Monday, December 3, 2007

Reacting Like Mary

In my email box this morning . . . a devotional from one of the links we include on this blog . . . and dedicated to any of you reading this that are feeling the pressure of the season . . .

Super Mom Has Left the Building by Marybeth Whalen
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 (NIV)


I just have to insert something in the midst of this busy season we call Christmas:
“You can’t do it all.”And I don’t think I can say that enough.

I found this entry in my journal from years ago, and I thought you might like to read it…

I’ll remember to order those cute Christmas return address labels for my cards.
I’ll bake real gingerbread houses like Martha Stewart instead of buying those cheap, cheesy kits.
I’ll finish my shopping early instead of waiting to the last minute.
I’ll hand make gifts for all our neighbors, teachers, postal carriers, and garbage men.
I’ll wrap presents that look like the ones in the magazines, not like a kindergartner did it.
I’ll actually do all those service projects that look like a worthy thing to do.
Someday… is not now.

Whatever season in life you are in this Christmas, embrace it. There will be other times to do all those things you want to do. Or not. Whatever your situation is, trust that God is sovereign and He ordained for you to be where you are at this time, for His purpose. There is something to be gained from every season in life. The trick is to find that piece of wisdom God has for you in the midst of each season.

When the angel appeared to Mary, he told her some pretty shocking news about what was going to happen to her. His message ushered her into a season in life that included confusion, rejection and some pretty extreme transition. And yet, her response was “May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38).

I want Mary’s reaction to be my own reaction. I want my attitude to be one of complete surrender to God’s will, no matter what the circumstances. I want to be able to say with confidence “May it be to me as you have said” instead of whining to God, “Why did you let this happen to me?” like I usually do.

The first step in embracing every season is to let go of our own expectations—even when it means learning to love our limitations. Whether you are struggling with illness, or lack of energy, or a marriage situation, or money problems, or family issues—whatever it is, that is where God has you. Stop trying to be Super Mom or Super Woman and trust a super God instead.

Dear Lord, help me see You this Christmas. Help me keep my focus on You and not on my to-do list. And would you please remind me when I forget that You love me not because of what I accomplish but because I am, simply, Your child? In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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