Advent, Christmas, Jesus, holidays, rest, busy, busyness, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Long to Return: Resting Our Hearts and Minds During the Holidays

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!

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? Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #Advent #Christmas #Jesus #busy #rest #holidays #busyness

Return

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?

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 Lord’s work.

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.”

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 find rest in the restless days of December.

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

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? Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #Advent #Christmas #Jesus #busy #rest #holidays #busyness

unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt
Advent, Christmas, Jesus, pressure, holidays, rest, busy, season, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Remembering Jesus: Overcoming the Pressure of the Holiday Season

The pressure of the holidays can be suffocating. Remembering Jesus, our Savior, and resting in His presence allows us to overcome the lies and expectations. 



I can already feel the lies of the season…

Do all the things. Be all the things. Give all the things.

»Pressure«

Why in the world does this happen during the Christmas season? I know it’s all been said before, it’s all been penned, it’s all been discussed…

Busyness vs. Peace • Mantle vs. Manger • Presents vs. Presence.

The pressure of the holidays can be suffocating. Remembering Jesus, our Savior, and resting in His presence allows us to overcome the lies and expectations. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #Advent #Christmas #Jesus #busy #rest #holidays #pressure

Expecting Gifts

Christmas isn’t about the things… We all say this, but we fall prey to the trap every year. We allow it. It creeps in with every Christmas song, movie, and commercial. With every dollar-spot stop at Target. Every ‘SALE! SALE! SALE!’

GIVE all the things…

I’m seriously contemplating -deep breath in- little to no gifts this year. GASP! As everyone screams, ‘Look away! Look away!’ The horror. The nerve.

The freedom…

Imagine, for just a moment, if the pressure of buying the perfect gift, or anything at all, was lifted from our shoulders. Imagine if Christmas was about the conversations, the number of hearts beating in the same room, about being around, not the presents.

What if the gift of the season was about experiencing each other, hearing each other, breaking bread together, grieving together, laughing together, living life together…

Giving what we have…giving ourselves. Our Creator provided us unique gifts to pour out on those we love. Baking, making, hospitably serving, singing, reading, smiling. Giving love, listening ears, open doors… Giving Jesus. Jesus – the most perfect gift.

God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings.

1 Peter 4:10, TLB

Christmas Busy

Christmas is about spending time with loved ones…Yet we still fill our time with events, parties, and programs that take us away from intimate moments with the ones we love. ‘Tis the season to be busy. Christmas parades, Christmas programs, Christmas events…

Christmas is stamped at the beginning of these words, adding a new level of pressure to attend. We run ourselves ragged making sure to show our faces, our kids’ faces, our spouses’ faces at it all.

Please understand I’m not trying to close everyone off from societal traditions. I’m simply trying to spark inspiration in finding rest, seeking the warmth of hospitality, and taking pleasure in the calm.

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6, NLT (ephasis added)

Yes, this verse refers to a time when governments practiced seasons of peace. However, through His sacrifice on the cross, Jesus offers peace to us all, at any moment. He offers us calm in our spirits, though there’s strife all around. He provides quietness through the hustle and bustle. Falling into Jesus brings rest, comfort, and a stillness that is unmatched in this world.

Overcoming Pressure

Christmas is about Jesus… But we fill the season with so much that Jesus isn’t. From the moment of conception to the moment of ascension, every bit of Christ’s life is what we cherish at Christmas, and all the other 364 days. Well, it should be.

For what Jesus accomplished in our place, we should be filled with overwhelming joy. He came to earth as the Son of God, died on the cross for all our sins, rose from the dead three days later, and gave us hope for eternal life with our Father. From that joy should spring forth immense generosity… supernatural generosity.

Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, they have mixed their wonderful joy with their deep poverty, and the result has been an overflow of giving to others.

2 Corinthians 8:2, TLB

The load is lifted from my chest, and I take a huge sigh of relief. It’s beautiful. Warm. It’s Jesus. Only Jesus. Rejoicing in His gift, being in His presence, and resting in His hope is what the days ahead are all about… it’s what life is about.

Sister, I pray we can join together in overcoming these lies of the holidays. That we can shift the ‘normal’ expectations and rest in Jesus. Rest in remembering Jesus.

The pressure of the holidays can be suffocating. Remembering Jesus, our Savior, and resting in His presence allows us to overcome the lies and expectations. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #Advent #Christmas #Jesus #busy #rest #holidays #pressure

unsplash-logoeberhard grossgasteiger