Finding Balance in the Holiday Hustle

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The Holiday Hustle is real! 

As the temperature drops and my to do list grows longer, it’s super easy to get overwhelmed by the business of the season. I mean let’s be real, as soon as that sun goes down my mind shuts off for the day. Anyone else?

And this is all rather inconvenient since my 8-5 duties are done and my wifey duties are still on. Dinner doesn’t cook itself! 

But seriously, in the midst of the hustle and duties and demands, it’s easy to put God in a box. You know, one of those check boxes we make of things to do… If we're not careful, we can box up our relationship with the Almighty God into a teeny tiny box labeled "quiet time." Is it really ever quiet, though? I mean if my life doesn't distract me from reading my bible, my quadrillion thoughts will! Why exactly do we think that time with God needs to be spent in absolute silence? Could it be that a religious mentality has snuck into our perception on how spiritual you must look while spending time with God? 

But that is exactly why the stress and worry seem so overwhelming. We’ve put the Prince of Peace in one of our boxes, instead of inviting him into EVERY box! He wants your mess, He wants your frustrations, and He definitely wants your lists. When we start categorizing our lives while keeping God in only one, then we are literally pushing out the only answer we have to living in all of those categories with peace and joy. 

This season is hectic, I know. I mean, just this week Jeff and I haven't stopped going at all. I haven't even cooked dinner once! Which is huge for me... I honestly don't know how we're getting it all done. It's only through Christ. And in the mornings, when we're driving to work, sleepy-eyed with our coffee in hand, gazing up at Pikes Peak Mountain as we pray over our day, we are literally placing our time in His hands. And you can do that, too. He wants you to do that. He cares and He wants to be invited into your life. Every part of it... even the messy parts :) 

Because God loves diving into our mess, but he doesn't ever keep us there.

He is the master planner, protector, designer of destiny and cleaner-upper of our hearts. And there's good news! The bible gives us a very clear plan to walking in peace no matter what your life looks like right now. 

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
— Isaiah 26:3

Life may be happening, the mall may be crowded, traffic may be ultra terrible and the weather might be abnormally cold, but when we choose to keep our minds focused on Christ - on His goodness, His kindness, His grace and ultimately the gift of His life for ours - then we can actually walk in perfect peace regardless of what’s going on around us.

And what a beautiful time of year to start!

Now is the perfect season to start reflecting on what Christ has done. Don't let this season pass you by without standing in awe of it's true meaning, beauty, power and glory. The miracle that happened in a manger over 2,000 years ago is the reason for our faith, the basis of our lives and the hope we have for our future. It's the story of how a loving God gave everything of Himself to His children that He loved so dearly. It's the redemptive plan in action. It's the beginning of the rest of our lives! 

I want to remember the reason for this season and I hope you will to. We can have peace, joy and love even while the rest of the world is frantic. After all, that's what this world needs to see. They need to experience the peace in you, which will point back to the Prince of Peace that came for them too. 

So let’s write out our lists and check them twice. Then let’s open up our hands and lift our lists up to the One who holds all our time, energy and wisdom. 

Happy hustling!

 
 

When You're Starting a New Season

All of us crave new seasons in life. Whether out of boredom, unrest or struggles, the idea of starting fresh appeases the restlessness inside of our hearts. But one of the questions is, what do we do in a new season once we have it?

These past five months have been COMPLETELY new for me: getting married to my best friend, working full-time with my new husband two offices away, learning to cook, clean, host, and manage our money for two. I understood all of this would happen once I got married, but I guess I had this idea that when we said “I Do” that magic fairy dust would fall on us from above and suddenly, I would be fully able to carry out the duties of a wife… without struggling.

I quickly started to see that I was wrong.

New seasons are exciting but they also can feel daunting and we’re often left wondering if we really have what it takes after all. Everything seems so new and foreign and suddenly, the life you once lived is not the life you live anymore. I begin to wonder if I really took full advantage of my previous season and sometimes wish I could translate back in time to better prepare myself for this season and then translate back. But I have to believe that if God brought me to this place, no matter how scary it may seem, I can handle it and not just handle it, but thrive in it.

It’s in moments like these, when we are faced with something so beyond ourselves, that we must run to a God that is so much bigger than us. Take heart in knowing that He did not bring you to where you are so you could fail, but so that you would turn to Him and draw from his strength and power.

In Ephesians 1, Paul shares, what has been for me, the very strength I draw from in this new and unfamiliar season: 

I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength! All this energy issues from Christ…

Ephesians 1:18-20 MSG

Endless energy, boundless strength… yeah, I could use a little more of that please!

And notice that it says, “All this energy issues from Christ…” When I lean into Christ and his finished work, I not only have access to His strength, but boundless strength, not only His energy, but endless energy. He truly is a God of more than enough!

Whatever new season you find yourself in, embrace it not as an opportunity for you to fail, but an opportunity for God to show Himself mighty in your life. It’s really just another chance for Him to reveal to you how good He is and another chance for you, as his beloved daughter, to run into His arms and remember whose you are. So lift that head up, pop those shoulders back and strut through this season knowing that you are exactly where you need to be. It won’t be long till your next season will come and you’ll wonder what you were so afraid of.

Write this season well :)

xxo,

Jess