There are many wonderful things about this time of year.

The crisp cool mornings

The beautiful lights and colors

The fun and cheerful songs we sing

The friends and family coming to visit

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This time of the year is one of the most joyful and exciting times and you cannot help but see the excitement everywhere. From the lights that are hung on all the houses around your neighborhood, to the songs in the stores, and on the advertisements at your favorite restaurants. You see pictures of perfection everywhere.

But we are not perfect.

While we love seeing all the joy and beauty around us, sometimes this creates a need to try to replicate this exactly in our own homes. We can feel like we have to have the perfect entryway, that the tree has to have specific ornaments hung just so, and that we have to have orange peels and cloves simmering on our stovetop every day. Our drive to bring the joy and excitement we see everywhere outside into our home can sometimes become overwhelming.

Our houses do not need to be perfect

Especially with friends and family coming to visit, we can feel we need to present the best side of ourselves. That everything needs to be just so. That those little corners that seem to gather everything under the sun needs to be cleared out. That the laundry that seems to never make it to the closets needs to be taken care of immediately. That the most recent DIY decorations from Pinterest needs to be done and put on display for the visits. We go from being excited about visits and the season to suddenly being frantic and frustrated.

Grace

While we mean good, this can greatly affect the feel of our homes and how visits can go. We want visits to go so well but we end up being tough on ourselves and creating a tension that others don’t know how to handle or help. This is where we need to remind ourselves that grace is not just something we give to others. Grace is for us to give to ourselves as well. So many people forget this very important concept. While we have an image in our head of how things should be, we are human, life happens, and we need to be able to breathe and let go of the things that really do not need to be done.

I am not saying you shouldn’t do things for the holiday but I am saying for you to listen to your inner voice. God will sometimes whisper to you that you are missing something. There have been times where I am so caught up in a craft with the kids for the holiday and I have been frustrated because they are not paying attention to the directions and I suddenly realize I am missing something beautiful.

My kids could be dancing with each other to Christmas music.

Sharing the fun and exciting memories of years past, wanting to reminisce with me.

They could be having a random deep conversation that requires us all to stop and think.

I miss it because I am stuck in my head mad at myself for not having things perfect

We can give ourselves grace. We can give our frantic mind a rest. We can give our busy hands a chance to just sit in our laps. We can give ourselves a chance to sit on the couch and just enjoy the conversation with those visiting. We do not need to have everything done perfectly at the perfect time. The perfect time is when it just flows into the day and the perfect home is the one where everyone is welcomed and is relaxed with you.

Grace and blessings to you and yours this season

rachel-ns-pic-canva

Greetings! My name is Joy and I am currently a stay at home mom who is homeschooling her three kids in South Carolina. I love learning and I love sharing the love of learning with others so getting to home school my kids and watch the “ah-ha” moments when they understand something is unbelievably rewarding. I have been homeschooling since my twins were preschool age so we are going on 8 years now. I am also a military spouse so we have the added joy of being a military family with some of the complications that come with it.  As a family, we stay busy with our scouting groups, American Heritage Girls and TrailLife, and we do many camping and hiking trips with them. When I have downtime, I am typically reading books I have sitting around the house, on YouTube/websites getting more information on different home school programs or working on plans for homeschool. I look forward to being able to share our experiences with everyone and help encourage all homeschooling families.

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