Perhaps I’ve let my family down. Years from now, my daughter might share stories of all Mom’s Christmas “fails.” The times when I burned the casserole, or dropped the turkey on the floor.
When she was young, I had great plans. For everything. The perfect decorations. A birthday party for Jesus with memorable family devotions. Of caroling and cocoa and snow gently falling outside our window.
Of everyone getting along, so focused on the greatest Gift, they didn’t care that the ones I bought were duds.
I took pride in my attempts at cooking, in my impeccable housekeeping.
It quickly became my obsession—all these outward signs that I had it all together. That my time spent folding the same washed and dried towels again and again, somehow meant something.
Until one day, covered in mud from the waist down, our daughter ran into the house, slipped, and—whack!—landed smack onto the tile. The white, spotless tile.
My first thought? My floors!
Immediately following: What is the matter with you?
That moment, but a fraction of a second, God shined a flashlight deep into my heart. Revealing priorities gone awry and in desperate need of shifting.
That began my battle against Jenny-Homemaker—the woman with the surface level smiles, spotless counters. And depleted heart.
And come Christmas, this morphed into a war on all the trappings and to-dos and long shopping lists. A rebellion against expectations, obligations, and schedules crammed with things that didn’t truly matter and robbed me of the things that did.
That was the day God called me to go deeper.
To take a hard look at my life and the ways I sought to fill the empty places in my heart. All the lies I grabbed hold of to somehow prove that I was okay, capable, and valuable. But my worth will never be dependent on how well I baste a turkey or how many lights adorn my home.
That was the day God showed me the results of all my frenzied striving and called me to rest in Him and the relationships He’d provided.
So this year, our decorations are meager. We’ve string a few lights, and we’ll decline invites to numerous parties. We’ll maybe buy a handful of gifts. Our house might be quiet, dinner might get burned, but our hearts will be full.
Herein lies my choice. I can get caught up in the drama and must dos, Or I can pull back, evaluate, communicate, and guard my heart and schedule to make room for the things that matter most—time with Jesus and those I love.
Everything else is tinsel, and though tinsel can add beauty when intentionally and sparsely applied, it was never meant to be the focus. There’s only One worthy of that, and He’ll be the One I seek.
I invite you to join me. Whether you love baking and cooking and attending countless parties or sitting at home with a small circle of friends, always remember that you have the power to choose. To make sure your schedule matches your priorities and that you’re cherishing those who are most important.
Let’s talk about this! Where are you at this holiday season? Are you feeling squeezed? Like there’s more to do than time to do it in? Pause for a moment to consider your agenda. How many of your obligations are self-imposed? How many result from an effort to please others? What is the root of that desire? Recognizing our underlying motives and insecurities s the first step toward living in freedom. Share your thoughts in the comments below or on our Facebook page.
We were created to live abundant, grace-filled lives characterized by a deep understanding of God’s unchanging love for us. When we live wholly loved, allowing the reality of God’s love for us to permeate our hearts and impact our thoughts and actions, everything changes! Join us for our next Wholly Loved conference, held at Beautiful Savior in LaVista as we learn to embrace and live out our true identity in Christ. Visit our Attend page to find out more. And make sure to sign up for our free, quarterly e-mailing to receive inspirational content and ministry updates sent directly to your inbox. You can sign up HERE.