It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
With caroling and cookies and cantatas and children’s programs and then…the inevitable Christmas CRASH.
Every year you tell yourself that when the “Holiday Hamster Wheel” comes to call you won’t jump on and yet every year like clockwork, you do.
Robert Frost’s poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” ends with the sentence, “but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.”
For those of us in full-time service this can seem like the theme of the whole of December.
Aren't we all full-time servicing someone?
Here are three things to keep us from “Bah-Humbugging” before the Season has all but gone.
There’s something inside of us ladies that likes to make sure we spread ourselves as thin as peanut butter when holidays roll around.
Somewhere internally we have this contest to see who can be the most productive with the least amount of peppermint mochas.
There’s a boat-load of work for all to do, yet we somehow try to be all things to all people which never does anything but frustrate and discourage us.
This time around let the Lord direct you to use your talents and gifts for his service as he wills it.
You heard me right - ask the Lord where your unique set of gifts and talents would be of best use to him and his work.
If you’re not a decorator, don’t spend your season hanging garland.
Yep. Go back and re-read that.
If singing in the cantata makes you want to run for the hills, bake the refreshments for the fellowship time afterwards or encourage the new visitors who attend.
Using what God has gifted you to do when he needs you to, brings a wonderful fulfilling feeling that no Hallmark movie can even imagine.
Next, Keep the main thing the main thing.
As a busy wife and mom-to-many it doesn’t take long for me to find a struggle between home and ministry.
And not growing up in a Christian home has shown me how precious a godly home is.
It truly can be a little bit of heaven on earth.
Here’s the thing, a well-oiled ministry flows out of a well-watered home and not the other way around.
Our first and greatest ministry is home-grown.
Be sure to cultivate the hearts of those who God has given you and make this time of year one for them to remember.
My kids will enjoy or despise ministry based on my example.
I want them to love ministering to others and so I need to minister love to each of them and make time to enjoy this season with them.
They may not have visions of sugar plums but they shouldn’t have visions of the Grinch over rushed meals either.
And lastly, Keep yourself in the love of God.
Jude 21- “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
If we're encouraged to keep ourselves in the love of God then I am going to venture a guess that we can actually move away from that love.
And busyness is the perfect recipe for that.
If I could design a Christmas sweatshirt it would say in a lovely font, “LESS Martha MORE Mary.”
We all know that serving is important but in Luke 10 Jesus reminded the ever-serving Martha that one thing was needful, and that was sitting right beneath the loving gaze of the Lord himself.
Before the cookies and Christmas cards are even sent out take time to sit with your bible open to Zephaniah 3:17- “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”
The God of creation rejoices over YOU with SINGING!
Can you even?
This verse also tells us that the Lord “rests in his love” for US!
Can you even once again????
A to-do list a mile-long can make us feel pretty unlovable, but that’s the farthest thing from the truth.
If HE rests in his love for US, we surely can rest in that love for ourselves.
While out and about telling others the good news of the gospel don’t forget to remind your own heart that a baby came to earth to die because he loved you.
And here’s the amazing thing about love.
Love begets love.
A well-loved individual cannot help but reach out and love someone else.
And isn’t that just what this world needs right now?