I can’t do it any longer. I can’t do it alone, and neither can you. I’ve tried to make it all come together perfectly, but I can’t. The holidays form a kind of microcosmic vortex of realization wherein my weakness shows up in droves. I need help (and so do you).
All my unattainable plans are thwarted by weather and illness coupled with some surgery and most likely untimely and expensive car repairs. I’ve come to expect that things won’t, and don’t, usually go as planned. I’m still learning how to enjoy life despite my desire to want things a certain way.
How do we take control?
If you’re anything like me (perfectionist, people-pleaser, over-achiever), you’ve probably tried done everything humanly possible not to fail. You want to look good. You want to look good to your neighbors. . . to your friends . . . to the other people at school, church, and work. You want success. You want perfection. You want control.
Ahhh . . . there it is: control. You and I often will do anything to have it. And nearly anything not to lose it. Darn control. Why do we want it so bad? Why do we crave it (sometimes) more than anything else in the world?
Usually, we don’t really realize it running in the background of our minds like spyware on an unsuspecting hard drive until something happens and we lose it.
How do we get it all done?
Christmas is an unavoidable time to lose control and admit that we can’t keep all the plates spinning at one time–even if we manage to give off the appearance that nothing is crashing to the ground. If you got your cards in the mail and your cookies all delivered on time. I’m proud of you. Honest. If you have a magic formula you’re willing to share, I’m all ears.
However, I’m willing to bet that you aren’t even enjoying it all. You’re probably worn out. You’re tired. You need a break.
My fall kicked off with one of my four kids having a tonsillectomy. Then I had a surgical procedure. And my husband took a new coaching position that required lots of evenings and weekends. Couple that with raising four kids and working from home, did I mention I need help?
Did you know there are 1,684 occurrences of the word “help” in the Bible?
When I searched for mentions of the word, “help” in the Bible online, I discovered that there were 1,684 occurrences of the word “help” according to Bible Hub.
One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 121. I took some liberty with it and gave it a Christmas twist, I hope you don’t mind:
Psalm 121 (Lauren’s adaptation)
I lift up my eyes from the shopping, the gift wrapping, the cooking, and the volunteering, and I ask, where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
the Maker of heaven and earth
He will not let my heart become bitter over all that I have to do
and miss the real meaning of Christmas.
He watches over me after I fall into bed
a heap of exhaustion and overachieving.
The Lord watches over you–
the Lord is your excuse not to overdo and over-commit
your perfectionism cannot overcome you
by day or by night.
The Lord will keep you from doing yourself in–
he will watch over me and help me relax and let go
both now and in the future
Let God (and Your Friends and Family) Be Your Help
I pray both now and in the future that you embrace imperfection and anticipate transformation as you let God be your help. I also urge you (as I’m continually learning) to ASK for help when you need it. I’m excruciatingly bad at this, but I’m learning ever so slowly.
I asked my in-laws to stay with us during the fall surgeries; I let friends help me and bring me food; I absolutely call a fellow parent when I need one of my kids dropped off or picked up; I even made a pact with myself that I would hire a house cleaner (I did) during this season in my life.
The more we’re real with ourselves, our friends, and family, and yes, even with God, the more we can embrace our need for help and reach out. It’s really the only way to survive. We all need grace, we all need love, and we all need help.