When we create fantasy images in our heads, we slay the beauty in our lives.– Emily Ley, Grace Not Perfection
It helps me to remember Martha this time of year. Had I lived nearby and in her time, we would have been pals. I'm sure of it. Instead, I view her from afar and learn from her story (Luke 10).
Martha was scurrying around, thinking she was doing all her guests a favor. "Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made." And when she went to Jesus to complain about her sister Mary not helping, who instead "sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said" Jesus spoke truth to her. "Martha, Martha...you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
What is better.
This season, am I choosing what is better? As women we want to create the most excellent Christmas for our families. This isn't a bad thing. It is a way we show love. But sometimes this means scaling back our Pinterest-worthy ideas so we can choose what is better.
For me, transferring thoughts onto paper is an important step in helping this happen. Maybe this rings true for you too. Hopefully my recipe for this season will spur ideas for your own. Which ingredients add more flavor and which ones do I need to reduce or eliminate altogether?
3 cups of thankfulness
3 cups of sitting with the Savior
2 cups of spending time with loved ones
1-1/2 cups of shopping and wrapping
1-1/2 cups listening to Christmas music
1 cup of morning coffee or tea
1 cup of walking, skiing, or skating
1 cup of goodwill (helping an elder shop for presents, gifts for children who are without, bell ringing for Salvation army….)
1 cup of worshiping at a Christmas Eve service
1/2 cup of decorating (I'm not Joanna Gaines so I'm learning to just enjoy the lovely scenes created by those that are)
3 tablespoons of saying no
1 teaspoon of dressing up my obliging pups in Christmas attire for a photo
As we ponder how much love we have for our family and friends that drives us to make this time of year special for them, take time to reflect on how much more love our Savior has for us. Fix our eyes on the manager, gaze lovingly at this miracle, hear the angel's words, and open our heart and mind to His story. His love. Emmanuel. God with us.
But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." – Luke 2:10-12