Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
Be still. This command seems nearly impossible for me at this time of year. There is no time to be still with my jam-packed schedule and mile-long to-do list. I find myself thinking, “I just need to get through Christmas”. Get through Christmas? We are talking about the season where we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. How did this become something I am trying to “get through”?
I have always loved the Christmas season. In addition to celebrating Jesus coming into our world, I love Christmas decorations, carols, baking, festive gatherings, and family traditions. Juggling our obligations, even ones we enjoy, can become overwhelming and get us to the point where we are simply trying to survive until the new year where we hope to find some rest. If you are feeling a little stretched this season, I would encourage you to look at your holiday schedule and to-do list and ask yourself….
Is this bringing me closer to God?
Is this bringing me closer to the people I love?
Is this bringing me joy?
If the answer is No, No and No, perhaps the next question is, can I simplify this, postpone it or remove it off my plate completely, to make more time for things that do fulfill the questions above?
For years, I spent many hours sending out Christmas cards. I would create a photo card along with a family year in review letter. At one point, this did bring me joy however after many years this became a huge Christmas chore. I rarely dropped anyone off my list and as we moved through different seasons of life, making new connections, my count had increased to over 150 Christmas cards. This was not only time consuming, but also expensive!
I realized that most of my recipients were people I was connected to on social media. The news I shared in my letter and the pictures in my collage had most likely already been posted throughout the year. Although it felt strange not sending cards the first year, it was extremely liberating and I haven’t felt a desire to revisit this tradition since.
Outside of busyness, there are other stressors, like financial concerns and tense relationships, that are easily heightened this time of year. We read in Philippians 4:6, God wants us to take all of our concerns to Him. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” If you start to feel worry mount, turn to prayer. Trust that God is in control and wants you to come to Him for comfort and peace.
Another recommendation to steady yourself is to carve out quiet moments with God. This will help you renew and refresh your spirit, lean into his divine power, and focus on what this beautiful season is truly about…
“Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
Post Written By: Sherry Haase
Sherry, a Cultivate 2019 breakout speaker "Daily Devotion", lives in El Dorado Hills with her husband Ted and two children, Ethan (15) and Amanda (12). In addition to her favorite role, being a mom, she works as a Retirement Plan Education Specialist. She is also currently writing a women's devotional. You can read her blog at www.sherryblisshaase.com.