December 2010 Pearls of Encouragement for CWMs

Welcome
Article – Maybe This Christmas Will Be Different
Final Thoughts
 

 

 

The Voices of Christian Working Moms

Newly Released Book
written by
Author Kimberly Chastain

Welcome

We have been a little hectic at my house, so I’m sorry this issue is a little late getting out. We decided to do some home improvement projects at my house on top of all the normal hectic Christmas activities. So, this month’s article is one I have written before and I’m using this month. For some Christmas can be really stressful if you go back home to a dysfunctional family situation. So, hopefully this article will be of some help to you. May I wish all my CWM sisters in Christ a Merry Christmas where Christ is lifted up and adored. He is the best present we could ever receive and His gift lasts for eternity. Joy to the World the Lord is Come, Hallelujah!!

Would you like to surprise a sister CWM with a special gift celebrating her? Check out www.zazzle.com/cwm*.

Article – Maybe This Christmas Will Be Different

Have you always dreamed of a Norman Rockwell Christmas - where everyone is singing Christmas carols and there is joy in the house? Alas, your Christmas memories are often filled with Uncle Joe getting drunk and your parents ending up in a fight. By the end of Christmas day family members are mad and no one is talking to one another.

Christmas can be very difficult if you grew up in a dysfunctional family and you choose to go home for Christmas. Often the holidays bring out the worst in families instead of the best. Old arguments that have never been resolved are reignited. Old wounds that you thought were healed are ripped open once again. Is there anything you can do to truly make this Christmas different?

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Pray that God will give you the wisdom to know when to speak and when to stay quiet. Many times you won't win the age old argument. Is it worth the fight?

2. Have realistic expectations about what will happen at your family gathering. Often we dream and envision things will be different and our dreams are crushed once again.

3. Limit your time or choose not to place yourself in toxic situations. If you will be putting yourself or your children in physical or emotional danger you may need to choose to stay home.

4. Remember and be with your "adopted family". Often people from dysfunctional families have extremely close friends who feel like family. I have had several people tell me about a friend who is like a sister or a mother to them. You may choose to spend Christmas with your "adopted family".

5. Remember your heavenly Father loves you unconditionally and that He can meet your needs, even when your earthly family does not meet your needs.

6. Recognize that there is a difference between forgiveness and acceptance of actions. You can and should forgive family members and others who have hurt you. That does not mean their actions were acceptable. Also, you can be cautious of putting yourself into situations where you could be emotionally or physically harmed once again.

7. Don't be too hard on yourself. You may have made great progress in your own spiritual and emotional growth and find when you go home you are right back where you started. Dysfunctional family patterns have a tremendous pull. You can realign yourself when you return to your own home.

8. Make a conscious choice to raise your own children and live your life
in a more healthy family. Decide what new Christ honoring traditions you want to start for your family.

9. Be open to and aware of other people who come from hurting families. You have a story you may choose to share of the healing that has occurred for you. You can give others hope.

10. Be aware that your own addictions may resurface. Those could include overspending, overeating, drinking, or drug use. Often we try to soothe our emotional pain by overspending or overeating.

Above all I pray you will be kind to yourself. Have realistic expectations of what Christmas will be for your family. Create your own good memories with your own family or your "adopted family". Remember Mary's first Christmas was probably not what she expected. She probably did not plan on delivering Jesus in a barn (actually we know now it was more like a cave), but what a blessed and glorious night. May God be your peace and joy this Christmas.

Final Thoughts

May this Christmas you get some special time to just goof off and enjoy your children. Start a new Christmas tradition of staying in your Pajamas all day, for example. May we all teach our children the true meaning of Christmas and a thankful heart.

Till next time,

Kimberly M. Chastain

Kimberly M. Chastain, MS, LMFT is the Christian Working Mom Coach and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is the author of The Voices of Christian Working Moms, 2 ebooks and an online Bible study. To find out how to receive coaching tips by email daily, go to http://www.kimberlychastain.com/cwmtips.htm. To find out more about her books go to www.christianworkingmom.com. For a free, initial coaching session send an email to free@kimberlychastain.com.