How to Thrive This Christmas

Christmas is almost here! Don’t panic. Fill those lungs slowly with oxygen and exhale slowly…in…out…repeat. Seriously it’s going to be okay.

Forget about the Pinterest perfect Christmas. We live in real life where the turkey is still frozen in the center and the dressing (stuffing) didn’t turn out quite right. Where Uncle Bob bought you something you are not really sure what it is or what to do with it.

We get caught up in planning and executing the details. There’s the tree to decorate, outside lights to put up. Christmas pj’s, gift buying and oh don’t forget the greeting cards. What about the food? How many guests are coming for dinner? (you get the picture), while all that can be kind of fun, it can also drain the joy right out of us if we are not careful.

What’s a woman to do? Are we relegated each year to merely surviving the Christmas holiday? Or is there a way to actually thrive during the season?

Tale of Two Sister’s

It's so easy as Martha's to get caught up in the planning and busyness of the season. This Christmas learn to embrace your inner Mary.Meet Mary and Martha, two sister’s who knew Jesus, we can read the account in Luke 10: 38-42 Here’s a quick rundown: Jesus visits Mary and Martha. Martha occupies herself with hospitality duties, while Mary sits listening to Jesus talk. Martha is not amused with her sister and asks Jesus to tell Mary to help her.

I use to think Martha was not interested in Jesus, totally unspiritual and so uptight. Jesus was in her house and where was Martha? The same place as many of us hide out…in the kitchen. I know I can find plenty to do there when we have visitors, even more so during Christmas.

Martha was a hard worker, her hands were never idle; a busy bee indeed. She had guests and there were mouths to be fed; no one was going hungry on her watch. After all, what kind of host  would she be if she didn’t provide well for her guests? Hmm, does that sound familiar? Does it sound a little close to home? Do we provide a banquet when a meal (or snack) is what’s needed? Do we go over the top because we don’t want our guests to think we’re stingy? Do we think quantity of food equates with quality of welcome? Sure we don’t want our guests to go home hungry, plus there is fellowship in eating and spending time together. But, when we hide away in the kitchen spending more time with appliances than our guests we lose out; and so do they.

Mary choose to sit and listen to Jesus. Luke (Message Bible) tells us she was, hanging on to every word. Oh that we would listen so intently to the master.

Kitchen Isolation

I’m sure Mary was accustom to kitchen work, Martha would not have asked for her help if she was challenged in that area. When there’s work to be done in the kitchen we don’t want someone who doesn’t know the refrigerator from the dishwasher; do we?

Martha felt abandoned in the kitchen, while her sister soaked in the Holy atmosphere at the feet of Jesus.  Interrupting Jesus, she asked Him to tell Mary to go to the kitchen and help. I don’t understand why she didn’t tell her sister herself, maybe it was a cultural thing. I love Jesus’ response.

The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing.”

That’s it. We fuss too much and get ourselves worked-up and wonder why we are not enjoying our guests. While there was work involved providing for her guests, Martha took it way over the top; she was fussing too much; this led to her feeling abandoned. Who of us have not felt abandoned in the kitchen at some time or other?

The Main Course

While the busyness of the season requires us to be like Martha, the planner, cook and bottle washer, we also need our inner Mary to surface. We need to focus on the reason for Christmas; Jesus. Breathe slow and deep, slow down and spend time at His feet soaking in His holy atmosphere, hanging on to His every word.

One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”

Jesus is our main course, His Word nourishes our very core. He satisfies the deepest longings of our heart. He quiets our anxieties and fills us with His peace. In Him, we thrive.

Dear friend choose to thrive this Christmas. Invite Jesus into the process and may this year be the best Christmas you have had to date.

Merry Christmas

Helena

Photo and Graphic Credit: Helena Davies.  Design NLC Creative