Posted in photography, Weekly Photo Challenge

That’s easy for you to say

FBIMG_0313Way to go Word Press photo challenge! Just as the Christmas season starts ramping up big time, you announce that this week’s challenge is relax.

Relax, you say. Just mosey around looking for a photo to capture that encapsulates the word relax. Uh-huh. In December. The busiest month of the year. Three weeks before Christmas. The crazy rush season.

Relax.  You only have a to-do list a mile long. Shopping to finish. Gift wrapping to ensue. Christmas cards to get in the mail. But first stand in the long line at the post office to purchase stamps.  And oh, yes, finish writing that annual Christmas letter to insert in the cards.

But relax, you say. When there’s holly to haul out and Christmas storage bins littering the house. When the greenery and twinkle lights must deck the halls inside and outside must also be spruced up with strings of tangled and probably non-working lights as well as holiday finery.

Relax.  While the Christmas tree stands naked in the living room and scads of ornaments await to adorn it. And each ornament invokes memories from this place or that.  From this child or that one. From this family vacation or that trip.  And you want to take the time to savor it all but….

Relax, you say. There’s only the Christmas dinner menu to decide upon. And major grocery shopping list to make. And then to brave the crowds at the supermarket.  And oh, yes, cookie baking days to plan.

Relax. Chase after a nearly two year-old. Keep her entertained with Christmas stories and playtime. Chase her away from the Christmas tree which she tries to re-decorate. Follow her around the house plugging in all the lights she wants to see just because when they’re off, she cries with dismay, “Oh, no!!”

Relax, you say. When the spaces fill up on your calendar faster than you can utter the words of Tiny Tim, “And God bless us, everyone!”  When you’re anything but relaxed, and that’s why there’s now a doctor appointment in the works.  And somehow, someway, you have to attempt to squeeze in a hair appointment because really, the mop on top of your head that resembles hair is way, way out of control.

Relax. When you’re on pins and needles awaiting that phone call from your son and daughter-in-love saying they’re heading to labor and delivery  because your second grandbaby is making her arrival. And you must determine when you can gather the family together to make the long distance trip to meet the little miss and cradle this beloved one in your arms for the first time.

Relax, you say. Find time to capture a photograph of relaxation? Really? Maybe if it was in the middle of summer or spring or even fall, you could do so.  But now?

Not happening. So my way of coping right now with this photo challenge is to delve back into my photo archives for the one photo I can think of that encourages everyone to just relax – especially this time of year. Unfortunately, I’ve published the photo above here in my blog before, but maybe, just maybe, Mama’s Empty Nest readers won’t remember it.

Relax.  I want to. I need to. I should de-stress and not frazzle my last nerve. I want to be calm and collected as we enter the Christmas season.

Relax, you say. Okay, I’ve admitted it.  I want to relax. Because my focus this season should be on the reason my family celebrates Christmas. Because of a Savior. Because of God’s greatest gift to us.

Because the world won’t collapse if I don’t accomplish every single thing on my Christmas to-do list. But I would collapse into utter despair without hope if it weren’t for my faith in Jesus.

So I will relax and trust in Him.

I will relax and spend time with Him in prayer and reading of His Word.

I will relax and enjoy my family and friends, not the trappings of a ‘perfect’ Christmas.

And I will toss my to-do list. (Okay, at least I’m going to try!)

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” ~ Sydney J. Harris



Mama of this empty nest, I’m content to live a quiet, country life with my husband of 40+ years and to view the gorgeous sunsets off my own back yard deck. Mama to three adults and Nana to adorable grandchildren, my empty nest fills up again with noise and laughter when they all return 'home'. A former English teacher, reporter/editor, education director for a non-profit organization, and stay at home mom, I retired after a season of substitute teaching at a private academy. Now I enjoy time spent with my grandchildren and family and writing words that seem to pour out of my soul or wandering around the countryside with my camera. Foremost, my faith sustains me as I meander through the empty nest stage of life. My favorite scripture is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

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