As a child, I loved Christmas. Then, I became a mom. As a mom, I feel pressured to–
create holiday traditions that my children will cherish and remember,
shop for the perfect gift for everyone on my list (within my budget),
make everyone’s favorite foods and serve them on a beautifully decorated table.
I need a nap after writing that sentence and thinking about those tasks!
Amy Grant’s song, “I Need a Silent Night,” tells the story for most of us at the holiday season,
I’ve made the same mistake before
Too many malls, too many stores
December traffic, Christmas rush
It breaks me till I push and shove
Children are crying while mothers are trying
To photograph Santa and sleigh
The shopping and buying and standing forever in line
What can I say?
I need a silent night, a holy night
To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise
I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here
To end this crazy day with a silent night
As a high school English teacher, I taught and prepared final exams right up to Christmas break. Then, I toted home 130 final exams to grade. The day before Christmas Eve, I rushed out to buy gifts and groceries. I returned to work in January, exhausted.
Even though I don’t have children at home or work as a teacher, I still fill my schedule with ministry appointments and writing projects. And, my workaholic tendencies still plague me. This year, I have resolved to build rest into my schedule. My commitment to rest more means that I will do less,
less cooking or baking,
Jesus wants me to remain in Him, and there isn’t a December-exception clause for moms. Resting and remaining isn’t for Him; it’s for me.
Here’s How to Remain in Jesus This Holiday
When Jesus said, “Remain in Me,” He gave the picture of a grapevine branch that connects to the vine. Through our vital connection to Him, we draw energy and purpose. The Greek word for remain is “menō.” Menō describes the place where we live or at least camp overnight. Literally, it describes the place where we pitch our tent.
When menō is translated as abide in the NASB translation of the Bible, the word expresses the older, more outdated, meaning for live and wait. Waiting on Jesus teaches us to draw near and rest.
I will remain in Jesus during this holiday season by–
reading the Bible as often as I can,
spending time in quiet listening,
slowing down to listen and laugh more with friends and family,
giving myself permission to do less,
taking a break from writing this blog.
A Surrendered Book Sale!
Surrendered: Learning to Trust & Rest, lessons from the vine and branch is on sale this month for $10, a savings of $4.99 (or free shipping). The book leads the reader through 30 short readings, one for each day of a month, as Jesus illustrates His role, the Father’s role, and our role in this rich experience we call the Christian life. The book can be used as a devotional or as a bible study with questions that “dig deeper” in the back section.
If you order Surrendered before Tuesday, December 18, you should receive it in time for Christmas.
Also, Led and Surrendered can both be downloaded in PDF format on my website, here. Once downloaded through a simple click, they can be uploaded onto a kindle or an app like Google Play Books (get it at the App Store for free).
I hope you’ll enjoy the rest that Jesus provides during this busy holiday season.