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Slow Down

Y’all. Time is flying. Weather is cooling, decorations are twinkling, and the days go by so quickly! That could have a little bit to do with the fact that the sun is only up for ten hours, but eh… who is paying attention to that?

This season of waiting, of already and not yet has even more meaning this year. Not only are we celebrating the coming of Christ as a helpless babe, but we are also celebrating Christmas… a first christmas for D, a second for J (and likely his first in memory) and a fourth for EK (and she is all about the traditions since she remembers some things from last year). 

We also have parties, church services and gigs to plan for. This is all in addition to leaving town all of next weekend, and leaving the kids with my parents. Hubby’s cousin is getting married, and I am turning 30. It just seemed like the right time. But what will we be missing when we go?

EK remembers our advent calendar each day, and understands when we tell her something special is happening. For instance, tomorrow we have breakfast with Santa with Hubby’s family, followed by Disney on Ice with some dear friends. It makes for a busy day, but a wonderful time  for our kids. I am just as excited as they are! 

But there is some trepidation there. With our littles, it’s proven to be hard to get anywhere, much less on time. It’s hard to pack everything we need, feed everyone on time, and let everyone get their rest when they need it. I know this is a season, and a short one in the grand scheme, but I am lost in the details. 

I am struggling to not lose sight of the important things, as I cross off my to-do list, see my gift-buying list get shorter, and attend more events than I ever thought possible. How did I get so busy? Didn’t I decide to stay home so that life could be more simple? It just seems more hectic as we get closer to Christmas. 

I know I’m not the only one feeling this way… I can’t be. Others have full plates or young children or both. All parents balance their work and home lives, and try to make Christmas magical for the children. But as life gets crazier, I find myself pining for morning pajama dance parties, pb&j lunches and movie-watching evenings. I just want to relax and read Christmas stories with my family, and there doesn’t seem to be time. 

So here, in the eleventh hour, I choose to slow down. I’m not adding anything else to my full calendar, or looking for any other happenings. I want to watch Christmas movies more evenings than not. I want to drink hot chocolate. I want to drive around our neighborhood, looking for lights. I’ll unplug, bake cookies, take naps, and read those Christmas books over and over. My kids will love it, because they love slow time with us. They’re not begging to travel or go to events. They’re not asking for fancy toys and huge presents (yet, anyway). I will slow down and enjoy this magical time of twinkly lights, sugary treats, family and friends, and the baby Jesus’ birth. We all need it. We all need love and grace and hope that even in a busy, and sometimes scary world, there are good things. 

Whitney Hsu

Whitney is wife to wonderful Ryan, and mama of bold and hilarious Ella Kate, Joseph and Davis. She leads worship at a new campus of an old church, and writes about life, parenting, and the Gospel. When she isn't writing, she's reading, running, making music, and being a foodie. Follow her journey here: Twitter & Instagram @onlyhsuman

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