The holidays are always tinged with more than a bit of stress for most of us. Do you look at what others are doing and feel “less than” in comparison? These tips will help you overcome the need to compete so you can stress less at Christmas. Because guess what, mom? It doesn’t have to be a competition. Tama Fortner shares how we can better manage the holidays, focus on the real reason for the season and enjoy the freedom that brings. And, if you missed her recent interview on the Your Hope-Filled Perspective podcast, you’ll want to listen (How To Have a Simple Christmas {and Reconnect with the Real Reason We Celebrate} – Episode 188) and put into practice the tips she shared on how to experience calm in the midst of holiday chaos

Be sure to read to the end for a book giveaway!

(If there are affiliate links in this post, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you)).

Dear Mom, It Isn’t a Competition
by Tama Fortner

I still remember the first time my new friend showed me the gingerbread house she had built over the Thanksgiving break. It was two stories of confection perfection decorated with every kind of candy found on aisle 4 of the grocery story. She made one every year, she said. With her kids. And as she talked about the wonderful times she and her children shared as they crafted this masterpiece of a mansion, those nagging doubts and questions crept in. Do you know the ones I’m talking about? I should be doing this with my children. By not doing this, I’m depriving them of precious childhood memories. What kind of mom am I!?! A truly good mom would do this with her children!

Fortunately, those thoughts were soon followed by an image of what that process would actually look like at our house. At that point, my young kids’ attention span for crafting barely lasted through assembling the tissue-box-sized gingerbread house kit I bought each year. Assembling anything like those two stories of candied perfection would only end in perfect chaos—and probably a few tears (mine). So I let it go.

Yep. That’s right. I let it go. I admired, I praised, and then . . . I moved on. My new friend and I chatted about other things. And let me tell you, it was so easy—and also so freeing. That experience stands out in my memory as one of the first times I realized that I didn’t have to compete. I could allow my friend to do her thing and to be fabulous at it, all without stepping into the ring of competition. The gingerbread house my kids and I put together was just perfect for us. Who cared if it leaned a little? What did it matter if it came out of a box? My kids had fun, I had fun, and there were no tears.

The phrase “you do you” has been taken by our culture and used in some not altogether healthy ways. But there is a bit of wisdom in those words—when applied wisely. Romans 12:6 tells us that “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well” (NLT). And while that passage is talking specifically about spiritual gifts, I believe the same could be said of our talents, abilities, and strengths.

God knit each of us together—wonderfully, fearfully, magnificently, and individually (Psalm 139:13–14). That means I can sing the praises of all the ways the people around me are amazing without feeling “less than.” And, at the same time, I’m set free to explore the strengths God gave me. (Y’all, I can bake a turkey with cornbread dressing that will make you weep.)

What if we decided to celebrate the strengths of others, to cheer them on and build them up (1 Thessalonians 5:11)? What if, instead of trying to compete, we sought out and celebrated our own gifts (1 Peter 4:10)? And what if celebrating and using those gifts were actually a way to honor and praise our Lord (1 Peter 4:11)?

In whatever we turn our eyes, our hands, and our hearts to this season, will you join me in remembering that it’s always and in every way about Christ, not the competition?

We’d love to hear how you simplify for the holidays, in the comments below.

 

 

About Tama Fortner

Tama Fortner, authorTAMA FORTNER is an ECPA award-winning author with more than forty titles to her credit, including her latest Simply Christmas: A Busy Mom’s Guide to Reclaiming the Peace of the Holidays. She is the writer behind the bestselling Indescribable for Kids series with Louie Giglio, as well as a number of books in the Jesus Calling children’s line, including the wildly successful Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids, which has sold more than 1,000,000 copies to date.

Tama and her husband have two children who have grown up much too fast for their mama’s liking. She lives on the outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee, with her family, an incredibly lazy dog who doubles as a foot warmer, and one feisty little puppy. Catch up with Tama at www.tamafortner.com.

Connect with Tama:Website / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

Book Giveaway

Book Cover of Simply Christmas by Tama FortnerIn conjunction with this post and the podcast interview, Tama is giving away a free copy of her book, Simply Christmas: A Busy Mom’s Guide to Reclaiming the Peace of the Holidays: A Devotional.

Leave a comment below sharing with us one thing you learned about overcoming the need to compete and you will be entered into the contest for your chance to win a copy of her book.

You could also share this blog post on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing.

The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, November 28, 2022. Continental United States only.

 

The holidays are always tinged with more than a bit of stress for most of us. Do you look around at what others are doing and feel “less than” in comparison? These tips will help you overcome the need to compete so you can stress less at Christmas. Because, guess what, mom…it doesn’t have to be a competition. Tama Fortner shares how we can better manage the holidays, focus on the real reason for the season, and enjoy the freedom that brings.

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