Christmas is right around the corner, and my friend, Liz Rasley, wrote a guest post gently reminding us we don’t need to spin all the plates. This time of year can be so stressful and make us bonkers, but Liz shares some wisdom about how to let those things go.
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
In short, no.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never added to my life by worrying.
Subtracted, oh yes, but never added.
And yet, December rolls around, and here I am again adding worry (and stress, let’s be honest) with (multiple) spreadsheets and lists of the things that have to be bought, wrapped, cooked, baked, pulled together, brought down from the attic or untangled. Or, in my own special little weird way (that reminds me just how much Jesus still needs to work on me) a DIY created an Advent calendar. I create my own Advent calendar each year for our little family since I am a special brand of crazy.
And yet, this wise verse from Matthew… Apparently, I still have a hard time digesting it, though it’s simple and to the point.
As if worrying about what I’m buying for anyone or, realistically, that one group that I will indeed forget until the VERY last minute (it’s always a group and it’s never on purpose) adds anything to this season. It doesn’t. In the case this particular time of year, it always, always subtracts from the joy I could be having.
And the joy, truthfully, of not only His coming, but perhaps the joy of a content, relaxed mind at a cocktail party with perhaps a little wine, great company from my husband, and the joy–the utter joy of being able to set the mental checklist aside, and enjoy the party. Instead of the usual, like I do this time of year, worrying and fretting to make sure something, not one thing drops. And the utter distraction and subtraction of the contentment of the moment…
I’m here to tell you this (which, if you look at it the right way, is freeing) IT will drop. Something will drop.
You’ll forget to buy that group of people or coaches a gift (again, despite admonishing yourself repeatedly.) Or you’ll forget the cookies on Christmas Eve, or that special colored shirt the kids were supposed to wear, or whatever it gets a rise out of you for forgetting to not remember. For me, it’s a handful of things, usually.
But like Matthew’s verse reminding us to not worry, some days (or let’s be honest, seasons) we just need to feel the freedom to not worry about some things, which feels very similar to letting things drop. I have forgotten where I read this, I think it was a MOPS blog, but the main point was this: Just let it go. Just let it drop. You’ll pick it up tomorrow; someone will remind you; no need to worry. Which, at the time I was reading it, felt crazy, too crazy of an idea to embrace. But also, oddly good.
It is December. It’s the month of “Do It All, Spend All the Money, and Make Sure We Are Having Fun and Making the Memories.” However, just a gentle reminder: It is not up to you to keep all the things going, spin all the plates, like some sort of insane, holiday-themed mom elf. If you forget something, the world will not fall off of its axis. In fact, I’ll challenge you that any of your family’s favorite memories are the things that went a little sideways, off the rails. The things I’m referring to, of course, that you could have never planned for or even knew enough to worry about would happen.
So, does worrying add to the value and quality of your life?
Subtracts, yes. But it certainly doesn’t add.
And yes, I am preaching this to myself as I tell myself gently and quietly, that perhaps, it’s time to let go of making my own Advent calendar this year.
*Liz Rasley is a writer who loves God, family, laughing out loud and writing. Doesn’t exactly love the laundry though. But has made peace with that. Mostly.
More of her writing can be found on her website, where she writes about the intersection of life, faith, and yes, laundry: www.deepfragilegrace.com