Love / Hate Relationship With December?

Christmas sad or happy

The Christmas season is here. Are you looking forward to it with anticipation or dread?

For many years, I had a love/hate relationship with December and the whole Christmas season.  This was especially true after some members of my family left the church.  I started to wonder if all of my efforts to help my family love Christmas and the reason for the season, which is the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, had backfired in a horrible way.  Was I the reason that some of my children and spouse no longer even believe that there is a Savior?

Many of us mothers are particularly sensitive and vulnerable during the Christmas season. As self-described “Christmas magic makers”, we feel responsible for making this the best time of the year for everyone we love.

As a matter of fact, many of my “natural woman” tendencies can be particularly active during this time of the year:

My “Inner Judge” likes to point out all the ways that I am falling short during December. Someone who has it all together would have gotten family photos, written personal Christmas cards to friends, planned exciting activities, gone shopping to buy the perfect personal gifts for everyone on her list, and most of all – managed to bring the true spirit into her home everyday in December. 

The “Controlling” part of my personality is screaming that if everyone would just follow MY plan the holiday would be perfect!

My personal “Stickler”, the one who loves all the rules and keeps track of all the things I “should” be doing, and letting me know where I fall short. 

My inner “Victim” feels so sorry for herself – everyone else has a perfectly behaved family.  Poor, poor me, I have to make do with what I have instead of the perfect life everyone else I know has. 

And finally, the “People Pleaser” in me tries to keep everyone happy all the time, which is an impossible task, yet one that I think I can do. If anyone is less than happy, I failed indeed.

Is it any wonder that I had a love/hate relationship with Christmas? 

Perhaps this sounds familiar to you??

Somewhere over the past few years I have discovered the spiritual gift of COMPASSION. This gift, which is the gift of empathy and the desire to relieve my own and others’ suffering, has allowed me to quiet those inner voices and approach the Christmas season with joy and anticipation. I’m happy to report that those inner critical voices are so quiet now that I can barely hear them.

With this gift, I am changed. I am currently looking forward to the holiday with love and anticipation.

If you are dreading the Christmas season, I invite you to schedule an time to let me coach you before December 13, 2022.  This is my “Cyber Monday” gift to you.  I can help you look forward to December with happy anticipation, even if you have always dreaded the season.  

You know who you are…

I would love for your December to have more love and compassion and fewer critical inner voices. Schedule 50 minutes with me between now and December 13th and we will identify your inner critical voices and talk about how to quiet them so you can feel the love and peace you desire.

Perhaps your Christmas season is already perfect and you have a friend that could benefit from some help with those above inner voices?   If you know someone that could use a dose of self-compassion this time of year, please share this gift with them.

This is simply a gift I am sharing.  You can be confident knowing there is NO cost, NO pressure, and NO sales pitch.  Simple coaching to help you make your Christmas season merrier and brighter than ever.  Click the link below.

Yes!  I want the gift of Compassion for Christmas!

Oh yes, I nearly forgot to mention that I was on my good friend Tina Gosney’s podcast a couple of weeks ago and we discussed “Navigating the Holidays with a Mixed-Faith Family”.  If you are looking for some ideas on this topic, I invite you to give this podcast a listen.  I would be very interested to hear your thoughts after listening.

Can A Mixed-Faith Marriage Really Work?

Happy Marriage!

Almost six years ago, my husband decided to stop attending church. He had been struggling for a number of years with his belief in God, but finally felt that he couldn’t continue to attend church. I was surprised and taken off guard. I knew he was struggling with his faith, but I never expected that he would stop going to church with me. 

I was so afraid of what would happen next now that he wasn’t attending church.  What else would change?  Was he going to be a different person without the church? Were we going to argue all the time?  Was I going to have to go along with his changed beliefs for us to stay married?

My fear became consuming. I was always thinking about what would happen next, wondering if the changes he might make would become so great that I wouldn’t be able to stay with him. I really liked my life and I didn’t want to make any changes. 

We’d had a good marriage up to this point. We were business partners as well as life partners, and we had learned to talk things out using a giant white board and logic. We decided to apply that skill to this problem. 

We started filling up our white board with my questions about how things might change. He presented his ideas, I presented mine. It was a multi-day, many-hour series of discussions. On many of the topics, we decided that there would be “no change”.  For example, he continued to pay tithing, wear garments, observe the Sabbath and observe the Word of Wisdom. 

He stopped praying and reading the scriptures or other church materials. He didn’t renew his temple recommend, however he did continue to visit his Home Teaching families monthly because he loved them and didn’t want to give that up. I continued to bless the food for both of us. We agreed that he wouldn’t listen to podcasts or You-Tube videos that presented the church in a poor light for a little while. 

These were meetings where we both compromised, and we didn’t always agree on everything. Nevertheless, these meetings brought us both a lot of relief.  He was afraid that I would leave the marriage and I was afraid that he was going to change so much that I would have to leave the marriage. 

We gave each other space to process the changes. 

Our initial discussions worked so well that we decided to use the list we created to review our “LDS Mixed-Faith Lifestyle” each year.

Now it’s an annual tradition and every year around Mother’s Day, we choose a weekend to get away, enjoy some yummy food and hammer out our vision of what our marriage and life together will look like for the following year. We still use our original list as a foundation, but over the years it has morphed into a “how we can grow together as a couple” weekend, with both of us making changes in ourselves to be a better couple together.

Our original “lifestyle review” was so much help to us that we decided to format it nicely into a workbook and share it with you. I called this helpful document the “LDS Mixed-Faith Conversation Starter Workbook”. You won’t do things our way, you will figure out how things work best for you. However you choose to have a discussion, this list of topics that we’ve developed can help you see where you want to focus your time and attention.

If you wonder if two people can still be happy in their marriage when they have such different ideas about their faith, the answer is YES THEY CAN!  This workbook can provide a good start for discussions if you find yourself in this situation.

The list looks simple, but discussing the 60+ lifestyle topics listed in this workbook can greatly reduce the fear and anxiety about what’s next for everyone.   

LDS Mixed-Faith Conversation Starter Workbook 

NOTE:  If you have a friend or family member that may benefit from this workbook, please take a moment and forward this blog post to them.