Finding Space in the Holidays

Here it comes, the holiday season has begun! Are you ready for the hustle and bustle? Do you feel your blood pressure rise a bit when I mention it? Are you already overwhelmed?

My prayer for you, dear reader (and me, too!), is that we can find space this holiday season to really pause and worship our Savior as we go about our activities. I hope you can enjoy family and friends and not be so overloaded with activity that you miss the joy of this season. I hope we can be filled with the joy of the “Abiding Life” as we take care of our responsibilities and check off our “to do” lists!

[box]Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Abide in My love. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. (John 15:9–11).”[/box]

Every Thanksgiving and Christmas I’m hopeful that I can take things a bit slower and breathe in the sweet fellowship of family and friends without feeling the pressure that comes from having too much on my plate at once. I’ve developed 10 questions for the “Overwhelmed Woman” that can be used any time, but I wonder if going over these might help us prepare for a holiday season that has room for worship and abiding in Christ?

10 Questions for the Overwhelmed Woman:

  1. Have I taken on more than what is my responsibility?
  1. Is my busy lifestyle because I have too many activities going on? Have I evaluated whether all of these are what God has laid on my plate, or have I taken on more “stuff” without considering His plan for this season?
  1. Do I tend to say “Yes” when asked to serve, to tackle another project, or volunteer, out of a desire for the praise and admiration of others? Out of fear of rejection if I say “No”?
  1. Have I left any margins in my life? Do I have room for interruptions and unexpected crisis?
  1. Do I intentionally approach my schedule in a way that provides time and opportunity for spiritual reflection and growth?
  1. Do I recognize and remove myself from “time wasters” such as vegging out on social media or meaningless entertainment?
  1. Do I ask God to give me wisdom and discernment to recognize the spaces in my life that could be filled with opportunities for spiritual nourishment?
  1. Could I begin my day fifteen minutes earlier or carve out time in my lunch hour to intentionally dwell in Christ’s presence?
  1. Have I allowed my children, our family, or myself, to take on so many activities that I’ve left the most valuable treasure (abiding in Christ) outside in the cold?
  1. Do I begin my day by worshiping God? Have I asked Him to give me a heart to do that?

What do you want to see God do in your life in these next few weeks as we enter another holiday season? What will you treasure most?

What does your schedule show that you most treasure?

I love what Pastor John Piper said about this:

“The ultimate goal of life is that God be displayed as glorious . . . the way we glorify Him is by knowing Him truly, by treasuring Him above all things, and by living in a way that shows He is our supreme treasure.”

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