Letting Go of Haven'ts

I’m not entirely sure why, but it is has been far too easy this advent season to focus on the haven’ts. The things I haven’t done. The movies we haven’t watched. The projects I haven’t finished. The cookies I haven’t baked. The memories we haven’t made. The gifts we haven’t shipped. So much so, that the haven’t seem to have taken over the past week or so for me leaving me feeling drained, weary, and defeated.

Last night due to poor planning on my part I spent 2 hours at our church building with nothing to do. No book to read, no project to work on, no laptop/tablet to fiddle with. Just me, a comfy chair, and a cell phone with an almost dead battery. I was kicking myself for letting this happen and thinking of all the “haven’ts” I could have turned into “haves”.

I was driving myself nuts so I decided to use the last bit of my cell battery to catch up on some blogs. I follow some awesome blogs, but for whatever reason last night it just wasn’t doing it for me. Looking at every one's beautiful Christmas projects and cute elf on the shelf postings was just making me feel more like a failure.

And then I stumbled upon a favorite blog of mine. One I had forgotten about, but that had pulled me into the world of blogging in the first place. If you have checked out HABIT you need to. It never fails to sooth my spirit and put me into a better frame of mind. It’s the kind of place I want my blog to be to others.

Sitting there in the church lobby listening to the choir practice Silent Night I was overwhelmed with God’s grace and peace.  It’s not about the doing and the going and the busy. It’s about the little moments. Like carrying my sleeping three year old in from the car and being washed in the scent of my mother-in-laws fabric softener. She watched the girls so we could finish Christmas shopping. The coats were dirty. She washed them. And in that very simple way reminded me of the beauty of practical love. Not big screen, holiday movie love. But a love that came down from the glory of Haven to sleep in a dirty manger because we so desperately needed him. Practical love. Wow.

This morning as I looked around I was reminded of all we HAVE done. SO I thought I would share a few pictures of our Advent season.

Making Christmas Cards for family and friends.

Finished Cards

Duckies for the bathtub.

A ride around daddy's work in the golf cart.

I guess we are doing pretty good at the memory making after all.

Moments after I published this post my mother shared the following quote from a favorite play. It was too beautiful not to share.

EMILY: "Does anyone ever realize life while they live it...every, every minute?"

STAGE MANAGER: "No. Saints and poets maybe...they do some.”
― Thornton Wilder, Our Town

Here is to letting go of the "haven'ts" in hopes of realizing at least a few of life's moments today.


  1. <3. These are two of my favorite quotes that made me think of you!

    “As you embrace the here and now, don’t be surprised if you suddenly feel lucky – lucky to be blessed with a good mind, lucky to have friends who love you for who you are, lucky to be living in such an interesting time.”

    “Now is a gift that`s why it`s called the present”

  2. I have felt THE same way this year. Everything I had planed for this holiday has fell through...everything! It's hard to find that level place of deep breath and simple satisfaction, at least it is for me! I've had to step back so many times and count my blessings these last few weeks; to focus more on the positive things than all the negative that seems to surround me. Your post was very encouraging to read, thank you Joy!