To quote the ever-eloquent Britney Spears, “Oops, I did it again.”
Several years ago I spent all of Advent backing myself into a corner trying to be the hostess with the mostest. I pined all the pins, baked all the cookies, created all the crafts, and bought all the presents. By the time Christmas morning rolled around I was so worn out that all I wanted to do was stay in bed, pull the covers up over my head, and sleep straight through until the new year.
Never again, I muttered as I finally fell into bed that night, only to find myself in the same exhausted stupor the following year.
Why do we do this to ourselves, ladies? As women after God’s heart, we know good and well what this season is about. But we continue to run ourselves ragged all in the hopes of having the “perfect Christmas.”
But here’s the catch (and a giant spoiler alert!): the perfect Christmas? It already happened in a stable in Bethlehem. The OG Christmas was the best Christmas, and nothing we ever do is ever going to top it.
Which is such great news, right? It allows us to jump off the tinsel-covered hamster wheel and straight into our Father’s arms for an Advent like never before.
We’re going to start this journey to the greatest Advent of our lives by taking a huge, audacious gulp of air because bailing on the Christmas rat race takes some courage. I get it. We want to have a wonderful, memorable holiday season with the people we love, and it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle. We worry that if we don’t do it all, we’re terrible moms, daughters, sisters, and friends. But I’ve got to ask you something: where did we get this idea? Certainly not from our Father. The One who hung the moon in the sky and crashes the waves into the shore knows otherwise. He tells us He will fight for us - we need only to be still (Ex. 14:14). If He will fight for us, surely he will hold the gap if we stop trying to do it all this Christmas season in order to find some real, true rest in the depths of his fierce love instead?
The truth is, finding rest, especially during Advent, isn't something that happens on accident. It’s something we must get intentional about. We’ve got to say no to some things to find rest. We can't do it all, so let's stop trying to do it all, okay?
Instead, let’s be women who decide to be deliberate about using Advent as a time of preparation, but not in the way the world asks of us. We know Christmas isn’t found on Pinterest, in the mall, or in the kitchen. Christmas is found in our beloved Jesus. So let’s find rest in the knowledge that our hearts are his dwelling place now and forevermore.