A few days ago, I came home and collapsed on our brown leather couch. I just sat there– didn’t even stare at my phone for the latest news, cute photos of friends’ kids, or even check our bank account. I just rested my mind and body. Prior to that day, I organized a cookie exchange and fellowship for the women in our church, attended a “muffins with mom” at my daughter’s preschool, met several writing deadlines, labeled and addressed Christmas cards, and helped my husband with several work projects. Not to mention being up at night with our kids wetting their beds from the hot chocolate they drank at our town’s parade. Needless to say, I was spent.
That sacred time on the couch being absolutely useless gave me time to think and reflect on life and what was going on around me. I began to actually hear from the Lord and to understand what my soul was craving. It didn’t need the peppermint chocolate Hershey’s kisses in the mason jar next to me or the better-get-it-now Amazon deal, but my heart needed sweet time with Jesus in prayer and His word. My soul was craving what we all have inside us- a hole that can only be filled by God alone. No matter how much we try to satisfy it with what the world or our flesh has to offer, we’ll still be left wanting more. He is the only path to true, lasting, infinite peace and joy.
Honestly, I want to do less this Christmas and “be” more. I don’t need to chase the next best thing or worry about the endless gift list. The greatest thing I can do for my husband and children is to not be running around like a chicken with my head cut off with an overloaded December schedule, but to rest in Jesus alone. He is where I need to go when my soul is so very needy. I resonate with these words in the song “Over and Over Again” by pop-acoustic-worship band I Am They:
“Wake me up from my slumber, oh God
Take these shaking hands and hold them still
Wake me up from my slumber, oh God
Lift my eyes to Yours, where my help comes from.”
Lifting your eyes to Jesus and resting in Him might mean getting out your Bible, journal, and pen and writing down what God is teaching you through scripture. Maybe it means downloading a smartphone app like First 5, She Reads Truth, or a podcast that will feed and fuel your faith. Maybe it means listening to worship music or going out in nature to hear from God and take in his beautiful creation. It could mean reaching out to a friend and confessing, “I’m struggling. Will you pray for me?” Maybe it means not only praying, but practicing the art of listening.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13
The truth is we all have a choice to make this Christmas season and we don’t have to believe the lie that if we aren’t busy or productive, we aren’t doing anything meaningful. We don’t have to find our identity in what we do, the brand of toys we get for our kids, or how many parties we went to.
Being still and seeking God’s will for you personally and not just what everyone else is doing is a beautiful thing. You have complete permission to do absolutely nothing but rest in Jesus. The satisfaction, joy, beauty, wholeness, peace, and grace from being in his presence far outweighs any temporary pleasure you pursue.
And if you need to collapse on the couch just to be with Him, by all means please do so.
You can read more of Samantha’s writing in her book: Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches