It’s that time of year again… when everything begins building up.
The good news? We have a tiny little window right now to make decisions about how the weeks ahead will go. This is our chance to be intentional.
We could let stress take us in Martha’s direction and become “anxious and troubled about many things” (Luke 10:41), or we can turn our eyes back upon Jesus.
We may not be able to completely eliminate the craziness, but there are still a few key ways we can be fully present during what is usually a very hectic time of the year.
First, remember that your family craves connection more than activity.
While a few holiday events help everyone get in the spirit of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s celebrations, too much hustle can lead to exhaustion and frustration rather than magical moments.
Find out which events are non-negotiable for your family, and then be sure to preserve time at home to connect.
Plan family game nights, movie nights, family devotions… something that will allow for down time together. Time for your kids to ask questions, share their hearts, or just be still with you.
Don’t miss out on deepening relationships with those you love most.
Secondly, make space for time alone with God.
You may be tempted to skip time in God’s Word and in His presence as evening sports or music practices go later and early mornings grow darker. But clearing time to feed your soul will change your perspective on everything.
No one but God’s Spirit can fill you up and equip you for the demands of each day. He alone brings order to chaos, strength to the weary, and a thankful heart to the cynical.
Dig into His Word, check out a book like Quieting Your Heart for the Holidays, and ask God to surprise you with His beauty in the days ahead.
Lastly, focus on God’s goodness instead of letting comparison steal your joy.
Sure, it’s tempting to compare your decorations, gifts, meals, activities, financial status, or achievements with everyone else’s over the holidays. And television, magazines, facebook, pinterest, instagram, and every other form of media makes it even more difficult not to expect perfection of yourself and your family.
But when our eyes are on ourselves or others, we miss the entire point of the season.
It’s all about Him. The One who gave His all for us. We are blessed.
This season above all others should humble us, should bring us to our knees with gratitude for His goodness.
Don’t let an improper focus rob you of the life and joy of the Savior we celebrate. It’s not about us at all. It’s about His grace.
Choose a Mary heart during a very Martha season! Keep your eyes on Jesus.
Let Him bless your loved ones through your presence in the weeks ahead.
by Jennifer Ebenhack