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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Have a "Mary" Christmas

Ok, raise your hand if you have ever had these thoughts in the month of December:

-Next year, we should just go on a missions trip and skip Christmas.
-Would everyone hate me if I just don't do gifts this year?
-I wish I could just ENJOY the holiday instead of being so BUSY!

Chances are you have been stressed out like me, staring at your never-ending list of gifts to buy, make, and wrap, things to cook and bake, places to go, cards to send, people to please, etc., etc.

What if we could prevent that from happening?  Or at least experience less stress and worry each year?

Let's take a look at God's Word to see what He has to say in Luke 10...

38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

This passage has come up a lot for me in the past year, especially thanks to my friend the Mary & Martha consultant. :)  I've been asked whether I'm a "Mary" or a "Martha" and pondered how to find a balance between the two.  My son was watching The Donut Man today, and he had something very interesting to say about that infamous situation in the first century.  He said, "Martha was doing the right thing at the wrong time," (from the episode titled "The Celebration House").

Wow, what a great point.  It's not that preparing and cooking and cleaning are bad things.  It's just that there's a time to be busy and a time to sit still and take it all in.  So, how can WE do that?  How can we avoid the distractions of the holiday season that take our focus off of the One Thing that really matters?

First, I think we need to have a plan.  
Second, we need to be proactive about sticking to the plan and checking off our list in a timely                 fashion.  
Finally, we need reminders and support.  
That's where the group comes in.  

After a conversation with my homeschool mom friends the week before Christmas.  We were all complaining about how busy we were and how much more money we still needed to spend.  On the way home, my wheels were spinning.  How could we do this in a better, less "anxious and troubled" way?  As if we were on the same wavelength, I received a message from one with an idea that she had for a free, meaningful stocking stuffer (coupons for dates with mommy and daddy).  Wow!  What a wonderful idea!  She didn't have to go anywhere, not did she spend any money, but her kids were going to love it!  Then she took the extra step of sharing her idea with friends.  That was it!  The idea of the group was born.

I realize we are not commanded to celebrate Christ's birth and that it has become a twisted cultural event.  HOWEVER, it is always a good idea to remember the Greatest Gift that was given to us by our Heavenly Father.  As a symbol, and just naturally, we like to give and receive gifts (even though they don't compare and can never fill us up like a relationship with Jesus).  But where is the balance?  And how do we achieve it?   Let's find out together, shall we?

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