Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Heart Check for the Holidays

It's already begun at the Patrick household!  I'm making my crazy lists in my head for the holidays.  It won't do me any good to write them down.  I'll just lose them!  I can keep better track of the lists in my head.  But there are lists for decorations; first Thanksgiving, then Christmas.  There are lists for what food will be prepared for each celebration.  My oldest son's birthday is on Thanksgiving this year!  My birthday is just five days later, so, another feast!  Then, there are the lists of guests and visitors for parties, for meals, for sleepovers.  I even have a mental list of what old Christmas albums I will play on my mom's stereo.  Oh yes, I have this down to a real production.

It's pandemonium in my mind, already!  So, I've decided to do a heart check.  Not the cardiologist kind of heart check.  But the kind of heart check where I sit down and get honest with myself and the Lord, about what's really going on under all the activity.  Am I remembering what all of this celebration, friends and family gathering, is all about?  My passion since my earliest memories, is for people to know that they are loved and valued.  My deepest desire is for others to know that they were created for a reason and that they are God's answer to something.

But somewhere in life's hustle and bustle, in the planning and conforming to the world's idea of what celebration looks like, we stuff our passions down, tuck them away in our hearts and offer up something that looks great but is empty and void of our first love.  John Eldredge says, "For what shall we do when we wake one day and find that we have lost touch with our hearts and with it the very refuge where God's presence resides.?"

I don't want to get lost in a bunch of activity for God and in the meantime, forget to spend time with God, talking with Him, receiving grace to carry out my passions.  So I'm doing a heart check for the holidays.  I'm making sure that I'm remembering all that my heart yearns for, all the desires that he placed in my heart; and I'm going to incorporate those things into my lists and my plans for the holidays.  As I celebrate what I'm thankful for and remember the birth of a Saviour who came here for me, I will look inward and be true to who I am.  I am someone who desires people to know how valued and precious they are and when they visit my home for the holidays, I want them to leave knowing that God created them as the answer to something!

How will you incorporate your heart's passions and longings into your Thanksgiving and Chrismas celebrations?  Will you do a heart check with me to make sure that we remember why we are thankful for so much?

From His Lap,

24 comments:

  1. Growing up the holidays were really no big deal. In our family it really wasn't about the gifts. My mother used to literally have to drag me out of bed in the morning to make me start opening presents. I remember baking cookies with my mom and going to christmas eve mass more than I do opening any presents. It makes me sad how commercialized the holidays are now. Yes I love decorating as much as the next person, but thats not really what its all about. It should be about spending time with family and friends and being happy and thankful. We have had a very rough two years in our family, but it could have been worse. We just chose to look on the bright side as much as possible, as tough as it is sometimes.

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  2. I think this time of year is harder than ever to make God our priority. I know, with our church, there is a lot of community service involved. All that is wonderful, but sitting at God's fear is more important. Thank you for this reminder.

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  3. I love you and your blog Erin! It is so easy to get caught up in the frenzy of the holiday season and forget what it is all about. Thank you for the beautiful reminder!

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  4. Diane,
    I decorate and plan big meals for my loved ones so that they feel special and loved. I'm so sorry that your family has had a rough 2 years. This has been a tough year for our family so I plan to love on everyone as much as I can. Thank you so much for stopping by!! You are a blessing!
    ~Erin

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  5. Shanda,
    You are so right. I plan on including time with Him right in the middle of my lists and my cooking and decorating!
    Hugs,
    ~Erin

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  6. Kathy,
    I love you too, sweet friend! You are such a blessing to me. Thank you for your kind words. I know that you will remember what the holidays are about and you will bless those you love.
    xoxo,
    ~Erin

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  7. Erin,
    What a great reminder! I do feel my heart race just a bit when someone says holidays. I don't want it to be there, so I need to work on that this season.

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  8. Thanks for the great reminder-I like the idea of a heart check. I love the holidays, but dislike getting so worked up in the 'must do's' instead of enjoying every moment.

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  9. Christina,
    I LOVE to decorate and cook. It's all done from love for family and friends. But I need to be reminded that the more important thing is to just love on them!!
    Love you!
    ~Erin

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  10. Jennifer,
    Thanks so much for stopping by! I bet you make the holidays very special for your loved ones! Thank you for visiting here!
    Hugs,
    ~Erin

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  11. Oh my how timely was this! You are led by the Spirit and stopping past your blog I got what you desire for those who come to your home. Thank you! :) I have been meditating on the song you love me anyway by Sidewalk Prophets to keep my mind on the One who makes all of life matter.

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  12. Great, we're coming over for Thanksgiving dinner at your house, hahaha, just kidding. But so true that we need to be thankful for so much this season while so much is going on.

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  13. Thomasina,
    I'm so glad! Your words truly blessed my heart! I will have to ck out that Sidewalk Prophets song!
    Hugs & blessings, sweet sister!
    ~Erin

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  14. Barbara,
    You would be most welcome here for dinner! The more, the merrier! I know you make the holidays wonderful and special for your family!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  15. Your timely post reminded me of a poem my mother wrote about a woman who had finally gotten everything ready for Christmas...decorations, parties, food, gifts etc...then on Christmas Eve there was a knock at her door and the Savior asked her if she had taken time for HIM!

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  16. Becky,
    I didn't know your mom wrote poetry. That must be where you get your writing skills from. I bet that poem is very powerful.
    Hugs, sister!
    ~Erin

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  17. erin, i love that you called it a heart check. i think it is so very important to truly remember the meaning of thanksgiving and christmas.
    i was just talking to steve a bit ago about this.
    we were in the grocery story and i was amazed at how much they were already ready to sell sell sell christmas foods and drinks of every kind.
    hey, i love christmas foods and drinks! but i love the being surrounded by the ones i love...at such an amazing, blessed time of the year...way more than anything else.
    for as busy as it all gets, this year my goal is to slow down, even amongst the craziest of times. take it all in and thank God for all my blessings.

    i hope your week has been good to you <3
    xoxox
    maria

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  18. Maria,
    That is where my heart is too! I bet you make the holidays sweet and special for your loved ones!
    xoxox,
    ~Erin

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  19. Erin, you know I'm just like you with the holidays. Everything needs to be just perfect and it's all about creating those memories. But yes, you are right. Let's not forget to slow down and reflect on the reason for the season. Let's not forget to slow down and enjoy the abundance of blessings around us in our family and friends. Thank you for this beautiful post. :-)

    Hugs,
    Rosann

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  20. Thank you for this post! I was so stressed about the upcoming holiday's that I wasn't remembering what they are really about. I will make sure I take time to fully enjoy my family and the reasons we are all together this year. Congrats on being a featured member on VB this week. :)

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  21. Thank you, Rosann! I know that you are going to make lovely holidays for your family and friends, just because of how caring you are!!
    Thank you for being so supportive and encouraging.
    Love you!
    ~Erin

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  22. Kristy,
    I'm so glad you stopped by! I hope that you have the most wonderful, special Thanksgiving with your family and friends!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  23. Isn't it amazing how, in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we can get lost in the aesthetic aspect of it all? I hope you can find some time during this season to check in with yourself. Thanks for the reminder!


    Stopping by from vB!
    Gina
    www.totallyfullofit.com

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  24. Gina,
    I'm so glad you stopped by!! I'm going to combine my love for decorations and cooking with the love that I have for family and friends and make them all feel gooooey love!!
    Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!
    ~Erin

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Thank you for giving us a little nugget of truth from your heart!

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