Today is the first official Arkansas snow day of 2017. I am currently sitting in my office at work, because snow can’t stop a lady from working when she is within walking distance. However, everyone else is pretty much out of school and out of work, as it is a lovely day to sit around and drink hot chocolate.
Having finished my regular work duties, it is now time for me to try to catch up on le blog. Something I have been thinking about lately (mainly to the credit of social media) is how much the holy trinity of holidays mean to everyone: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.
This time of year is marketed to be so happy and perfect. Expectations are high for a lot of people to give the best gift or set the loveliest place-setting. Individuals are supposed to be blissfully joyful as soon as the calendar flips to when Thanksgiving Day is in view. Dinner is made, trees go up, and a new year is within sight.
In reality, I look around and see broken people trying their best to keep their chins up in the midst of a broken world.
It is no secret that I struggle with perfectionism; you can ask my parents, my husband, my teachers. The trick is learning to recognize the things that I cannot change and how they influence how I feel. So, I guess this article is my first step to rehabilitation.
I see that the holiday season causes stress and discomfort for many who so desperately long for the simple joys of what the holidays portray. Relationships are strained because of unnecessary financial burdens, children jealously quarrel over everything and nothing at the same time, and people are just plain unpleasant in general. Not only this, but then you are expected to take a beautiful picture of your perfect family to put on the holy trinity of social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).
How can I prevent these negative attitudes in my marriage? How do I keep my future children from being horrible human beings? How can I prevent splitting myself into two separate beings (public and private) for the sake of people I don’t even see every decade to view on a computer? And is there a way to get a good picture for Facebook without destroying my family’s trust and intimacy?
I know. I know. I’m Debbie-downer today. It seems silly, but these things really bother me. I’ve prayed a lot about this and I keep coming back to one word: contentment. God expects me to be content with His love, His provision, and the future He has in store for me. Some days this is easy, but most days I endlessly struggle. Thankfully, my relationship with God does not depend on how much I trust Him on a daily basis, and that in itself is proof of what an awesome God I serve.
I am learning that I am asking the wrong questions. Instead of worrying about the potential negativity and heartache in my future, I should be focused on the present.
Is God enough?
Until I can answer this question with absolute certainty, I will never be content with my marriage, my family, or my social status. The catch is that I have to examine myself every second of every day. It is easy to remember me, but God is the one who ultimately provides satisfaction and purpose.
On a lighter note, please enjoy this picture of my husband who thinks he looks just like Groucho Marx…