What’s Important This Week?

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This post was originally written on December 21, 2008, just days after my mother-in-law lost her battle with cancer. I learned so much that year. I hope that these words encourage you this week as you figure out where to put your efforts and priorities.

Just a few days left. December 25th looms on the calendar. Are you ready?

It seems that there’s this big, frantic deadline approaching. In years past, I’d be feeling anxious by now.

I haven’t baked but one kind of cookie.
I haven’t driven around looking at Christmas lights with the fam.
I haven’t even addressed a single Christmas card.

But, this year. I’m not worried about it.

I read somewhere, can’t remember where, about how the holidays are a time when the pressure is on for women to be at their best and to show off. It struck a chord with me because I think many of my Christmases Past have been about just that, showing off.

There was a time when I felt I had to have it all together. Handmade Christmas cards written and mailed by December 1, tree perfectly trimmed, a dozen different kinds of cookies baked, presents handmade and gift wrapped in some creative, elegant way. Christmas carols playing in the background. It was really important to me to prove that I had it all together.

Or at least fake it really well.

This past year has been a major roller coaster ride: job change, cross-country move, life with SIX KIDS, and the loss of a loved one. All of these things have revealed to me how incredibly weak I am.

I do not have it all together.

There’ve been moments of desperation when I realize the challenges I’m up against and how terribly unequipped I am to tackle them. And this Christmas, instead of faking it, I’m just kind of shrugging.

I may not have it all together, but I know someone who does. God, in His infinite wisdom, created us with weaknesses. And our weaknesses prove to us how good and wonderful He is.

He can keep track of the details, right down to the hairs on our heads.

He can feed the multitudes with very little in the cupboard.

He can silence a raging storm.

And these truths bring me great comfort. I may not know or understand all the events of the past week or past year. But, God does. And He is so infinitely more capable than I. So, I am going to rest and rejoice this week. It’s not all going to get done, but that is okay.

After all, the point of this week is to celebrate the fact that Jesus came. Though born a babe of humble beginnings, the God of the Universe chose to come and live among us. He was born under a law that no one but himself could keep. He knew temptation, but did not sin. He died in the place of sinners, so that they might be reconciled to God. And He defeated sin and death. He rose again and lives at the right hand of the Father.

He came. He saw. And He conquered.

Way more important than getting everything checked off my list.

May you rest and rejoice in the midst of all the craziness this week.

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  1. Thanks so much for letting me know i’m not the only one shrugging my shoulders and trying to end this year without a lot of hoopla – i, too, am going to try to rest and rejoice as a weary weak mother can, and try to enjoy the true meaning of Christmas this year… wishing your family a blessed Christmas, and thank you again for your honest words 🙂 ~erika

  2. One of the best things you’ve ever written, Jessica. Thanks for your vulnerability and even moreso, pointing us to the One who draws near to us in our weakness.

  3. This is a great post. I too threw my hands up on the whole cookie deal this year. I use to try to make all these cookies that my sister and I would get together and make but my sister is over 3000 miles away and my kids don’t need that many types of cookies they just want to decorate some. So I did the decorating with them and the one other one for church and that is it. No 10 different kinds. It has been so much nicer. I like it. Plus Trader Joes has some really yummy ones already made. HEE HEE.

    And I still feel the obligation to do Christmas cards but more because that is one of my favorite things about Christmas. So this year well they are still at the lab. Hoping for a postmark before Christmas but if that doesn’t happen who cares.

    So thank you for the reminder that it all really doesn’t matter. What matters is loving and spending time with family. HUGS

  4. ps not to say that I didn’t like making cookies with my sister….I loved it but I think I was trying to get a piece of those memories back by making them all without her and instead I think it just made me really sad and missing her more.

  5. Hallelujah! Awesome post–

    Thanking God for the gift of YOU this Christmas too. Love your heart!!

  6. Thank you for sharing this. My mother died in September, and even though we were mentally prepared for the eventuality (she was 90), it’s still a sea change and hard to get through without thinking of all the things we did together, and all the things I wish we had done. We’re changing our celebrations this year to make things easier on all the family, but we’ll always have the memories and gratitude.