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We Are Not Called to Escape

We Are Not Called to Escape

It’s hard to believe the holidays are already upon us. We donned Halloween costumes and collected candy, followed by eating turkey, and now we’re baking bell and star-shaped cookies.

With the holidays comes pressure. The pressure to be in more places than humanly possible at the same time. The pressure to give the best gifts, bake the prettiest cookies, and wear the ugliest sweater.

And the pressure to conform to what’s going on around us at the expense of forgetting the meaning of the season: our Savior’s birth.

Colossians is a potent reminder for us during this busy season, and Colossians 3:1-4 says, “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.”

We need to think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. Focus our minds and eyes on the meaning of the upcoming season, not on the commercials of places, activities and things telling us otherwise.

Easier said than done, right?

How do we remind ourselves—and more importantly, our children—we were not called to escape the distractions and temptation in this world, but rather to obey within it?

It’s not an impossible task, but it can be a difficult one. Here are some strategies that I employ to help keep my mind on track. Maybe they’ll be helpful to you as well.

  • Sing your praises. Days seem to get shorter with more to do in the last month of the year, but don’t allow these busy distractions to keep you from thanking God for his presence in your life. Allow your children to see you praising God through the chaos.
  • Cutting back screen time can help with focus. Commercials are ten times worse around the holidays. Decrease temptations by simply eliminating the amount of time you give it.
  • Embrace your giving heart. Spread the love of God to others by being the hands and feet of Jesus. Invite your children to embrace their giving heart by finding tasks they are capable of implementing like making cards, baking Christmas cookies to give to a senior citizen, or doing a chore for a neighbor.
  • Enforce family time. Pen time with your family into your schedule. Not time hurrying from place to place, but time to enjoy and be with one another. And especially time to focus on what Christmas is all about.
  • Secure God’s time. Hold tightly to your time with God, ensuring you don’t get lost in the hustle and bustle. Likewise, honor your children’s time with God through Bible stories and prayer. When they see it is a priority to you, it too will be a priority to them.

Distractions are a fact of life and the reality is they seem to increase around the holidays. We don’t have to give them the power or ability to move our eyes from the realities of what Christmas is all about.

By: Angela Jamison is a foster/adoptive mother of four. When she is not with her children, she directs a Christian preschool, spending her days instilling God’s love in the littlest of her community. To learn more about Angela, check out her blog at www.angelajamison.com or follow her on Facebook (@barrenbutblessed), Twitter (@AngJamison04) or Instagram (@angjam731).

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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