I love this time of year, don't you? It's stocked full of traditions and business (I love being busy!). Because I love being busy, I can take it to the extreme and make myself feel almost sick with stress and exhaustion.
Recently, I was challenged by a friend with the following suggestion:
I almost dismissed the whole idea right away. Read a whole chapter of the Bible every day (Luke does not have short chapters!)? On top of the normal curriculum Bible reading that we do every school day? Would I really be able to do that? Would my wiggly boys (ages 1, 5, and 6) really be able to sit through all that reading and behave themselves? Would it become a power struggle? Would I try to start it and give up because it became too hard, therefore setting a bad example for my kids?
There were lots of questions and doubts, but I decided to do it anyway. I felt like it was the right thing to do. I felt like I needed the reminder of who Christmas was really about just as much as my kids did.
So I told the kids what we were going to do and started it off on the 1st. I'm thankful that my kids like coloring. I printed up a bunch of coloring pages of stories that are from the book of Luke and that has provided a way for my busy boys to stay quiet during readings. Of course, I've had to stop reading to correct behaviors more than a few times. And we missed two nights and had to make up for it by doing some extra reading the next day.
But mamas, it's been worth it!
I absolutely LOVE reading the Christmas story. It fills me with wonder every time. But reading further on in Luke has been so good as well.
I haven't talked about it to many people, but at certain times during my years of chronic pain I had a very hard time reading about the works of Jesus. It was just very discouraging to read about people being healed when I was still in pain. To know that God could do it, that He had done more powerful things than fixing a double hernia, and yet He wasn't doing it, that was something I really struggled with.
I am not fully healed. As a matter of fact, I've had increased pain the past few weeks. But reading the sacred story has still been so good for me. I feel like I'm getting to know Jesus better.
What better goal around Christmastime than to get to know Jesus better? I've been a Christian for 21 years, but I feel like there is always room to go deeper.
I'm not saying you need to jump onto the chapter-a-day challenge (or you could, you would just need to cover 2 a day for the next week!), but I do want to encourage you, mama, to choose to slow down a bit this holiday season. Make time for the sacred. The things that really matter.
I promise that you will get something out of it that will last longer than any present you give or receive.