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The last time my husband’s family was together, I lost it. I was tending to our newborn, the 2-year-old was pitching a fit and running toward the road, my dear hubby was deep in conversation, and I was exhausted. In my husband’s defense, I have a bad habit of not letting him know I’m about to lose it . . . until it’s too late. He quickly came to the rescue and everything came under control, but my damage was done. Everyone was a little uneasy and I was really embarrassed (the bad thing about being a “stuffer” is that everyone’s super surprised when you snap and they wonder what in the world the big deal was?). This morning,  as I was day-dreaming about tomorrow’s Thanksgiving get-together, this memory suddenly flashed before my eyes. “Oh God, please don’t let me do that again.”


The problem is I usually do have these amazing, albeit unrealistic, expectations regarding the holidays. I’ll bet you do too? I dream about heartwarming chats with my sister-in-law over a steaming mug of coffee, sleeping in every morning with my hubby, perfectly baked apple pie, sweet memories of hunting the Christmas tree….


But it’s more like . . .


Two sentence conversations with the sister-in-law sprinkled with, “No sweetie, don’t touch that, and yes, you do have to eat your veggies.”


Waking up at the crack of dawn to a little hand patting my arm and a whispering voice saying, “C’mon, Mom, the sun’s up.”


Gooey apple pie in the middle that gets increasingly burnt crisp as you go toward the edges.


Everyone being aggravated by all the pine needles in the car and house.


Please tell me this is familiar to someone besides myself?

When all is life-filled, but my expectations are not, let me be still and give thanks.

Let me embrace the moments . . . the moments not created by my own dreams and expectations.  Maybe those moments are created by Someone much more creative and loving and all-encompassing than this girl who thinks she knows what perfect is.

Let me remember the wise words of Jim Elliot,

“What is, is actual — what might be simply is not, and I must not therefore query God as though he robbed me — of things that are not . . . [the] things that are belong to us, and they are good, God-given and enriched.”

For He is good and His mercies are new.

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