Because We Do Not Rest – We Lose Our Way

Christmas is now less than 2 weeks away and I know that all of our to-do lists are a mile long. And because of our strong desire to make Christmas special and meaningful we women do not rest. And because we do not rest, we miss our target…our target for peace, joy and love. We feel overwhelmed, irritable, frustrated and unappreciated. Emotionally we lose our way.
We have been poisoned by the belief that more cookies, more presents, more decorations, more parties, more more more will make us happier. Even when we are pursuing something noble such as serving others at Christmas through charity the over-activity brings chaos to our homes and families.
This frantic pace most often means that we are also lacking in time alone with God to listen, to gain strength, and to gain wisdom. And sadly, we begin to act like the rest of the world. As the world grasps for joy in things and activity – we also begin to grasp for joy in things and activity. And then December 26th comes and guilt sets in…it’s over…and maybe it was lots of fun…but we are left with this hollow feeling of the emptiness that things and activity bring.
Today in Ohio, we are in the midst of a icy snow storm. I am thankful for this forced dormancy. A time where we must stay inside. As I look out the window, I am reminded of how much of nature is dormant in the winter time. It is a time of rest for our plants and animals and come spring time these plants and animals will display the majesty of their creator.
In the same way, we women need forced dormant moments, where we come inside and rest. We need quiet and unproductive moments to be Women Living Well. We need to be drinking from the living well – that is the living waters of Jesus. We need to be in his word. We need to be in prayer. It may appear unproductive in the moment but figuratively speaking – come spring time – we will display the majesty of our creator when we have rested with our sweet Jesus.
So our challenge this week brings Psalm 23 to mind.
1. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. 3. He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Are you experiencing the green pastures, the quiet waters and the restoration of your soul that Psalm 23 speaks of from resting with your Shepherd?

Remember how the crowds pressed in on Jesus every where he went. Every where he turned there was a need unmet and though there was SO much to do – he withdrew to rest. Luke 5:16 says,“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

If Jesus needed alone time with God then certainly we do. Just think of the wisdom he wants to impart to you, the strength and the peace you may be missing out on.

Give yourself permission to not have your to-do list all checked off in order for you to rest and get alone with God.
This week’s challenge: Pull out your calendar and SCHEDULE a night where you will go to bed very very early. Take your Bible with you to bed and read in bed for at least 5 minutes. Read in Isaiah 7:14, Micah 5:2, Jeremiah 23:5, and Isaiah 53. These are prophecies that were fulfilled by the birth and life of Jesus. Get extra blankets for a warm nights rest, pray God gives you deep rest and that no one wakes you. Then turn out the lights and sleep. I pray that when you wake, you face the new day of Christmas stress with extra strength and vigor.

If you are participating in this challenge leave a comment below with how it’s going – if you are a blogger copy this button into your blog post, write about how it’s going and link up below!

Walk with the King!

I am linking up to: (In)courage, Motivation Monday, Hip Homeschool Hop, Finer Things Friday, Raising Homemakers, Making My H0me Sing Monday , Holiday Haven and Works For Me Wednesday. Please check out these blogs for more great homemaking ideas.


Comments

  1. Sugar Mama says

    I started a challenge just a few days ago with some other bloggers to read the Bible in its entirety in three months. So, I'm reading more than 5 minutes each day. It's been a challenge but it's forcing me to sit and read… and spend time with my Father.

  2. Kristen says

    I am joining this challenge a week late, but I am bound and determined to refocus and get back on the road I need to be walking down. So far, so good!

  3. Sonya Schroeder says

    Ill hook up and get caught up from last week. I was sick all week and then a ton to get caught up around home because of it.. I am glad to be on track again, the devil loves it when we as women are not serving others!!! Big hugs Courtney!!

  4. Marie says

    Courtney,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been so stressed out his Christmas. I have been reading blogs and find so many craft ideas I would like to make for gifts and new traditions that I would love to start with my family. The truth is it is pulling me away from everything that is importnat and I don't know where to start:) This post was a huge blessing to me and a reminder of what is imortant! Jesus and family! Time to hang it up for this year I'm tired!

  5. collettakay says

    I've been working on a successful new routine of putting the kids to bed by 9-9:30 and then going in to bed myself.

    But, I spend the time snuggled on my bed reading the Bible and doing a devotional book. I then journal about my day. I'm usually done by 10pm and then it is lights out.

    I am ready to get up and start my day when the alarm goes off and I don't feel the need for that morning nap after the kids catch the bus. (sometimes I have to fight the urge to snuggle back in :)

    I used to stay up until 12am-ish reading and then couldn't get myself moving in the morning.

