Practicing contentment at this time of year is tough. I don’t bake all that well, I’m not an awesome cook, my decorating skills are eh-okay, but not all that fantastic, we don’t have outdoor lights… and the list goes on.
It wasn’t until I grew up and had a family of my own that I realized how much effort my mom put into Christmas. I remember the weeks of preparation in which she decorated, shopped, cooked, baked, cleaned and wrapped gifts for the family.
We didn’t just have Christmas baking, we had a freezer packed full. She made sugar cookies, butter tarts, mince meat tarts, shortbread, and peanut butter cookies.
The tables were decorated with all sorts of treats like mixed nuts, hard candies, chocolates, and Japanese oranges.
Garland hung from the ceiling, tinsel adorned the tree, festive carols filled the air, and I loved the way she strung our Christmas cards up on the wall.
The thought of keeping up with all that is exhausting.
Just as I was feeling the stress of it all, a song came on the radio. It was Amy Grant…
December comes then disappears
Faster and faster every year
Did my own mother keep this pace
Or was the world a different place?
Where people stayed home wishing for snow
Watching three channels on their TV
Look at us now rushing around
Trying to buy Christmas peace
Amy Grant “I Need Silent Night”
First thought that came to my mind? She gets it.
Where’s the comfort and joy in the rush of the season?
Being a homemaker is one of the best gifts that we can bring to our family, but it becomes a snare to us when we’re more concerned about keeping up with the Joneses than we are about keeping up with Christ.
The quickest way to lose our sense of peace is by disconnecting with Him to focus the hustle and bustle of it all.
It’s okay to cut back, it’s okay to pare down, it’s okay to spend less.
But here’s the key to it all: when we stop counting the things we don’t have and start counting the blessings we do have, we find peace in the midst of the holiday season.
Paul said, “for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Phil. 4:11)
We need to be content with our abilities as much as we are with our finances. You’re going to see the best of the best on Facebook and Pinterest. You’re going to hear about wonderful gatherings, perfect families, and happy homemakers. You’re going to see decorations that make your tree look like it was dragged off the set of a Peanuts movie. You’re going to see wonderful gifts you wish you could afford, and home baking you wish you could make…
Taking on too much, expecting too much, or putting pressure on yourself can be a distraction. He’s the reason for the season. Don’t lose sight of that.
5 simple ways to slow down and bring peace to your home:
- Spend time in prayer. If you don’t have a prayer journal I’d suggest starting one. It’s a good and relaxing habit to get into. I journal my prayers every night. It helps me to bring stress to the surface, and leave it in God’s hands.
- Downsize. Is the holiday season more stressful than you’d like it to be? Try down-sizing. Ask yourself what you should keep and what you should cut.
- Simplify. Don’t stretch your budget thin. Simplify. There are countless ways to bless without financial stress.
- Think Small. Focus on one little corner of your home. Put in the effort to make it pretty, comfy, inviting and warm.
- Buddy Up. Tackle some of your to-do list with a friend. Whether you’re baking, filling out cards, or wrapping gifts, you could enjoy these moments together.
- Choose Joy. Consider one thing (or two) that stresses you out during the holiday season. Decide in advance that you’re choosing joy this year, then tackle that task with a smile.
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You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife