I have always dreamed of big long tables dressed in full glory for Thanksgiving and for a few years that worked. I so enjoy the magic of place settings and centerpieces.. These last few years, however, we’ve moved on to a tradition that works for this season of life.
It came about on accident really, but now we do a lodge getaway with just Cowboy and our children. We even go out for dinner. I know…I know….I have no pictures of a gorgeous tablescape and no legendary recipes from these last few turkey days. BUT let me tell you a little something about what I do have from this new tradition. I can remember almost every conversation we’ve had at the table with our precious kiddos that are growing into adults too quickly. I can remember what they were thankful for, what they laughed at and the little twinkle in their eye that somehow I was missing before.
I enjoy fixing a big meal for a house full of people. So, choosing this new tradition comes with some sacrifice. One of the toughest sacrifices — giving up my expectations. Ouch. Right?! But here’s a few ways I’m learning, ever so slowly, to prepare my heart for the holidays more than I prepare my home for the holidays…
Changing expectations – I’m learning ever so slowly through this whole parenting, step-parenting, and general adulting thing that it’s not lowering my expectations or even giving up on them. It’s changing my expectations. I can still fully expect incredible, special and blessed moments to come from the holiday. Here’s the mind shift change for me. Those incredible moments are not defined by me. They aren’t created by me. In fact, rarely do they even have to be planned by me.
Looking for the good stuff – Changing my expectations is so powerful because I’m free to look for magic moments as they happen. A good way for me to practice is to look for ways I can help that will go unnoticed. The view is incredible as I go about those ideas quietly and with a smile. In the ordinary moments of peeling potatoes, sleeping in or having another cup of cocoa, I’m no longer working toward a goal. Instead, I’m enjoying the goal. Time together.
Be gentle – When I am demanding too much of myself, experience around here has proven, that these demands are likely to be deflected on others. Everyone is left feeling like we don’t measure up. This goes directly against what the holiday season is all about. Deep breath. I am worthy and I don’t have to measure up because of His love!! Self talk and self care are both difficult if I try to change it in my mind, but if I let love and humility overwhelm my heart, then it just naturally overflows to those around me.
I look forward to a time when we again gather around a big table with all the fixin’s, but my perspective has been forever changed. Here’s to embracing the traditions that are right for us right now.
From R7 to you —
Be a blessing.
P.S. — to celebrate the blessing of our FIRST retailer to carry our farmhouse tables we are GIVING AWAY a FARMHO– USE table. No joke!! Link on over to our Facebook page and follow the steps to be entered then comment below about the holiday traditions you are embracing this year.