Before we know it, the hustle and bustle of Christmas will be over, and we will be getting used to the idea of 2018. It’s a little painful to think about actually—All the Christmas decorating, planning, baking, shopping, parties, all of it is going to be squeezed into the next 2 1/2 weeks…and then we will be on to the next thing. Just like that, it will be over.
But what a shame it would be if we got through this madness only to realize we focused mostly on the madness. I don’t think any of us want to do that. We know Christmas is a beautiful time to reflect on the truths of the gospel, to remember God humbly entered earth as a baby, and to rejoice in the salvation Jesus accomplished. But the reality is, we will give little thought to these truths if we don’t work to direct our focus–the current of the chaos is just too strong.
So knowing you are busy, here are 3 basic and easy ways to stay focused this December:
#1 Keep your quiet times intact.
During busy seasons quiet times can easily be the first thing to go. Yet, they might be what we need most to get through the busy season well! We certainly need to be in God’s word to get perspective. We definitely need to rely on God through prayer. And without a doubt, we need some quiet moments to reflect on how to please God best each day. We need our daily quiet time.
Maybe your quiet times will look different on the busiest of days, but you should do all you can to still have them. You will be glad you did—you will know you kept first things first, you will go into your day with more trust in the Lord and more reliance on his strength. And you will more quickly remember who it is you are celebrating at Christmas.
#2 Keep your heart engaged.
Most likely you will be at a number of Christmas events that will focus on Jesus. The problem is we rush from one thing to the next, and half of the time our minds are consumed with all there is to do (instead of focusing on Jesus).
Try praying before you arrive at this type of event— ask God to help you focus. Work to put away your mental to-do list, and be “all there.” If you can do that, a good chunk of your December will be filled with wonderful moments of remembering the reason we even celebrate Christmas.
#3 Use some good christmassy resources.
If you are a mom, you probably have a handful of great resources to teach your children the truths of Christmas. But don’t forget to find some for yourself too! (In fact, some that are for your kids, might even be good for you too! Below I listed some recommended resources, and “Christmas Carols for a Kid’s Heart” is in that category)
You could spice up your quiet times by exchanging something you already read for 5 minutes in a Christmas devotional. Or you could read a couple of pages in a special Christmas book before going to bed. There are even resources on “PrayerMate” (a prayer app some of you use) that allow you to subscribe to advent devotionals to get your prayer time started right.*
It’s a unique time of year that comes with a handful of wonderful resources. Take advantage of them, and see if it doesn’t help you focus more on Christ this Christmas season!
“The Reason for the Season”
That “reason for the season” quote is used so much; I don’t even like saying it anymore. It eventually can sound quite cheesy. But there is a good reason we say it so often.
The way we often do Christmas is a little like planning a birthday party for a friend but ignoring that person during the month of preparation. We can’t wait to celebrate their birthday, but we have no time for them amidst the preparations. It really isn’t very logical.
So this Christmas, let’s not get so bogged down by the planning and activities, that we forget to think about who this season is all about. Let’s not forsake the One that should be our constant focus in December (and every day of the year for that matter).
*Here are a few great “Christmassy Resources”:
And last but not least, my pastor has a number of great Christmas resources. Click on this link to find several Christmas devotionals and sermons.