As joyous as the upcoming family-centric holiday season should be, at this particular life-stage it can be more of a cause of stress than a blessing (especially for this introverted introvert). Trying to uphold traditions and necessary schedules, and finding the balance between others' expectations and what's best for our own little family... 'tis the season for grace. Lots and lots of grace.
I got some practice this past weekend, when we went to Fayetteville for part of two days. It could have been horrible - we drove up one morning and returned the next afternoon, stayed with my parents, visited Adam's, and had a long to-do list of tasks that needed to be accomplished while we were there. But it was lovely.
Brooklyn slept extremely well the one night we stayed, and awoke delighted (if a little earlier than usual). She was patient and contented for the drive both ways, and spent a grand Saturday with Adam and his parents as we divided-and-conquered and I met a friend for a couple of hours and ran some errands (and stopped by Handheld's beautiful new location for some yarn and a few moments of knitting).
There were so many possible opportunities to stress. Getting up in time to meet my friend. How was that going to work out with when Brooklyn got up? Originally I was meeting two people, so there was that coordinating to do (the second person ended up being able to come by where I already was). There were things that needed to be got. But Brooklyn needs to nap about 4 hours after she gets up, so if she got up too early that would shorten the time I had to do things in (and also shorten the time she and Adam got to spend at his parents')... the list goes on.
But you know what? If you just put on a cute outfit and decide to have fun with it, trusting that the ones (or One) who so faithfully take care of you will continue to do so, then usually everything works out (and if it doesn't, you at least had a good attitude about it and it doesn't seem as bad as it could). Faith, trust, and pixie dust, and you may take flight in a pair of tied-on butterfly wings. Toddlers can be insightful that way, and sometimes pixie dust is just another word for grace.
So I've learned valuable lessons in simplification, and faith, that I can apply to my day today and to the weeks ahead. My focus should be on today, anyway, instead of stressing about what's to come - the One who makes the sun rise and brings new mercies to every morning has a handle on tomorrow and He is faithful to provide.
What areas in your life could use a handful of pixie dust (also know as grace)?