The Christmas season is upon us! With only a few more days left until Christmas, we can easily become engulfed and busied with studying for exams, finishing deadlines, preparing food, planning parties, and buying gifts. In these times of busyness, we tend to prioritize certain things over others. It’s easy for us to put the gift buying, food making, and studying before focusing on the true and real reason for the season. Myself included.

Sally, Larry and I just returned from a Christian Camp conference in Orlando where Pastor Eugene Cho discussed the epidemic of busyness. It is a current trend to find our importance in how busy we are instead of taking moments to rest and reflect. So I encourage you, rest and reflect on what this season means. Rest and reflect on the perfect gift of Jesus that we have been given. John 3:16 “For God so loved the World, that He gave his one and only son, so that whoever believes in Him, shall not parish but have eternal life!” What a gift! What a miracle! God loves us so much, that he sent his perfect son into the world as a precious baby, who was born to two lowly servants, and was placed in a food storage for animals, to be a sacrifice so that we all have the opportunity to spend eternity with Him. We have been saved by grace, and grace alone, and have been given much more than we could ever afford or deserve. I encourage you to rest and reflect on this truth and all that He has done and is doing in your lives.

Ways to Help Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing

  1. There is a 24 daily advent devotional called “Come Let Us Adore Him” by Paul David Tripp that I have loved! It really helps you to focus on the purpose of Christmas and rejoice in all that you have been given. Paul Tripp also wrote another daily devotional “New Morning Mercies” that is a year long. Both are great Christmas gifts for any teenager+!

  2. Before you go to bed, write down 10 things that you are thankful to God for. This is a great way to end the day, giving it to God and going to bed with a grateful heart. I started doing this after seeing some of my counselor friends and two of roommates from last year do it. Reflecting on your blessings really helps put things in perspective and is an easy way to look at all that we have already been given (instead of focusing on what we want for Christmas). This is a GREAT activity to do with kids as well.

  3. While realizing what you have, look to help meet the needs of others. ’Tis the season to give! One thing that I have been praying and leaning into is asking myself “What do my finances say about what I care about? Am I generous with what I have already been given?” and “Am I generous with my time?” There are so many worthy organizations that you can give to or ones that you can volunteer at. Giving your time away is one of the best gifts you can give and is a fun way for you to spend time as a family :). Your local church is a great resource to help find organizations to donate to and local volunteer opportunities.

Remember the reason for the season!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 ESV