Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.                                                 II Corinthians 3:17

I recently discussed with a client the idea of considering some changes in her holiday traditions. Her family situation is changing, and she was wondering out loud if she had the “permission” to make changes in these traditions because her mother had recently passed away, and she wanted to maintain these traditions for her mother’s sake.

As we discussed this, I suggested that the one standing in the way of giving permission for these changes was her, not her mother. I knew that she had been very close to her mother, and that her mother would just want the best for her daughter after she had passed. The client readily agreed to this and saw that, if she could shed the lingering sense of guilt that had been self-imposed, she could actually make a choice for herself in this situation.

The choice is absolutely under the control of my client, and I wanted her to see that she had the freedom of that choice. It was not her mother or anyone else who might judge her choice- it was her.  

Traditions and rituals are important to us. They are reassuring, especially in a time of uncertainty. We do have the choice to make new traditions also. Changing circumstances cause us to re-evaluate those choices that we have routinely made. Empty nest, the death of family members, etc. all cause us to re-think those time-honored rituals and traditions.

I am all about tradition- I am a guardian of traditions. Yet, changes happen, and we adjust to accommodate those changes. So, as we approach the holiday season, take a look at your family traditions. By all means, maintain important connections which those traditions celebrate, but be aware that changes are allowable- if you give yourself permission.

Prayer: Lord, you have made us to value family honoring traditions. Help us also to see our freedom in how we mark them, Amen

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