A Clergy Spouse Christmas List

I pull out my special Christmas to-do list to help keep my sanity during this frenetic season. No list of presents to give or cards to send. No list of decorations to put up. No list of cookies to bake.

It’s a list of permissions of what to let go of – like putting only lights on the tree, but no ornaments. Or downsizing from a tree that fills a room to a tree that tops a table. Even that which looks sad and puny transforms to glory and joy when lights are added. Hmmm … that preaches!

It’s a list to remind me to expect the unexpected – like the year Tim was asked to do the funeral for some poor kid who jumped off a bridge two days before Christmas. The needs of the sick and dying are never convenient, and they are always more abundant and keenly felt this time of year. So now I schedule lots of “air” in my personal holiday agenda. It prevents resentment from choking my compassion.

And it’s a list of small things to help me focus on relationships – like being intentional about pausing to kiss husband Tim as we pass each other going in and out of the house. Yep, I even interrupt his sermon-writing to do it. Nope, he never complains!

I update and save this list every year, and then pack it away with my favorite Advent calendar. Gives me strength and hope when I find it anew every year and think, “Wow. I’m smarter than I thought! I can do this.”

If you want more ideas for your own list, check out Georgie Menzies’s blog post; I think she’s spot on with hers.

My heart and prayers are with you in this final stretch of Christmas Crazies!

Remember, God assured Moses as he struggled leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

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