Pearls of Encouragement for Christian Working Moms
December 2006 Edition

Welcome
Blog
Online Bible Study
Article – Maybe This Christmas Will Be Different

Welcome

Are you surviving this busy time of year? My prayer for all of us is to truly focus on the real meaning of Christmas. Some of you have been a part of Christian Working Mom for sometime and many of you have recently joined us. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Christmas where Christ is King. The article this month is one I had written many years ago, but I think it can still be helpful. For those of you who are new to CWM. Please go to www.christianworkingmom.com and click on survey to fill out a survey about CWMs. We have close to 1300 surveys completed. I always enjoy hearing from other CWM’s, so if you get a chance send me an email to Kimberly@kimberlychastain.com.


Blog

Come join other CWMs at the CWM Blog. On the blog please share with us your other job, besides being a Mom. Also, any Christmas traditions you may have. As always you can start new comments on the blog. You can visit the blog at http://kimberlychastain.com-myjournal.

Online Bible Study

We have 3 lessons ready for the Online Bible Study. I hope to add more, but it may have to wait till after the first of the year. You can complete the Bible studies at your own pace and then share your answers on a discussion forum. To find the Online Bible Study go to http://kimberlychastain.com/discussCWMU.

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 should 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, but what a blessed and glorious night. May God be your peace and joy this Christmas.

Final Thought

Often during Christmas we get so busy we forget to spend time with the one Christmas is all about. Set aside time to be thankful for the best Christmas present we have ever received.

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 2 ebooks and an online Bible study. You can find more information at www.christianworkingmom.com. For a free, initial coaching session send an email to free@kimberlychastain.com.