Jeanne Takenaka

And . . . we’re off and running into the chaos of Christmas, where we’re challenged to find the balance between doing or being fully in the season. Thanksgiving is a part of 2021’s history. Christmas Day looms less than a month away. Where has the year gone?

For our last number of Christmases, we’ve flown to Hawaii to spend it with Hubs’ mom, because we didn’t know when her final Christmas would be. 

Image of a nativity scene with small lighted trees framing the scene—reminder that Christmas is about celebrating Jesus

That final Christmas was last year. And this year, I’m struggling to find my new normal in celebrating this holiday. This year has held a lot of anxiety. I’m entering the season of peace already running behind. 

The Struggle with Doing or Being

Jesus’ intention is not for us to feel like we’re already behind. There’s got to be a balance between doing or being. Yes, many of us have a lot of doing to complete. But will this cost our spirits if we also desire to be fully engaged on Christmas morning?

Image of a room with wrapping paper and supplies—a reminder of how easy it is to get caught up in doing not being

For years, I’ve grappled with doing or being in this season. My heart yearns to dwell in complete peace, unrushed and being fully present in the celebrating. But there’s so much to do in preparation for The Day. Emotions run raw, especially this year, as we navigate Christmas without my mother-in-law and brother-in-law

5 Simple Perspectives When We Struggle with Doing or Being—My heart yearns to dwell in complete peace, unrushed and being fully present in the celebrating #tellhisstory #christmasspirit #perspective Click To Tweet

With our boy-men busy with their work schedules and their lives . . . sometimes I feel like our family is beginning to fracture. Christmas should include togetherness, right? Building memories as a family? 

That may be my ideal. But, to make it a reality requires some shifting in my mindset. 

Image of three mugs with tea, a symbol for the choice of doing or being . . . when we choose being, we choose times of rest

My soul craves the peace and rest only Jesus gives. A fresh drink of His hope, His joy. Though I seek to celebrate Him, I am frail and oh, so limited in my ability to be still in His presence.

Instead, my to-do’s rush through my tired mind, spurring my weary body onward to cross off the next item on my list. Making changes in how we do things to prepare for Christmas doesn’t automatically result in peace in this sometimes-chaotic season.

A life-size nativity scene in front of a hospital

Five Thoughts for Simply Being

Peace doesn’t come in doing all the things. It comes through being in His presence. There will always be more things to do if we’re striving for the perfect Christmas. If we try to do all the things, we’ll feel the chaos of attempting too much. Rather, we need to invite Jesus into our days. And, if we’re brave, ask Him to pilot us through each day with His priorities.

Being close to Jesus. Spending time in His word, in prayer gives us opportunities to practice being with Him daily.

Being still in His presence as many days of this busy season as we can. This can be challenging when our lists remind us of all we must do in the next few weeks.

Being willing to die to self, to have eyes wide open to see how to be a blessing to others, especially those who live in our inner circles. 

Being . . . what? What should we seek to be?

Being content that we are one of God’s kids, that He loves us, and letting that BE enough for this season.

A meme that says, "Peace doesn't come in the doing all the things. It comes through being in His presence." on the backdrop of a single lit candle with a dark backdrop
5 Simple Perspectives When We Struggle with Doing or Being—Being content that we are one of God’s kids, that He loves us, and letting that BE enough for this season #tellhisstory #Christmasspirit #perspective Click To Tweet

Changing our Mindsets

We can’t be everything to those around us. Only Jesus can accomplish that. But, when we choose to dwell with Jesus, we will more clearly reflect His love to those around us.

This practice of simply being stretches me thin. Focusing on being must be an intentional choice. It’s much easier to “do.” 

A lit candle with a dancing flame with a dark backdrop

Even in the busyness of this season, I can simply be as I spend time with Jesus each day. When I choose to be in His presence, I can know His peace. I can then offer peace to my sometimes stressed-out sons, to a bone-weary husband. I can give love with every part of who I am. 

And to those I find difficult to love, I can ask God to love them through me.

Image of a young boy hanging an ornament on a tree. When choosing between doing or being, we find peace in being with loved ones

There is a place for “doing” in Christmas. But it’s in knowing how to “be” that we take the first steps to live in Jesus’ peace in a chaotic season. 

It’s when I lay myself down flat before Jesus, emptying out to Him my discouragements, disappointments, and hopes, I can be filled up by Him.

Image of a cream-colored cross Christmas tree ornament . . . a reminder of Jesus being the real reason we celebrate Christmas

Perhaps as I focus on being rather than doing I will know Jesus’ peace, know His joy as He fills the emptied out person I am.

What about you? How do you find the balance between doing or being in the Christmas season? How do you purpose to be a blessing to others in this season?

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