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Preparing Our Hearts for the Holiday Season

Let’s look at the idea of preparing our hearts for the holiday season. This is the time of year when excitement is running high. The holiday season. So, why do we need to think about preparing our hearts for the holiday season? It is because you would be hard-pressed to find a family who isn’t broken a little. And while we heal and move forward, the holidays have a tendency to rip open those old wounds.

Preparing our Hearts for the Holiday Season

  1. Lower your expectations. We all want the perfect Hallmark holidays. My goodness, there are channels dedicated to making movies about this very thing. The reality is, that there is no perfect holiday. Inevitably, something will go wrong. So, plan your heart for it. It will make you feel better in the long run.
  2. Set boundaries. If you do not want to open your home to family, don’t. If attending the office party is triggering for some reason, skip it. Only you know what you can handle. So, set boundaries and keep them.
  3. Don’t over-plan and overspend. There is nothing more terrifying than a holiday paid for on a credit card that you can’t pay off. Live within your means, always. But, especially during the holidays. The extra financial stress is just not worth it.
  4. Don’t use this time to try to make amends with seriously broken relationships. Families are so hard. And family hurt can run deep. If you are faced with a family dynamic that is severed or strained, don’t choose Thanksgiving dinner as the time to mend those fences. Serious conflict resolution takes time and relationships are not usually mended over turkey.
  5. Lastly, remember that you are enough just as you are. You don’t have to be a super parent, colleague, or friend. Those store-bought cookies are just as good as homemade ones. That dollar store card to the mail carrier is thoughtful enough. You don’t have to give them a handpainted ornament like your neighbor. Watching a movie with your kids is just as special as a trip into the city to see a big show.  You. Are. Enough.

Preparing our hearts for the holiday season is just as important as celebrating it. We are in this together.

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Choosing Mental Health Over Perfection During The Holidays

Today we are going to look at the importance of choosing mental health over perfection. The first quarter of school is in the rearview mirror. We survived. Well, sort of. The return to full-time, in-person learning has been nothing short…

Choosing Mental Health Over Perfection During The Holidays
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Three Things We Can Learn From Nature

You know from my reflection about the bird nest, that I firmly believe we can learn everything we need to know from nature. As Spring begins to unveil its gloriousness, I am reminded once again how true that is. This past weekend, my family discovered a very large turtle on our property. As I watched this magnificent creature make its way through my yard, I reflected on some things that I would like to share with you. 

Do the next thing

Admittedly, I am in a season of overwhelm right now. Consequently, it feels like the ping pong scene from Forrest Gump. I am constantly getting whacked and bounced from one issue to the next. That is such a “human” thing. As I admire that turtle, I realize that although I am not sure what his mission is, he is focused and determined to complete it. Laser. Sharp. Focus. So friends, when your mind starts to feel like a ping pong match on steroids, just do the next thing. Don’t think of the million other things. Do the next thing

Wear your battle scars with pride

At every turn, it feels like there is a new cream, procedure, supplement, or routine to help us look flawless, ageless, like new. Why do we do that? My turtle friend carries her scars with pride. Dirt crusted on her shell, wrinkled skin from time spent basking in the sun, and cracks and bruises from the natural struggle of being a turtle. But, we marvel at her. She is beautiful, scars and all. And so are you. 

Retreat when necessary

It was beyond exciting for my family to see our turtle friend. With excitement, there is noise and laughter and jumping up and down. At first, the turtle moved forward, unbothered by our presence. And then, as turtles do, retreated into her shell to take a moment to regroup from the excitement my family brought to her journey. She paused to breathe. Friends, how many of you are forgetting to retreat? Refusing to breathe?

Can we pause for a moment to think about what these three things look like for our transgender community? They have to do “all the things” just like the rest of us. Meanwhile, they also must fight for freedoms, advocate for health care, and seek community and friendships that are allies. So consequently, it is beyond exhausting. 

They are bombarded with a culture that promotes youthfulness and beauty PLUS the constant worry that they will not receive gender-affirming medical care. 

They need rest and respite, yet cannot let down their guard for a second, because the enemy is always ready with a new law or mandate that dictates who they are. 

We are worthy just by being, not by the amount we accomplish. We are all beautiful without creams or tinctures to make us look younger. Everyone deserves rest and reprieve from a loud and sometimes overwhelming world. 
Just like the turtle, you are enough.