    I'm praying that I continue in this routine because I can tell a huge difference in my mood.

    Thanks for a great post!

  6. Hilary says

    Hi Courtney,
    I love your blog! I remember several months ago reading a post in which you mentioned you use self-tanner. I think it looks so natural in your pics. Could you tell me which brand you use? -Hilary in Florida

  7. cindy says

    I too use the Bath and Body works love it!! Thanks for Christmas posts and I will be going to bed EARLY tomorrow night and get cozy with my Bible God Bless!!

  8. momstheword says

    Sometimes I find myself forcing myself to stay awake and read just a little bit more of a book or watch the end of a t.v. show, and then I just have to ask myself "Why?"

    I am learning to listen to my body when it tells me to go to bed. When we are tired, things look worse, decisions are harder to make, and even every day things can stress us out or make us grumpy to those around us.

    As you said, Jesus knew that He needed to spend time alone resting (and communing with God) and we need to do that too!

    Thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday.

  9. Gwen Toliver says

    Simple is always best, isn't it?! Since we just finished taking 9 people through this huge move, we have by necessity made it a very simple Christmas.

    I also think this is one my children will treasure most.

    Thanks, Courtney!!

  10. Sherry says

    Thanks Courtney,

    My husband will love this weeks challenge! He likes for us to go to bed early and I tend to want to stay up late and 'finish' all the Christmas projects that pile up. I will cheerfully, inside and outside, go to bed early and focus on our Lord Jesus Christ, and let go of the to do list.

    God Bless,
    Sherry

  11. MyCupOverFlows says

    The Lord had already put these things on my heart because I was feeling the squeeze of the busyness of the season and began to notice there was some distance coming between me and Him. I set it in my mind to make time with Him a priority each morning (I had been only spending a few minutes before the kids get up lately and that is not enough). And like you, I inwardly rejoiced at the coming snowstorm knowing that we would be forced to stay home. Even Daddy will get to stay home! Fun! Snow! Board games! Snuggling with blankets and kids watching our favorite holiday dvds. And LOTS of hot chocolate. Yes, Lord, thank you for leading me beside still waters. Thank you, Courtney, for posting this encouragement for all of us busy moms and wives.

  12. Lisa V. says

    Like Sherry, my husband will appreciate if I go to bed earlier with him. Funny thing is last night I ended up going to bed early not even remembering about the challenge. I'm committed to doing it again this week though (maybe more!). Definitely could be doing better with reading the Word daily. A little discouraged with myself. But I will keep trying.

  13. So Very Domestic says

    We got hit with some serious snow where we live too, the school buses were canceled and it has been a great opportunity to collectively relax. Great challenge!

  14. Rachel says

    Thanks for this post….it was needed today. The bus just came and I sat down and was starting to feel overwhelmed with the amount of things I THINK I need to accomplish in the next two weeks. What a good reminder to slow down, rest and spend time in the Word. Thanks again, Rachel

  15. kimmy says

    Thanks for the challenge Courtney! I was asleep by 9pm last night and up for the day by 6am today! This doesnt happen often because Im a night owl but it sure it nice when it does! Loving this challenge this season! I enjoy christmas and everything that comes with it but it can get stressful! This year I prioritized what is most important and special to me and did those things first and I am pleased:) I still have a ton of shopping left to do (most stresssful and expensive part to me) but everything else is done…cookie baking, cards written out and going in the mail tomorrow, remembrance service, tree/decor up, christmas story reading started, nativity up, visited santa, hot chocolate parties with Reagan, pre-christmas vacation planned and began packing for:) Besides the preschool christmas performance we are not going to any concerts or shows…I usually do b/c I enjoy them but am realizing that they arent a priority to my husband therefore ends up being something thats an added stress and not enjoyable as a family so I am willing to sacrifice that this year in an effort to make it more peaceful:) I am enjoying lighting my candle each day as it reminds me of God's love and light in my life as well as making my house smell good:) What a difference this year!! Thanks for the reminder!!

  16. Suzanne says

    I decided years ago to keep our Christmas simple. No rushing about or joining exta stuff. We don't overload with gifts as we try to keep the focus on Christ–each child has a $100. limit which to some is alot, but to most is not alot. We try to shop with small, family owned businesses online too–no going to the mall:-)Less is really more!

  17. Kasey says

    Oh I love this challange and post, disapointed I'm late in coming, I don't know how I missed it, just busy I guess. Taking a minute to slow down today……

  18. Craig says

    Your insight is inspirational and contagious. This taking time to breathe and be with Our Lord amid the busy is just what’s needed.

    The challenge – or at least my man version of it – has been going well. Thank you.

