Culture paints a lovely, fairytale-like picture of the holiday season, doesn’t it? Children dressed in matching outfits, sipping hot chocolate by a fire, opening a mountain of gifts in an orderly fashion while happy moms and dads watch with peaceful smiles. No unkind word escapes anyone’s lips and no one dreams of fighting with a sibling.
Did that describe your house? Of course not. It didn’t happen for me, either.
My Christmas season was a bit more dramatic, as always. The kids didn’t appreciate the tender spiritual moment I orchestrated, nor were they filled with good will toward their siblings. There was crying, slapping, bickering and arguing before the first gift was opened. No one rededicated their life to Jesus during my well thought out devotional and I am embarrassed to tell you someone crafted (and launched) a paper airplane while I was sharing the deepest part of my heart. In fact, one child dared to ask who Jesus’ mom was (as if we have never talked about the story). Children, please. It’s Christmas. Try to keep up.
If your holiday wasn’t magical and filled with the happiest memories since the debut of the Barbie Dream House, don’t be discouraged. You’re part of the vast majority of single moms who encounter disappointment, unmet expectations and even sorrow during what is touted as the most wonderful time of the year. Statistically, it is one of the hardest seasons for keeping emotions intact. So, if you found yourself frazzled, take heart in knowing you were not alone.
How can you recover from a lackluster holiday season and face the next 12 months with joy? What can you do to start 2019 strong? Consider these three suggestions.
- Let go of unmet expectations. For years when I carried the burden of unmet expectations deep into the month of February, creating bitterness and sadness. No one enjoys a mom who is weepy and irritated over a 2-month-old holiday hurt. Let go of all the feelings of disappointment and keep your eyes on Jesus, who always exceeds our expectations.
- Start over. I love turning a page in my calendar because it means a fresh start. This January, make the decision to begin something new. Engage in an online Bible study, tackle a new home project or learn a new hobby. Setting goals and achieving them can give meaning and purpose to your new year.
- Choose Jesus. Friends, the abundant life is found in Jesus. He alone is the Giver of joy, the Healer of Hearts and the Redeemer of Families. Move past the chaos of the holiday season and embrace Christ in 2019. Only a relationship with Him will fill the gaps left from life’s disappointments.
I’ve yet to meet a woman who didn’t have something about the holiday season she’d like to change. Let’s be women of God who can surrender those less-than-perfect days to the One who is perfect. Your holiday season may not have been wonderful, but our God still is.
About Kim Heinecke
Kim Heinecke wants to live in a world where children listen to the advice of their mothers without question. As a former single mom she’s been encouraging women using her life experiences in parenting, growing in the Word of God and everything in between. When she’s not negotiating with a teenager or wrestling a pre-schooler, you can find her camping in the family RV or pretending to understand sports with her husband and four sons. Read more from Kim at www.TheMomExperiment.com.