I listened to a really great Podcast I wanted to pass on called Loving My Actual Christmas with Alexandra Kuykendall. It was on the Focus On The Family broadcast. Here is the link:
This is an excellent Podcast to listen to if you are stressed about Christmas in any way at all! I definitely related to the guest, author Alexandra Kuykendall because there have been years that I too have been anxious to the point of being resentful. As she says, we women are often the orchestrators of the holiday and our task lists are lengthy. This conversation was filled with great insight and reminders to shift my focus back to what is good.
My first take-away was that Christmas is messy and imperfect and it was that way since the day Jesus was born! Mary probably didn’t want to travel pregnant or give birth in a barn!
Alexandra: “So Christmas entered humanity’s story when things weren’t perfect. And the holiday enters our lives every year when life isn’t perfect.”
My second take-away is that Christmas accentuates the struggles of our lives that we feel all year. If we’re lonely, we’re lonelier at Christmas. If money is tight all year, it’s even more so at Christmas. Family struggles peak during the holidays. So I think that perspective was something so good to point out!
They talked about expectations and opinions (including the kids’) and traditions and how we want them to look. She wrote a book where she looks at hope, love, joy and peace and what those words really mean. They are often just words decorated on pillows but they have a deep meaning especially this time of year. It was a really thought-provoking conversation and I would encourage you to listen to it (and probably read the book if this all hits a nerve.)
Here is the last bit I really liked. Rather than risk losing its meaning with my paraphrase, here is what Alexandra said:
Alexandra: “Well, the good news is that we have good news, right? So the Christmas story is God entering in the middle of grief. He enters the world for us, especially for us that are grieving. He came for the brokenhearted. He didn’t come for the people who already had a joy-filled heart. He came for the brokenhearted. So that - if you think about the characters in the Christmas story, there was a lot of grief in there, a lot of disappointment, a lot of unmet expectations…”
And later she says: “You know, this is a crazy time for me, too. I’ve got all the same to-do lists that you do. But I am living under this umbrella of peace because my heart knows that I am loved and because I remember that the reason we do this whole crazy making in the first place is because God changed the trajectory of humanity when He stepped on to Earth as a baby, and we celebrate that now. And that is what gives me peace, even though I’ve got a lot of wrapping still to do.”
Thrilled to learn that she also has a Podcast called "Open Door Sisterhood". I subscribed to it because I like how she words and packages things.
Anywho... just wanted to pass this on in case anyone else is feel anxious about the upcoming holiday!
Thanks for swinging by,