Hello blog-world. I have missed you! Life gets a little nuts, I get a little nuts, and I sometimes want to disappear for a little while. This holiday season has kicked off with a bang, beginning with a trip to see my husband’s family in Mississippi. It really did feel like I was disappearing… There is not a whole lot to look at in the Mississippi Delta. Well, except for fields. Lots and lots of fields.
I like all kinds of people. Really, I genuinely appreciate almost any personality type, even if it is very different from my own. The challenge is learning to appreciate them all at the same time, like when you go to your in-laws for Thanksgiving and there are about 40 people there, most of whom you have never met. In these situations, I tend to get a little self conscious, and then I either put on the sugary-sweet-beauty-walk smile and do my best to present myself as adorable, or I don’t say a whole lot and find stuff to do to keep busy. I wasn’t feeling too terribly adorable this past weekend, so I kept to myself a little more than I probably should have.
Some people have told me I am a natural with people, and I believe they are assuming that means I am comfortable in a crowd, when in fact, quite the opposite is true. While I do consider myself a “people-person”, I am not comfortable in a crowd at all. I’m always worried I might come across the wrong way, or say something stupid, or just say the wrong thing… So I will typically find a quiet place and a book to drown out the nagging fear that I have somehow blown any chances of being really liked or accepted. (I always take a book to family get-togethers. My planned escape route, if necessary.) Or I find someone that I am comfortable with and hover close to them so I don’t look as out-of-place as I feel.
Getting ready for the trip, I was worrying (more like obsessing) over all the things that could go wrong and mentally preparing myself for every worst-case scenario. Don’t get me wrong… I absolutely love my in-laws. At least the ones I already know. They are affectionate, generous and fun. But you see, there were a lot of “unknowns” this trip. First of all, we were staying in their brand new home. And I worried about things like kitchen utensils, bath towels, and whether the twins would sleep. Then there was the fact that the whole extended family was joining us on Thursday, and I worried about things like what I should wear to blend in with the crowd (which I found amusing later, since we saw a little bit of every style you could possibly imagine), what I should talk about, or whether I made enough mac and cheese and chocolate cake. (The answer to that last part, by the way, is NO.) I could keep going with this list of worries, but you probably already get a picture of my insanity, here.
On Wednesday morning, getting ready to leave, I read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18- “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” followed by a friend’s Facebook comment, “Be blessed today, but most importantly, be a blessing.” Ouch. I was not gonna bless anybody with my neurotic attitude. And I knew it. So I started thanking God for the blessing of getting to travel to see our family. And for our abundance of food and supplies. And for a lovely home to spend the weekend in, and so on and so forth. Counting blessings is a miraculous cure for crazy. Try it. I then started praying that God would help me to be a blessing to those around me. Now, I have no way of knowing if I was or if I wasn’t, but the mantra in my head “Be a blessing… Be a blessing… Be a blessing….” carried me through the weekend without a single meltdown. So I guess that was at least a blessing to me! And to my dear husband. Bless him.
We enjoyed our time in Mississippi (especially the outlet shopping in Tunica) and were a little sad to leave everyone behind. But we brought our thankfulness home with us, and I am doing my best to maintain that same goal of being a blessing as we race through the rest of the holiday season. I know it won’t be easy all the time. But nothing good is ever easy, right?
So, Happy Thanksgiving, and may you each be blessed AND be a blessing to those around you. It is, after all, why God blesses us in the first place.