Cold and crisp today. Wet too, though I did not spend much time outside. Mostly, I cooked stew and started holiday decorating. I only assisted this year, letting the spouse do most of the actual decorating, whereas years past, I would do most of it to my specific liking, and then get his input, mostly just looking for minor adjustments and a thumbs up.

This is due to the years I spent as chief decorator of every home I’ve ever occupied, as adult or child, from about the age of 10 onward. My mother would sit in her reclining chair and direct the placement of lights and bulbs, until she tired of the affair, and then she would retreat to her room. I would then adjust things a slight bit, and move on to my baking activities as directed.

When I became an adult, I naturally took charge of all the elements of tree and house decor. I knew how I wanted it to look, and what it would take to produce it. One year we had so few ornaments, I tied bows out of cheap red and gold ribbon to make decorations for the tree. It looked okay for what it was.

As the years have rolled forward, it has gotten more elaborate and it reached it’s apex, with in-line twinkling hallmark lighthouses and animated ornaments, right before our horrible relapse year. The year after, I really wasn’t interested in the tree or the decorations. That year, the tree was about 4 ft tall and meagerly decorated. The following year a bit more so and each year it’s gotten more filled out. But this year I worked on relinquishing control of how the tree came together and such to someone else. It has been hard. Truly a test of my recovery, and showing me where I still struggle with control issues.

But God is gracious, and if I continue to submit my control issues and my tendency to become anxious when not in control then I will grow, and the next time it will be easier to take that step of letting go. I can ask God to direct my attention to where He wants it, not let myself get wound up in things that can steal my serenity and peace.

I wish you joy, peace and hope on this first Sunday of advent. Much love.