December 18, 2009
Every year when the Christmas season comes upon us, I vow to keep things simple and to not stress.
Every year, I seem to fail.
I want Christmas to be filled with magic and wonder for my children, and I think it is. And I always enjoy it when the festivities really start. But the weeks leading up to Christmas are so filled with excited children, shopping to do, gifts to make and wrap, house to decorate, Lucy’s birthday to celebrate and somehow make feel special even though it’s right before Christmas. And it’s all on top of all the regular duties of mothering and homemaking that threaten to consume me even when it’s “ordinary time.”
So I sometimes get a little Grinchy.
I’m trying to breathe and keep things in perspective. Everything does not have to be perfect, right?!
Yesterday I was feeling frazzled (of course) and was looking forward to the hour spent watching Bridget’s gymnastics class, where I would be forced to just sit. I was planning on working on a small sewing project too. (Doll clothes!) So when I saw an acquaintance there that I hadn’t seen in a few months, I nodded and smiled and waved across the way, but was not in the mood to engage her in serious conversation.
Well, God had other plans for me, and I’m so glad He did.
Long story short, we chatted a little and she filled me in on some events in her life that have been difficult in recent months. She is a Christian also, and we spoke about God’s will, His leading, etc. Wrapped up the conversation when the class ended and we bade farewell, only to bump into each other at a local toy store right after gymnastics. We chuckled and got to talking there. And she shared more of her recent struggle with anxiety and depression, and her feelings of shame that as a Christian she would be dealing with these things. I felt totally like a reluctant prophet at the beginning of our talk, but ended up feeling totally blessed by being able to share with her some of my own story and I think she was really encouraged to hear about it. There remains such a stigma about emotional/psychological problems as Christians, and the judgmental attitudes toward anti-depressant medications and talk therapy are so frustrating to me. I gave her my take and encouraged her to follow a course of treating her depression, with medication if necessary, and definitely with counseling.
I am a supporter of New Life Ministries, and referred this sweet struggling woman to their website and network of therapists. I also listen to their daily radio show via podcast. LOVE it! The humor and wisdom that the team of counseling hosts brings to people’s problems is refreshing and helpful. I highly recommend this ministry.
Well, I suppose I should wrap up this long, rambling post that doesn’t have much of a theme or nugget of wisdom at the end, or even any humor. “She’s a mean one, Mrs. Grinch…” 🙂