+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka
“Peace on Earth. Good will to men.”
How many of us crave peace? ’Tis the season when we hear about it. We sing about peace. We talk about the Prince of Peace who came from heaven to earth on our behalf.
Yet, in a season when this word—peace—is tossed around like a fix-all, it seems tiny compared to the stress that pervades every moment.
Too often, rather than backing off on some of the normal things I do to make room for special Christmas activities, I add said activities to an already packed schedule. My shoulders feel weighted down by all the obligations.
Activities designed to be fun become “One more thing to do.”
Where’s the peace in that? How can we know the joy of the Christmas spirit when our to-do lists hold more tasks than we have time to accomplish?
No wonder I am exhausted come Christmas morning!
Please tell me I’m not the only one.
I’ve written about it before. I want to spend more of this season being in the presence of Jesus than doing for Jesus. Instead of getting caught up in the trappings of the season, I want my heart to be still enough to hear His promptings in the mornings and throughout each day.
Peace doesn’t come in the Doing. It comes through Being.
Two things I’m focusing on during this Christmas season are:
1. Spending time with Jesus in His word and in prayer. Daily. The season is busy enough that I may not have my normal amount of time in God’s word and reading a devotion each day. But, I intend to read in the Bible and bring all that’s on my heart to Him daily. This grounds me when all the to-do tasks pound around in my brain. I want to meditate on Advent, prepare my heart for celebrating the gift of Jesus taking on flesh.
2. Know my priorities and don’t add to them. What our family considers most important shifts from year to year. When Hubs travels in December, some things I like to do won’t get done that year.
Other years, we travel to be with family for Christmas, which also requires a shifting of priorities to account for being gone.
Each year, Hubs and I talk about what we believe are the most important priorities, and then we let the other things go.
No matter what the season holds, my top priorities remain: spending time being refreshed by Jesus, and time with my family and friends during this Christmas season.
Even as I write, I’m considering what I may need to back off on in order to live fully in those moments.
As Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-29,
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Spending time with Jesus and cutting back on activity may be the best gift that we give to our families this year.
Let’s allow peace to settle into our spirits during this hectic holiday season.
What about you? How do you balance everything in the season so you can enjoy being with Jesus? How do you establish your priorities during the Christmas season?