For the first time ever, I’m fully prepared for Christmas ahead of time. The cards are bought and are going in the mail. The presents are under the tree and the decorations are up. Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure there will be last-minute things I decide to do, but the majority of the items that we typically take the time to prepare for Christmas are done. This is a totally unusual situation for me!
A Martha Mindset?
I have heard people say that when someone is already busy, they’re more productive. In this situation, I believe that to be true. I have three boys, a husband, a church, and a full-time job, so I spend most of my time in hyper-productivity mode. Believe me, that’s not always the best place to be. In fact, if we consider the story of Martha and Mary, it’s the mode I should most definitely spend less time in.
Value in Simplifying
I don’t claim productivity from a place of prideful accomplishment. Quite the opposite. I can do nothing apart from Him and certainly can’t do what I’m used to doing in my own strength. He’s the foundation. I do also credit some of the productivity to the process of simplifying as well, which I believe is also pleasing to the Lord. My husband and I don’t overemphasize materialism or deal with elaborate decorations. Truth be told, from the outside of our home, there’s just an old wreath on the door. We don’t do a lot of Christmas parties, and we most often look forward to quiet and simple nights at home with the kids.
The Gift from the Lord
Still, part of me is still a little caught off guard wondering how I could be completed with the holiday task list so early, even with the simplifying that we’ve done. I’m so used to being overwhelmed that I’m surprised that I’m not feeling overwhelmed by the holidays this year. And then I realize that’s the gift my Lord gave me this Christmas.
While my Father’s first gift to me wasn’t under a tree, it ended up nailed to one. His best gifts now aren’t those under the tree either. It’s His Son’s fully glorified presence that came from His sacrifice while he hung on that tree that now provides for me, the shelter of simplicity and rest. This Christmas, I want nothing more than to “come and rest” and scripturally, that desire completely aligns with Jesus’s request for me as well. This Christmas, God gave me the desires of His heart and mine. They weren’t under the tree. They’re at His feet.
Joanna Sanders is a graduate of Villanova University and Moody Theological Seminary. She’s the author of Fire Women: Sexual Purity & Submission for the Passionate Woman and the co-author and editor of DiscipleTrip by Dr. Joey Cook. She’s also the founder and head writer of Colossians46.com, which provides biblical content support, writing, and editing. Most importantly, she is wife to Geoff and mom to three godly men-in-training. Her blog name “The Landing” comes from the account of the Ark resting on the mountain, creating a settled place — a landing — for man to start over, which echoes her new life in Christ.