get our Christmas tree.  It was around 4:00 on a weekday (Raleigh left work early so we could have some family time) and I gave the twins a good snack before we left the house.  Arriving at Home Depot, I got a buggy because I wanted to pick up a couple of extra items from inside the store.  The girls did not like riding in the buggy, forcing us to carry them all across the store.  Frustrated, I couldn't find what I wanted at a decent price.  Who knew cinnamon pine cones cost over $5?!  They are just pine cones!  So, we headed back outside to get our tree.  As I've mentioned before, I'm usually pretty easy-going when it comes to picking out the tree.  But between Adeline crying and the sheer exhaustion that I felt, I was no help in making this decision.  We finally selected a six foot tree from the bunch but I wasn't excited. I felt like the night was ruined.

Do you ever feel this way?

Like nothing is going right when you are so desperately trying?  Or, you are so tired you just don't care anymore?

I think it is easy for families - especially mothers - to be stressed around Christmas.  The stress comes in the form of bad attitudes, quick tempers, and illness.  The daily routine is thrown a million kinks in the system through parties and other festivities. Our memories of a simpler time invade our thoughts; convincing us that our mothers never stressed and our holidays were always perfect.  We keep going, and going, and going.

Until we break.

Because, unlike the Energizer bunny, we aren't powered by an everlasting battery.  We need rest.  I've begun to realize that I can't do it all.  At first, the admission of that statement makes me feel like a failure. But the more I think about it, I realize that it's the complete opposite.  It means I'm human and I have a limit.  Trying to go above and beyond that limit just isn't right on my mind, my body, or my spirit.

Realizing this, I've tried to switch gears and change.  I've accepted help from family with the girls.  I have gone to the park with my dogs.  Most importantly, I've sat on my front porch and had a quiet time with God.

The One who gives me strength, calms my heart, and purifies my mind.

The One that holds my hand and tells me not to worry about tomorrow.

The One who made me with a limit.

Friends, if you've felt like me lately, take some time to yourself.  Away from obligations and the sounds of the season.  Take time to remember what it is all about in the first place...


Till next time, let your light shine,

Blessings, christen