I spent some time thinking about all the things that people do during the holidays. It’s really quite amazing how we think we can cram a ga-zillion things into our days, just cause we HAVE to prepare for Christmas!
I mean, my life BEFORE the holidays seems crazy all on its own. Technically, I’m already living in a state of chaos. (Just recently moved and living out of boxes. Running a multi-generational household of 7: Josh, me, our 2 little kids, both my parents, and my father-in-law. Leading a moms ministry. Speaking at women’s events. Oh yeah – and trying to intentionally raise children.) And yet somehow, I think I can just add on all these other things when a holiday comes around?
I mean… there’s Christmas trees to set up and cookies to make. There’s gifts to buy, and lights to hang, and Christmas cards to write, buy, AND send!
There’s SO MUCH to put on our calendar, use our money, bake, eat, and clean… so many opportunities to stay up late, get stressed out, over achieve… so many miles to drive, parties to attend, and people to please.
But Galatians 5:1 says, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
When I read this verse it rocked me! It said, “do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” To me I read this and thought,”We ALLOW slavery to be a part of our lives! We ‘submit’ to this yoke. It’s not forced upon us.”
So, could it be then, perhaps… that I am submitting to a yoke of slavery by allowing all these crazy holiday expectations to stress me out and challenge my sanity?
I’m not saying it’s bad or wrong to set expectations, or stay up late wrapping gifts, or participate in traditions. I do all of these things too! But if some of those things are taking us to a place of stress, anxiety, or frustration, I think we need to rethink some of it.
We can get so wrapped up with the crazy expectations of the holidays, that we unknowingly submit to a yoke of slavery.
But! There’s good news! We DONT HAVE TO SUBMIT! My friend! Please hear me! YOU. DON’T. HAVE. TO. DO. IT. ALL! Jesus has already given us FREEDOM in every area of our lives and we can walk in that freedom! That includes the holidays!
So here’s what I really want you to think about: January 1st. The presents have been opened and played with. The food has been made and consumed. The Christmas services are finished. The travel is done and the excitement of the anticipation of it all is over.
And I want to ask you this question:
When you look back on this Christmas season, what do you want to be reaping?
Do not be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Gal 6:7-8
What if we actually believed this verse to be true? I mean REALLY! What I sow, I will reap.
I don’t want to sow to my own fleshly desires of comparison. people pleasing. perfectionism. materialism. being judgmental. If these are all coming from my flesh they will just reap corruption! And that is NOT what Christmas or my life is about – even though it seems like everyone gets wrapped up in it.
I HAVE to filter my choices then through the lens of REAPING. I MUST think as I make decisions this year – am I sowing what I want to reap?
So here are 5 things I’m going to sow this season:
- I’m going to continue to have Jesus time every morning – cause I want to reap a deeper relationship with Christ.
- I’m not going to make more than 1 kind of Christmas cookie cause I want to reap margin.
- I will only focus on 2 main traditions that are about Jesus cause I want my kids to reap a knowledge that Christmas is actually about Jesus.
- Lighting our advent candles during supper and reading a scripture.
- Making a birthday cake on Christmas day, eating it for breakfast, and singing happy birthday to Jesus BEFORE we open any gifts.
- I’m going to save time and shop online cause I want to reap time to make memories with my kids.
- I’m going to pray for my family before they come visit cause I want to reap peace and connection with them.
So there you have it. This is my list. It’s not supposed to be your list…but my hope is that it inspires you to start thinking about what you want your family to REAP after Christmas is over and done this year.
Don’t get lost in the holiday crazy! It’s not about doing it all. It’s just about sowing what you want to reap. That’s it. Simple. Gal. 6:7-8.
(Now. Back to snuggling with my kids and ignoring all the boxes in my house…)