Walking to a co-workers office recently, I glanced at a calendar and noticed the date said October 14. I knew what the date was as I’d already been at work for quite a while that day and had pressed “send” on many emails with the date prominently featured. I don’t know what hit me, or why, but seeing that October 14 sent me into a mini-meltdown on the inside as I realized that Christmas was just two months and two weeks away.
Let me declare that I love Christmas and all that it represents. More importantly, I love Jesus, the reason we all celebrate, (or at least the reason we should all commemorate). Anywho, seeing that October 14 made me realize that for the first time in as long as I can remember, I had not been able to start my Christmas shopping early, and definitely had not been able to finish it by now as I had so many years prior. That revelation did something to me. It stung and scared me at the same time. You see, I’m a creature of habit. I like routine, structure, order, tradition, proactive and advance preparations in as much of my life as I can have it. I live for it, work toward it and thrive in it. It’s part of what defines my personality and that’s just the way it is. Having been thrown unimaginable curve balls since childhood, I’ve come to expect and appreciate the unexpected too, but I love a good ol’ dose of healthy habits. One of my healthy habits was early Christmas shopping, even having taught several classes on how to do it.
Seeing the date of October 14 triggered an inner “something” in me that signaled some overloads of communications in my brain that I had to quickly recognize and be rid of. I went into a fits of fiscal woes and wonders that I probably shouldn’t have even entertained in the first place. I’m by no means destitute, or anywhere near it. I’m very blessed and especially grateful. God blesses me tremendously, but changed circumstances and matters out of my control are temporarily causing what comes in to go out to places not previously assigned. So my challenge isn’t with my financial status. I know Who my Source is. I’m actually just waiting on the big ta-dah when God shows me that this season was all an amazing blessing in disguise! My challenge is concern (notice I didn’t say fear) of not being able to give, go, and do like I want to for myself and others. That thought can be a serious headache (and heartache). So on October 14 my mind did a doozie on me! It asked me questions like:
• Why hadn’t I been able to do any shopping? And what’s next to exit from my routines?
• Was this the future of my finances?
• How had other things so effortlessly replaced my ritual of purposefully and frugally shopping for friends and loved ones so that I wouldn’t be stuck spending big bucks in December?
• Who stole my money (figuratively, not literally)?
• Who could I blame for the financial state I’m in?
• Am I an awful planner?
• Am I struggling and if so, how did I miss the memo?
• Have I not been a good steward?
• Will I ever have more to give more?
• Is this temporary to teach me some lesson I must not have learned years before?
• God, what’s up with my pockets?
As the wouldas, couldas, shoulds, what ifs, why me’s and why comes ran amuck in my mind and tapped dance on my tummy I had to stop and write this post. I had to honestly get out what I was feeling so that it could be replaced with what should be. I know you might be thinking, “Geesh, it’s only Christmas gifts. It’s not that deep.” For me it was that deep, because noticing that date and eventually walking into my “Christmas gift closet” and seeing nothing but a few left over gifts from last year signified a major change in something I took great joy in doing. That signaled a (temporary) new season of learning (again) to manage with less.
After the whirlwind of thoughts settled I sulked for a bit. (Just being real.) Then decided that this was not my first go-round at the “God Bless Me and Get My Mind, Money and Money Management Right” Rodeo. I’m praying and preparing for creative ideas, cost-saving tips, angels on earth, new insights shared from wise men and women, discounts in stores, good stuff to write about on this journey, favor, free stuff to get and give away, people to bless in the midst of having less, but I will not be deterred by this detour. I simply won’t! I’ve now buckled up and am cautiously preparing for my ride to redemption deciding that tis the season to establish even newer healthy habits over developing unwanted headaches any day, or holiday of the year.