This Is Joy?
Give yourself a point for each one that describes you today:
* You still have to wrap gifts.
* You still have to plan a big meal.
* You still have to buy a crapton of groceries.
* You still have to clean your messy house before company arrives.
* You still have to buy a few last minutes gifts.
* You still have to make Christmas cookies and treats.
* You still have to take family photos.
* You still have so many things on the Bucketlist you have to do: You have to drive around and look at Christmas lights, you have to take a photo with Santa, you have to drink hot chocolate, you have to sing Christmas carols, and oh crap you still have to do some sort of random act of kindness.
How many points did you rack up? How behind are you on all the things on all the lists?
I’m at a zero. None. And ya’ll it’s not because I’m super organized and ahead of schedule. It’s because I’ve screwed up enough Christmases with all the things, to now understand I actually don’t HAVE to do any of this, I GET TO.
You still GET to buy a few last minute gifts for people you love. You still GET to go to a grocery store that has absolutely everything you need all at your fingertips without you having to kill it, pluck it, skin it, or harvest it. You just get to grab it off the shelves, buy it with money you’re walking around with, and take it home in your vehicle that runs! Oh my gosh, you’ve hit the jackpot sister! You still GET to make cookies. You GET to prepare your home for company. You GET to wrap presents. You GET to go see Christmas lights and you GET to drink hot chocolate! Oh my gosh, best day ever! And you GET to take photos with beautiful people?
Look at all the joy you have still ahead of you. Look at all you have been blessed to get to do.
Why do we make this a chore? Why do we commit ourselves to doing things, then show up with dread to do them?
Y’all it is four days until Christmas morning, and if you’re feeling stress and overwhelm over all you still have to do, you’re in desperate need of a perspective shift. I’m pretty dang sure Jesus doesn’t want you rushing around miserable and exhausted for the next 4 days because of his birthday. That doesn’t honor him.
Girl, you may be getting all the things done, but are you nasty about it? You’re rushed, you’re uptight, you’re just pushing through. Pushing through what? The season of joy? The most wonderful time of the year? The gathering of precious souls you get to share life with? The celebration of the one who came to save you? You’re pushing through that?
How about we not? How about we remember why we’re doing what we’re doing and the sheer blessing behind it all.
Let me tell you something, there’s not room for stress and overwhelm in a life of joy. Joy requires space. It expands and overflows the edges. It consumes hours and days. Joy takes over to-do lists and chores. Joy allows you to still get all the things done, but remain grounded in the blessing of why you do what you do.
Y’all I get to go to the grocery store and buy hundreds of dollars of groceries because I have kids in my home I’ve been waiting years to see! I get to wrap gifts because I had the ability to create something special they will love. And all on top of all that, you know what I get to do … I get to help plan a last minute wedding on the beach to happen in 6 days!
My daughter and her fiance are here from Italy, and they have chosen to begin their forever together while they’re here with us on the island! How crazy amazing is that?!!!!!! And crazy amazing is how it will remain, because stress and overwhelm have no place in my life of joy. Stress has no place in this time of celebration. Overwhelm is not welcome in these special moments we get to create.
We often trade what is so incredibly special for a sense of overwhelm. Why? Why would you allow that invasion of your most precious moments? Why would you let the enemy bring stress to your party? Why would you allow the sneaky exchange of all you are so ridiculously blessed to GET to do, for things you HAVE to do?
Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 5: 19-20 “Here’s what I’ve decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. And that’s about it. That’s the human lot. Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s God’s gift!”
Sis, make the most of whatever job you have today. Delight in the work. This is what you GET to do, not what you HAVE to do. You honor Jesus with your joy, not with your overwhelm. You celebrate Jesus with your presence, not your presents. Your day doesn’t need more time, honey your day needs more LIFE.
Stress and overwhelm have no place in a life of joy. Look around, you have so much to do because you have been given so much.
Now, give yourself a point for all the glorious things you still GET to do because you’re so ridiculously blessed in these final 4 days before Christmas:
* You still GET to wrap gifts because you were able to buy things they will love.
* You still GET to plan a big meal because people want to sit at a table with you.
* You still GET to buy a crapton of groceries because healthy people like to eat.
* You still GET to clean your messy house before company arrives because life has been happening in your house.
* You still GET to buy a few last minutes gifts because you want to bless someone else.
* You still GET to make Christmas cookies and treats and create memories.
* You still GET to take family photos that will outlive you.
* You still have so many things on the Bucketlist you GET to savor and enjoy and be fully present for.
Yes, all those things. And I even get to help create the most ridiculously beautiful, special and intimate day for my girl to marry the boy we’ve always prayed she would have. Overflowing!!!!!!!!!!!!
As you do all the things, may you be filled with grace and peace and chose joy a million times over. There’s no space for stress and overwhelm. This is God’s gift to you! And your gift to him … enjoy it!