    And today I will be stopping to “listen, gain strength, gain wisdom”

    God Bless you and Yours and Merry Peaceful Christmas

  19. Frances says

    I am participating in this challenge. It has been a challenge to this time of year to get my head in the right place to do this challenge and I haven't always succeeded, but I am trying to keep going. The bubble bath was just what I needed the other night–although I did not read in my Bible–it would have gotten soaked at my house I was afraid.

  20. Janelle Nehrenz says

    So thankful to have a friend that challenges me to make my life better :) You have inspired me to be a better wife, mother, and better ME! Balance is sooo key for me…and realizing the little things can make a big difference..a candle, music, bubble bath, etc…it does not take much to add small blessings to a day. Thanks CJ! Love, Nelle!

  21. Toni says

    Oh my, this is my area of definite weakness. I'm such a night owl and always have been (even worked 7pm-7:30am as a nurse if that tells you anything.) Thank you for reminding me that this area must be worked on.
    blessings,
    Toni

  22. Jessa Irene (Holiday-Haven) says

    I was hearing about all the snow storms on the news. Funny enough LA had 80 degree weather today.

    Thanks for this wonderful reminder in this time of doing! And thanks for adding it to the party :)

  23. Michelle Therese says

    We have three kids, age two and the twins, age ten months. I've been ill and I'm still recovering from surgery. It's been hard enough just making it through the basic work of each day. (We have absolutely *no* support from anyone.)

    So I decided to forgo the holiday decorations (since the kids won't even notice) and instead focus on a month-long house cleaning effort. I would make this my Christmas gift to my family! I'm failing miserably as the 3 kids don't give a moments rest to either of us + the farm has endless demands but I'm still enjoying my efforts.

    And I've finally found a bible study: "A 30 day walk with God in the psalms" and I loooove it!

    This is a nice, stress-free holiday season! :-)

  24. Saved by Grace says

    I am soo thankful for you, you encourage me in soo many ways. Can you move to Vegas…LOL!J/K. Sometimes we need reminders to rest in Him and to give our bodies rest. Thanking God for you! Praying over you!

    Your sis in CHrist Jesus!
    Adrienne

  25. D and A says

    Living is South America has changed the season in so many ways for me. It is not as crazy of a season, not as many commitments, not as much materialism, and it sort of doesn't feel like Christmas at all.
    So, I would add to you challenge to enjoy the sights, smells, tastes, and opportunities you have even as you slow down. In other words, slow down and enjoy the holidays. I miss it.
    Merry Christmas!
    Amy @ Missional Mama

  26. Janene says

    For the first time this year, I began to read the bible. It has changed my life–I've always believed,went to Catholic school, go to church…but my personal relationship with God through bible reading and prayer? Life altering!

    I will go to bed early and take my bible with me on Wednesday night–it's a date!

  27. Cafe says

    Hi Courtney,

    Just letting you know that you inspired me earlier in the year about starting a journal. Sometime this month I will be getting a 5 subject notebook like you do and getting to work.

    I plan on making each year be a theme that I'm working on and next year is on my parenting. I have 2 boys ages 5 and 1 and both are strong willed (yes even the baby…God help me!!! lol). I haven't been the mom that I want to be so I'm devoting next year to learning how GOD wants me to parent and using that journal to write things down. One section for things that I want to pray about…another for verses I find in the Bible…another for writing my journey and so on.

    Thanks so much for the inspiration!! I also plan on reading some good books…one that you recommended "Sheperding a Child's Heart." When I go to highlight something, I am going to write it in the journal as well so after reading a few good books I have an excellent resource I can always go back to. Thanks again!

  28. Mellissa says

    I went to bed at 8:30 yesterday! Thank you so much for these!!!! You are so good to remind me of what I really need to do to keep peace in my home- thank you!

  29. Cherry says

    Just came over to your blog for the first time, coming from Walk with Him Wednesday. What a great post! So important … and one we all (as moms, and me, also as a grama) need to be reminded of continually as we can get so wrapped up in the busyness of the season. But so, so important to keep our time with Jesus priority each day.

  30. Melissa Rorabaugh says

    I am not doing your challenge and found your blog via Darlene Schacht's post.

    I wanted to let you know that I was encouraged by your post. With my responsibilities as a FT employee outside our home, a wife, mom, and ministry wife – I am overwhelmed at this season.

    God spoke to me through your comments.

    Thank you.

  31. LENA says

    Its a nice post on Christmas days gifts ideas !
    as its give a feel of personalized & unique gifts ideas.I liked all ways to surprised Christmas days gifts ideas with a unique feel of emotions.Very useful tips it contain for Christmas days spacial.

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