quote by Love Inspired (personal image)
Gifts, Gifts, Gifts, and more Gifts. Sales of all kinds. Wrapping, packages, glitter and bows. Peppermint Hot cocoa, Eggnog lattes and don’t forget the mistletoe! ‘Tis the season to be jolly, and is that snow on your nose?
We love this time of year, it’s full of good times, sweets, good food and friends. But too often, I think our expectations are of material things and not on the things that truly satisfy the heart. Jesus came to bring love, joy and peace into our hearts, and in the season when we celebrate His birth, it can be hard to truly have a satisfied heart. Do the gifts matter so much? How about if things don’t quite go our way? It really shouldn’t matter.
I saw the quote above on Instagram this week and it quickened my heart to remember what Christmas is all about. It’s not about filling our stockings with things, but it’s about filling our hearts with the King. The King who was born a baby, who came to fill our lives with peace. He came so that one day He could die and give the greatest gift of all: eternal life.
What would happen if we lost our expectations of perfection and giving (or receiving) the best gifts and we focused on satisfying our hearts with Jesus? The following are three tips for getting through the holidays with a satisfied heart:
Slow Down Oftentimes we treat the holidays like a rat-race. I promise, no one will know if you wrap the gifts the night before because you took a free night to have cocoa and read a book with your kids. I encourage you to make a quick list of the things you want to do with your loved ones before you make the never-ending list of to-do’s and to-buy’s. I can think of four people off the top of my head that I always put off for other things – expecting that I’ll have time later. What if that time is taken away from me?
Love More Is this a given? We’re giving gifts to loved ones, but how many times during the holidays do we quickly text someone, have a quick phone call or just generally don’t listen or love because we’re too busy doing something else. If we slow down (see above), we have time to love more. Love is an intangible gift, but it is the greatest of them all. Give more love this season.
Focus on the Reason No matter what you’re doing, if you’re going to the Nutcracker Ballet, a church Christmas Banquet or a perfect holiday buffet, keep Jesus in the middle. Do you have an advent calendar? Do you follow a Christmas devotional? (Rev. B.J. Wilmoth is writing a daily Christmas devotional on his blog.) Perhaps you can sing a sacred Christmas hymn or worship song that reminds you of the kindness of our Savior and His lowly birth.
“We were created for more than this world offers (Cathy Olson).” I believe this is true all year round, but even more so at Christmastime.Let’s let Jesus be enough for our hearts this year.
Some extra resources: