Be Still

Challenge Central: a CBC devotional

By: Lindsey Lyons

I love this time of year: cooler weather, fall colours, and cozy holidays. I look forward to Christmas with so much anticipation and, in the past few years, some dread. I get so excited; I make all my lists and plans, and then there’s so much to accomplish that I end up being exhausted and not enjoying our events and traditions as much as I had hoped. I have mostly myself to blame. I put so many expectations on myself of what we need to send, give, decorate, participate in, etc. that I end up overwhelmed and tired, feeling rushed for time and annoyed.

I have been thinking about it as we get close to that season again, and the same phrase keeps coming to mind: “be still.” I want to be still this season in many ways:

Be still and remember why we celebrate Christmas, not the rush of checking things off lists, writing cards, cooking, baking, going to bed late, and repeating it for the month. “The reason for the season” is a well-known saying because we forget all too easily.

Be still and be in the moment with my kids. Watch the whole movie, leave my phone in another room, and bake with them instead of shooing them away from the kitchen. Enjoy countless special moments with them (especially at these ages) without watching the clock.

Be still in my mind. I want to give myself the freedom not to be worried about checking tasks off, mail deadlines, and sticking to our Christmas budget – any of the concerns and busyness that add to the anxiety of the season. To help accomplish this I talked through all the things we typically do/give/participate in with Charlie, and we scaled it back so the holiday is more focused and enjoyable.

“Be still and know that He is God.” (Psalm 46:10) Am I glorifying God in my busyness? At the end of the holidays, have I shown others what it means to celebrate Christmas as a Christian, or is it indistinguishable from anyone else? What example am I setting for my kids by rushing around, being so tired I inevitably get a cold, or giving into frustration and taking it out on them by being grouchy or rude? I need to be an example to them in each decision we make about this time of year. Showing rather than just telling that Christmas is more than getting gifts, showing that experiences and time spent together will be better memories than more presents under the tree. I want to instill in them how to celebrate Christmas by being thankful for the reason we celebrate in the first place.

Maybe Christmas is similar for you, or maybe it’s the most relaxing time of your year. Perhaps you don’t even think about it until two weeks out! If that’s the case, where can you make a change in your life to be still? Is there an area of your life that feels out of control, where the car is driving you instead of the other way around? I pray you can be still today.

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