Cinnamon brooms, packaged gift sets, holiday home décor and annual movie favorites...it’s that time again! Actually, I have a confession to make...my goal was to just make it through October before playing Christmas music. I know. I made it, but it was close! My second goal is to refrain from Christmas décor until the week of Thanksgiving. Notice, I didn’t say “after” Thanksgiving. That’s too much to ask of this twinkle-lights lover! (For practical reasons, we are waiting until the day after Thanksgiving since we are hosting the big day. I don’t know the greater challenge: hosting 19 people and 1 dog or waiting to get the garland out?)
Suffice it to say, I do enjoy the holidays, but it hasn’t always been easy. Growing up we’ve experienced hospital stays, financial trials, and have lost loved ones through death or divorce. In spite of the warm sentiment of the song, we have felt the pang of reality: unless the Lord wills, we will not truly be “Home” for Christmas. A day is yet coming when every follower of Jesus Christ will share in the unending joy and beauty of a true celebration of Christ! If you think Christmas season here is merry, you haven’t seen anything yet! And if it isn’t, it’s coming sister...it’s coming soon!
Another temptation that knocks at our hearts this time of year, (other than our temptation to make this our HGTV-perfect “Home” experience), is to rush through this season altogether! Women are jugglers throughout the year, managing an assortment of activities, commitments, relationships, needs, obligations, and so on. But the holiday season has a way of taking our already hurried pace and fast-forwarding it into a frantic frenzy of comings and goings! Before we know it, the floor is covered with crinkled wrapping paper, commercials abound for diets and we lament not taking time to enjoy the Christ of Christmas.
So ladies, before the rush even starts (I know, it has started already), let’s consider our calendars and make some intentional appointments just for rest – for ourselves and with the Lord. Just like everything, you have to choose it! And really, it’s not choosing ‘it’ but ‘Him’! We can wish, hope, and desire it, but unless we choose it and make time for connection, it just won’t happen!
Sally Breedlove states in her book Choosing Rest, that “[U]nless we disengage and enter rest with our actions and choices as well as our minds, we do not really value it. Rest means to stop, to celebrate, to allow ourselves to suffer lack. In resting we pull away from doing although all is not done.” God had not “finished” His work when He chose to rest on that 7th day, but He modeled for us that resting was necessary, fruitful and His design. St. Augustine once confessed that “...our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.”
Ready? Open your planners and your hearts sisters with prayer – then pencil time in! Or be bold and use ink! Don’t over think it, just make some special space to connect with Him!
As you accept the challenge to choose time to be still, to rest and talk or just listen before the Lord, let me share a source that helped still my restless heart today. Sarah Young has assembled daily inspirations based on Scripture called “Jesus Calling”, presented in a format as if our Lord Himself is speaking...here is a snippet from the one for today:
BASK IN THE LUXURY of being fully understood and unconditionally loved. Dare to see yourself as I see you: radiant in My righteousness, cleansed by My blood. I view you as the one I created you to be, the one you will be in actuality when heaven becomes your home...
Try to depend on the help of the Spirit as you go through this day of life. Pause briefly from time to time so you can consult with this Holy One inside you. He will not force you to do His bidding, but He will guide you as you give Him space in your life. Walk along this wondrous way of collaboration with My Spirit. (Psalm 34:5; Corinthians 5:21; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 5:25) 
I’ll be honest, I didn’t always consider stillness as a good thing. Quiet wasn’t a friend to my soul for years. God has been transforming my mind on this matter though through much prayer and practice so that I can say today it is a luxury I enjoy basking in now! We were made for heart-peace in the stillness of a garden with Him. And though our circumstances may not promote outward peace yet, His Spirit can draw us into a rest that only God gives.
So, got space made for rest with the One who loves you?
Lord, help us this day, this season, and all the year to make space for you in our lives. You are our very lives! Protect us from spending ourselves on things that will pass away, and steer us by Your Spirit and wisdom to those investments that will outlive us. Lord, draw us close to You this season and draw others to Yourself through our growing love relationship with You. May we experience Holy days this holiday!
And all the sisters said...Amen!
 Choosing Rest, Sally Breedlove. Navpress, 2002, p. 141.
 St. Augustine of Hippo, The Confessions of Saint Augustine. Book 1, Chapter 1, “God and the Soul”.
 Jesus Calling – Enjoying Peace in His Presence, Sarah Young. Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2004, p. 333, “November 14”.
Posted on Wed, November 14, 2012
by Heather Yates