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Hope in the holidays

by: Elizabeth Thorndike

The holidays can be such a wonderful time, but there are also times it can be hard, confusing, and cause deep grief. In fact, the holidays, filled with joy, can also be a reminder of our unique family situation, and our limitations. For years, we have tried different things to celebrate the season, some worked…some bombed. We have finally found a peace in celebrating this season with what works for our whole family, however, I would be lying if I didn’t admit I feel a tender tug on my heart wishing there were certain things we could do.

holiday body resized

This is especially so for the medically fragile population. I have mama friends that year after year must choose to either leave their child at home with a qualified caregiver or have them join a family gathering only to spend the whole time attending to that child. Either way is not a total win, and either way there is hardship. Family that has not walked your road, can have a lack of grace and understanding with certain situations. Situations such as how exhausting uprooting your child from their safe place can be, and how leaving them behind can be heartbreaking. It can be a painful “tug of war” on a parent’s heart.

holiday medical body resized

There is obviously no one “right” way to celebrate an inclusive holiday. I know what matters to all of us is that our kiddos feel loved and included in the festivities. Sometimes putting boundaries up to protect our special needs kiddo can leave us feeling lonely. Sometimes, taking a break and going to that gathering without them can leave you feeling guilty. Friends, can we just encourage each other for a moment?

You are not alone. You are stronger than you think. You are a great parent that has difficult decisions on a daily basis. Most of these decisions can be the scenario of “choosing the best out of 2 “not great” options.” This is the reality of parenting. This is our walk. You are doing it. You matter.

Below are a few scriptures that have helped me walk the holidays with peace. There are still unmet expectations that build on my heart, and we definitely do have to set boundaries in order to keep the season exciting (but not overwhelming) for all.

Philippians 4:6
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

2 Timothy 1:7
“For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.”

Psalm 94:19
“When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought me joy.

Jeremiah 17:7
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.”

Prayer during the Christmas season can really help relieve anxiety. Sitting in the quiet presence of God and surrendering our worries to him, can leave us feeling lighter and create space to feel the quiet joy of the holiday. So, remember, we are never alone. Steal away a few moments this season and see how God can carry you through.

about us

Meet the Thorndikes - Moment to Moment Family

Hi there! We are the crazy cool parents to 5 amazing and crazy cool kiddos. But, first, we are Dan and Elizabeth Thorndike – married 15 years and living this life one moment at a time. We have a full and blessed life, but we are clumsily tackling a journey we never foresaw ourselves living.

Read our story of how this journey all started in our blog post titled:
“The Beginning. Our Special Needs Journey”

Author

Elizabeth Thorndike

Introverted extrovert – that’s how I describe myself. I absolutely love being a mama but never knew how hard it would be, nor how deeply I could love.

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