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Dec 01, 2020 08:00am
How to Handle the Unexpected During the Holidays
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The look in her eye hinted at the fact that she was trying to help me out.

With six little ones under my feet, dinner to be made, and another practice to get ready for, the chip on the floor threatened to make everything fall apart. 

Especially when I stepped on it.

While enjoying an after-school snack, someone let a chip slip through their fingers. 

It fell to the middle of the floor. 

The same middle of the floor that my hurried feet shuffled straight through and crushed the forgotten chip into a million tiny pieces.

I was already on the edge of irritable and this chip threatened to be the push that sent me over, until my little girl said two words.

NO PROBLEM.

No problem? She even said it with the tone of an angel. She learned this phrase from her first-grade teacher. They used it when a friend dropped something or spilled something or tripped over something. 

Instead of allowing the unexpected situation to create chaos, the eager students said, “No problem.” And then they acted like it was, in fact, no problem.

So, in this moment, with a shattered chip on the floor and my emotions not far behind, I learned something from my little girl.

I HAD MADE SOMETHING INTO A PROBLEM THAT REALLY WAS NO PROBLEM AT ALL.

I’m more and more aware of the attitude that the holiday season can create in me. While I want to be full of joy, hope and peace, I find myself more irritable than any other time of year. 

I desire to be loving and patient, but I fight feelings of frustration and rush. 

I want to enjoy every moment, but images of perfection and added to-dos attack my joy.

So I’ve decided to adopt my daughter’s phrase and attach it to all of the unexpected messes the holidays present.

WHEN SURPRISES TRY TO DERAIL US, LET’S TELL THEM INSTEAD, NO PROBLEM.

Like when my boys turn ornaments into basketballs and the tree into a basketball goal – no problem.

When I mix expired flour into the sweet potato casserole – no problem. (I didn’t serve it to anyone, though!)

When half of the kids get the stomach bug and we celebrate in our pajamas – no problem.

When demands rise and time stays the same – no problem.

When reality doesn’t live up to my big ideas and great expectations – no problem.

Of course, there are some problems life presents us that are, in fact, problems. And those are not as easy to navigate. But I’ve found so much of the time, my problems don’t have to be problems at all.

I hope these two words bless you this holiday season the same way they have me. And as we tell our surprises no problem, I pray it makes room for us to remember and rejoice in the reason we celebrate this Christmas season:

“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’” Luke 2:10

Copyright © 2020 by Katy McCown @ https://katymccown.com/2018/11/29/handle-unexpected-holidays/. Used with permission. No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Lifeword.org.