busyness, return, rest

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, December can be a restless month for many. We long to return our souls to rest. How can we calm our hearts in the midst of all the busyness?

It’s December, y’all!

Are you relishing in the cooler weather, holiday traditions, and pretty lights? Maybe you’re more like me with a rush of adrenaline accompanying this month and the feeling that no matter how you try to prepare for the busyness you still always feel caught off guard by it.

Either way, it’s here along with the hustle and bustle, Christmas cookies and school plays, family visits and visiting family. This time of year is supposed to be one of peace and joy. Yet so often it’s easy to be short tempered and on edge with places to go and deadlines to meet that leave us always going to the next thing.

We want to slow down and enjoy this season and remember our Savior, but the to do list is daunting. It appears nothing can be cut from it. Let’s face it. December is just plain busy and exhausting!

You guys, I get it. December sneaks up on me every year. I know it’s coming, but somehow, I’m never ready. My husband works for a shipping company which means, of course, this is their busiest time of year. He’s always working, and we always miss him. Our daily schedule is at the mercy of his daily changing work schedule. The lack of consistency and family time wears on us all. Each year I think I’ll be better prepared, though each year I find myself blindsided, unable to breathe in the midst of the busy.

How do we balance keeping the obligations and traditions that are necessary and important while still finding rest in the middle of the business?

Return: Speaking to Our Soul

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
Our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
When I was brought low, He saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest;
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

Psalm 116:5-7, ESV

When I need to breathe again, I often go to this passage. Here, the psalmist speaks to himself. “Return, O my soul, to your rest.” As the psalmist did, I must also speak to my own soul. I must reach into my hurried heart and speak the reminder “return to your rest.”

Where does this rest come from? What provides rest to weary, busy souls?  The rest comes in remembering the Lords work.

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, December can be restless. How can we return our souls and hearts to calmness in the midst of all the busyness?

Return: Rest For the Restless Days

Before speaking to his own soul, the psalmist spoke to God’s work in his life. God is gracious and righteous. He is merciful and preserves the simple. When the psalmist sunk into the depths, God saved him. He reminds his soul of this. Yes, soul, “the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” That is where his soul finds rest…in the bountiful work of his God, his Savior.

Following the example in this passage, I speak to my own soul. “Soul, rest in His work. God has dealt bountifully with you. He is faithful. The Lord keeps His promises always. He saved you and called you Daughter. Return, O my worn and weary soul, to your rest. He will refresh you.”

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, December can be restless. How can we return our souls and hearts to calmness in the midst of all the busyness?

This time of year, we remember and celebrate the birth of Christ. When we see the images of our Savior in the manger, that God-man in infant form, let us speak to our souls. Let us remind our busy minds and distracted hearts of the ways this child King has dealt bountifully with us.

As we sing Christmas carols of infinitely precious truths, let them be reminders to our souls of His gracious care of us.

While we are out and about going from one place to another to attend to our family’s holiday schedules, let us keep with the example of the psalmist and breathe, speaking truth to our souls and finding rest in the restless days of December.

Dear one, return, you precious soul, to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

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With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, December can be restless. How can we return our souls and hearts to calmness in the midst of all the busyness?

About the author
Hi. I'm Kelly. I'm a wife and a mom to three, soon to be four, amazing little (and not so little) kiddo's who I also happen to homeschool. I'm a writer and poet, sister and friend. I'm a survivor of childhood trauma, in the middle of a healing journey. Yet more than any of that, I am a daughter of God, who has renamed me "My Delight is in Her" (Isaiah 62:4), and I am learning to live daily in that incredible truth.

Comments (26)

  1. I will be praying for you as you try to find rest this Christmas season. We have four littles as well and my hubs used to work for UPS (I do NOT miss him going to work at 2am!). December is often when I slow down and focus, this year has been so very different for us that I find myself in shock it is already December! Thank you for the reminder to slow down and enjoy the season of celebration for my Saviors birth!

    1. Aly, thank you for praying! My husband is not on the sunrise shift anymore, but he has been in the past. I don’t miss the 2 am wake ups either 🙂 Yes, December snuck up on me too. Thankful we have a Father who invites us to rest in Him.

    1. Absolutely! I frequently visit this psalm when I am anxious or scattered. Though I only mentioned a few verses, I find the entire psalm full of good truths that help me breathe and get my bearings again. I’m so thankful it ministered to you as well.

  2. I love these verses. I opened my Bible to highlight them and found I already had. The words gracious, righteous, merciful, preserveth, helped, rest, and dealt bountifully circled . We have a God we can rest in and know we can gain the strength we need from Him.

  3. Hi Kelly , thank you for a beautiful post and a gentle reminder! I thought of this verse for you:
    Isaiah 40:11 ” He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.”
    As a mama of 6, and the youngest is nearly 14 I have had to learn to find my rest in Him.
    Bless you & Merry Christmas.

    1. Donna, thank you so much for sharing that verse in Isaiah! It truly ministered to some very deep places in my heart.

    1. It has long been a favorite of mine as well. He does refresh us when we are low. He truly is a good, good Father.

  4. It is so important to take rest during the holidays. It’s so easy to become stressed and forget what really is important, Jesus. 🙂

  5. I love how you said “I must reach into my hurried heart and speak the reminder “return to your rest.”” I need to speak to my soul, today!

  6. Finding peace in the busyness of the season is so important. I enjoyed reading how you do that from a faith perspective

  7. Praying you can find rest this season! My husband is a teacher, so gearing up for the new year takes a lot of work too.

    1. Thank you! I will pray for you and your husband as well. Winter breaks aren’t really breaks for teachers. They work so hard for their kids.

  8. This was such a lovely read! It’s great to be reminded of what really matters and what’s important. With the excitement of the holidays we often forget to actually stop, breathe and take a rest. It’s good to know that we can enter the rest of God and He will give us rest and restore our souls and body so we can the strength.

    1. It is one of my favorite psalms for those times I feel anxious and hurried and struggling to breathe. I’m thankful it brings you comfort as well.

  9. I love this SO much! Rest is not something I naturally choose, so this is such a timely word. Thank you for sharing – I will follow your example this Christmas season and remind my soul to rest!

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