From the moment I stepped through the door of “ministry” my view on the “holidays” changed. Thanksgiving became navigating phone calls of both those wanting to drop off an extra Turkey, mixed with getting them to the families who needed them. Christmas became about a sprint to take care of others. There were children in the ministry who needed toys, families who needed a meal, the hurting who needed an extra dose of compassion and love.
I never realized I could so easily lose sight of Christ in a time of year when I talked about Him so much. One year when my own children were toddlers, I confess that I drove around on Christmas Eve searching for a tree with my husband all while sobbing about how I had been so busy making sure everyone else in need had a wonderful Christmas my own kids got lost in the shuffle.
There it is. From Thanksgiving through New Years the tension lies in the giving. When you enter this “job” called “ministry” it feels less like a choice and more like a requirement. Honestly? Resentment can easily set in. “Why do we HAVE to do so much for others?” we ask while smiling and telling the world how much we love taking care of everyone.
What can we do to take it back if this is the pace set before us?
Seek Christ Before, During & After the “Holidays.”
No brainer right? Still I think we can forget this time of year should be an extension of an everyday relationship. He doesn’t get pushed aside when we have purposed to be with him on the “non” holidays. These times are merely steps along our journey with Him.
Remember WHY we give:
This time of year is often when the distress of others bubbles to the surface and it can come out in ugly ways. “I thought you were a Christian,” has been said to me on more than one occasion when I didn’t “give” in the way someone in my ministry desired. If I think this is about me or them, then I can get really ticked off at this attitude. Instead, I have to remember I give because of the gift Christ is. I give because Jesus gave his life extravagantly. I give because He loved me first.
Find some things in this season that bring you joy. Make some choices that help you remember why this is a great time of year. Do you fry your turkey? Do you have an Advent devotional? Are you a Christmas Carol fanatic? What works for YOU and YOUR family to take this back and remember the Lord in the midst of it all?
10 Minutes a Day
Find 10 minutes everyday to stop and slow down purposely and be quiet. Breathe deep and take a few moments to sit and only think only about HIM. Tell him why you are always thankful for everything He is.
Make Time For Those You Love
We can get so busy serving others we do forget those closest to us. Our eye can be to “just get through this time.” Make 5 minutes for those you want to embrace this season. Don’t let them be “one more thing to do” on your list.
Maybe the sprint is different for you. However, no one expects you to implode under the weight of what “Has” to be done. The Lord just wants us to be His. We aren’t the ones asked to save anyone. Most of all simply remember this isn’t the only time of year Jesus shows up.
What do you do to take this time back?