“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 Msg.
The upcoming holidays can trigger a mix of emotions.
On one hand, I look forward to having time off from work, fun with family, and a chance to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
On the other hand, there’s the impending predicament of how to fit it all in. Before Thanksgiving, my mind starts to swirl around all the things on my to-do list that must get done. People to visit, school programs to attend, holiday parties, and more. Add in shopping, cooking, and celebrating, and the whole thing can get overwhelming.
So this year, I’m adopting a mantra to help me keep my perspective straight through the season. I’m going to let grace set my pace this year. Would you like to join me?
This week and next, we’ll explore 4 ways grace can help us make the most of our holidays. Following these steps will ensure a rush-free and fulfilling season for all of us.
1. What will bring me closer to Jesus this season? I must schedule that first.
It’s the problem I face every year. My mom-instincts start planning the perfect way to celebrate Christmas. I make sure we schedule time to visit relatives, bake homemade goodies, and of course, do something special to bless those less fortunate.
Before long, I realize I’ve scheduled every spare second of our time off. I haven’t left any space to spend time with my Savior.
It’s funny how we can get so busy during this time of remembering Jesus’ birth, that we forget to spend time with Jesus. But we can choose not to let that happen this year.
Let’s take a few minutes right now to determine what will bring us closer to Him. Is it quiet time in the morning? A daily Scripture reading before bed? Or even a short, day retreat to a special place to reflect on His goodness? Whatever we choose, let’s write it on our calendar today.
Scheduling our time with Jesus first will keep our minds set on Him through the entire season.
2. What are my non-negotiables over the holidays? Those need to be scheduled next.
My dad lives just a couple of hours away. Traveling is hard for him right now because he takes care of my grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s. Visiting them during my vacation time is top priority for me. So, I schedule time to go see them. For me, this is a non-negotiable.
Each of us has something we consider an absolute necessity. A have-to or a must-do during Thanksgiving or Christmas. But so many opportunities pop up that those top priorities often get pushed aside. Then as the holidays come to an end, we regret not making time for the important things.
Let’s make a list of our non-negotiables today. Like I said before, visiting my dad is at the top of my list. By adding it to my calendar now, I can ensure my non-negotiables don’t get forced out other events.
Be sure to visit next week when we’ll look at two more ways to let grace set our pace through the holidays. Until then, make time to reflect on the two steps above.
Let’s get ready to experience the most restful, rejuvenating holiday we’ve ever had.
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