‘Tis the season, former procrastinators – the perfect time of year to lay aside weights that pull us down. Then we can be free to enjoy the gratitude and celebration of both Thanksgiving and Christmas. We’ll also be free to bless others.
A young mother of toddlers blessed me decades ago. As newlyweds, we went to a couple’s home for dinner. While the wife and I finished preparations, she said to me, “People talk about entertaining. We don’t seek to entertain anybody. We want to nourish the people who come into our home. We want to nourish their bodies and their souls.”
Isn’t that wonderful? The warm welcome folks feel, genuine interest in them, encouraging conversation that honors the Lord – these count most. Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches might be the most enjoyable meal your guests have had in weeks. When they leave, their spirits are lifted, their souls nourished from time with you in your home.
To be able to offer such time together, we need to drop the weight of perfectionism. Drop the idea that the house must be decorated to look like a magazine, that the cookies must be homemade and precisely frosted.
Do you enjoy those things? Then choose to do the things you like and let others go. A friend told me at their house, they like pie making so they major on that and buy other dishes ready-made. Do what you can to make it easy on yourself.
You’ll be a much nicer person to be around. You’ll be free to see the hearts of others. Perfectionism is a stress we impose upon ourselves and inflict on family. When we feel pressured, we pass that on to those around us, and we miss the important. Perfectionism is not what it’s cracked up to be. (It may crack you up – in the not funny way).
Imagine if that young couple hosting us decades ago had entertained us perfectly, and we had gone home with warped ideas of what’s important. I’m so grateful they shared a simple casserole and words of wisdom!
What can you not do this season to create less burden on yourself and more focus on nourishing souls?