Somehow, the holidays started early for me this year, with All Saints' Day. Obviously, it's going to get real in the next week. I made the mistake of trying to do a quick stop at the grocery store after church today... Dang! Turkey Day preparation is underway!
Most of you already know how I feel about the holidays. I love them. And I hate them. They scare the crap out of me. Talk about emotions all over the map at any given moment! Even things like FB's current profile picture frame "Thankful for us" is a little cringe-inducing for me. Not that people shouldn't celebrate and rejoice in their families! I think it's a good thing. It's just not an easy thing for me.
Then, this weekend, just before I left work, I found out that I may be losing a lot of hours at work. It may not be long term, but I have limited ability to hold out with a small paycheck for even the short term. It's scary and uncomfortable because I like where I work, and I love the people that I work with, and I don't want to change any of that. The reasons behind it also make it feel like my one boss doesn't appreciate the current people. I know that's not it, but it feels that way.
In a few days, I get to go spend time with my family, and there's some tension and drama, not to mention politics. Should be an interesting weekend!
However, this is not really a "woe is me" post. (It would have been on Friday night, but this is Sunday, so we're good.) So far this month and these holidays have been peaceful. While it will be a day by day thing, I have hopes that this may continue. In terms of the family, things haven't been easy, but it has made me do some learning, particularly in regards to listening. I've been reading a book about it, and I hope I can continue to keep learning and applying things! I have been trying to start to apply this, and while I have a long way to go, I am realizing some common shortcomings that I have and continue to perpetuate. It's exciting to try to change some of them and how people respond to my imperfect attempts to be a better listener.
With that in mind, it helped me to see where my boss might be coming from in making some of her decisions. It does not mean that I agree with her decisions. I may still have to do something different, as I do have bills to pay. But it does help me to see how I can have a more respectful conversation and response to her in the moment.
I'm a little nervous for the family gathering, but also excited to perhaps begin to change some of our same old conversations that lead to the same old hurts building up further and further. I'm excited to see if I can listen in a situation where it seems that most of the tensions are coming from not being heard. I know this is a situation that needs a lot of prayer, but I really do feel like it is an opportunity as much as it is a bit of a cross right now.
Then there's this trust thing. I really love the way that God asks for our trust. We want control, even if that just means that we need to know what's coming next so that we can prepare ourselves. In reality, He seems to be asking for us to accept enough for today and let tomorrow take care of itself. (Sound familiar? I know we hear it in the Bible, but I guess I don't always listen very well!) I was a little worried about my hours earlier this year, and then I have had better hours than I have had in a long time. It may go down really soon, but I have at least another good week or two before that happens. In the meantime, there are some things that I can do outside of my comfort zone to try to work on things to increase my hours. Some of these are things I've been wanting to do but haven't had the time for, so this is also an opportunity. If, in the end, none of that pans out, we'll see where God leads next. Whether things change or things stay the same, it really doesn't matter as long as I am doing what I can, and leaning into Him for the rest. Just one step at a time. It may keep going straight or take a turn on another road, but either may be a great opportunity.
Not only that, but I may get to do a little more climbing in the next month or so!! I am so excited that I can't even tell you. It's a part of my life that I have really missed over the last couple of years, and I have been praying for a way to get back into it. It'll be all indoors this time of year, but I don't care. I'll take what I can get! Not that that really has anything to do with the previous parts of the post, but it is just a part of my current feelings of contentment.
There it is. Here come the holidays, and I am currently excited and optimistic for them. I don't really care that that could change shortly, because if I am only going to take one step at a time, all I have to do now is rejoice in this moment of contentment. I do have two prayer requests, if you think of it. One is for my family to be able to sort some things out, and the other is that I wouldn't have to go to another Mass alone on a high holy day (so, Christmas). As we head into Advent, please let me know in the comments or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if there's anything that you would like me to pray about for you!