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The Hustle and Bustle of Christmas

BY LEANN DILBECK –

I am the calendar keeper of the home and everyone in it. My husband simply says each morning, “What do we have tonight?” because we have accepted that this season of life and this season of year is full of recitals, parties, practices, games, banquets, and so on and so forth. Occasionally, there is a break and we celebrate an evening off… isn’t that the reverse of what it is intended to be?

I was the bearer of news one recent Sunday evening that for the next 16 days/evenings, we had an obligation. “Obligation” was literally the word I used to describe what were all intended to be celebratory events. I promise that no one enjoys the holiday season more than I but struggle every year finding that intricate balance between all of the festivities, keeping our own family’s traditions, and not being so exhausted to not be able to enjoy all the joy the season delivers faithfully every year.

The tasks of the season can keep you busy… just on the task itself. Getting ready to host an event or gathering at your home, at least for me, takes a lot of planning, shopping, and cooking. The older our family has gotten, personalized gifts are so important to me… so meaningful and true gifts from the heart… but that all takes time and planning. Just a couple of examples of how we can be so “busy” outside of all of the events themselves… but when you have a heart to serve, it’s so hard to know where to draw the line. Perhaps it’s when the joy of the season turns into exhaustion that turns into stress that snowballs into irritability?

We celebrate the birth of Jesus this time of year so let us not forget that Jesus was never too busy for people. His disciples were an unlikely ban of misfits and sinners that he loved and served. He hung out with fisherman, dined with tax collectors, he stopped to touch lepers, heal the blind, and resurrect a dead man… a true living example that we was never too busy accomplishing His extraordinary mission that He didn’t have time for people.

I have people in my life I’m called to serve… namely, my family. My husband and teenage children deserve to come home to an organized, clean home and a home cooked meal. They deserve to have my full attention when they share about their day. They deserve to have my time available to them to help them meet all of their demands. This is what being a mother means to me. I’m called to serve my loving parents in whatever way they need. Maybe I need to send a text to a dear friend who just lost their father. I pray the Lord helps me remember this holiday season, and all year long, that there will never be enough hours in the day to complete all of my “tasks,” regardless of how well intended they may be – may I always remember that being a loving wife, giving mother, attentive daughter, and thoughtful friend are my priorities… even when I feel pulled in a million different directions… because in the end, I don’t want to be known as completing all of my “tasks,” I want to be known for loving God and others well.

During this most beautiful and sacred time of year, let’s adjust our priorities to reflect His mission and, yes, set time aside for those needed tasks. But as we follow His example, let “love one another” be at the top of every “to do” list or calendar we make!

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