Below is an excerpt from an article I shared with you a number of years ago. It feels like it applies this year more than ever for many of our families. So with thanks to Pastor David Lose, who now serves at Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, I share with you this brief but important reminder. Even if you are not a parent (or maybe you are a grandparent), fell free to pass this along to someone who needs this word of grace. Finally, thank you for all that you manage to do for all the right reasons, to raise the children of our faith community to trust in Emmanuel, God in flesh with us, Jesus Christ our Lord.
"Whether your parenting a newborn, toddler, teen, or college-aged kid, all this gets amplified at Christmas time. So many opportunities, so many expectations. Way more, in fact, than any of us can handle.
So here's the deal: Moms and Dads everywhere: you don't have to be perfect. Because you know what? There is no perfect. And you know what else? You're doing enough. Really. More than that, you are enough. You just are.
Your job is to remind your kids you love them, do what you can to help them ring in the holidays with a modicum of joy and minimum of fisticuffs, and that's about it. Actually, that's not quite it — don't forget that you're invited to have a little fun as well. Because the thing is, God didn't come in Jesus to add stress to our lives. God came in Jesus to tell us that God loves us just as we are, not as the pictures on the parenting magazines tell us we should be.
This is hard to remember, but maybe if we remind each other of this once in a while over the next few weeks we can take a little bit of the individual and collective stress out of the holidays and sing "Joy to the World" like we really feel it."