Friday, December 2, 2016

Mom's Permission Slip - The Christmas Edition

When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”

Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.”

Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you... "

Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said.
~ Exodus 18:14-19, 24, NIV ~

"There's one of me and THREE of you," I exploded at my demanding children. 

It doesn't exactly sound like the Spirit of Christmas, does it? Peace on earth? Goodwill to men? Not with this cranky momma! When my children were little the demands were high and the time was lacking. 

What I wish someone had given me back in those days, is what I am going to give you right now...
P E R M I S S I O N.

Weary mom, I give you permission this holiday season...

I give you permission to not create the perfect Christmas, like something off of Pinterest. 
I give you permission to abandon frantic baking of 10 different types of cookies in time for an early December party.
In fact, I give you permission to buy some from the store or at a local church cookie walk and abandon baking this year. 
I give you permission to ditch the Christmas letter and fancy photo Christmas card. Besides, the most important people in your life know what you look like and will stay in touch enough to know what you have going on. 
I give you permission to walk away from Christmas crafts, which can end up feeling like a battle with your child anyway. The world will not end if you don't create a handprint ornament or a foam bookmark declaring, "Jesus is the reason for the season!" 
I give you permission to choose your battles when it comes to getting everyone dressed for church or the family celebration. The earth will not come off its axis if your son won't wear a fancy sweater or your daughter won't adorn herself in a frilly dress.  
I give you permission to accept help from the local charity for Christmas presents because the medical bills are too high and the income is too low.
I give you permission to just stay home because everyone you know has a nasty respiratory bug and you just want to keep your medically fragile child at a healthy baseline. 
I give you permission to HATE being inpatient or at the ER during the holidays.

Go ahead. Take the permission to throw your hands up and say, "Enough!" Because when we avail ourselves of this letting go, we learn what Moses did when his father-in-law warned him of impending burn-out -- There's more room for the only One that matters. In saying "No" to all of the worldly holiday demands, we make room in our hearts for our Savior, and we teach our children to do the same. THAT is what Christmas is truly all about. 

Turn off the TV, cuddle a little closer, and share with your family the profound stories of when God took on flesh. Revel in the awe-filled hush of wonder as you push out the minutiae to make space for the boundlessly sacred.

PRAY: Oh, Jesus, don't let us miss the entire purpose of this celebration by allowing the foolish demands of the world drown you out. This Christmas, may we live for you rather than for the superficial.


  1. Thanks, Barb! I'll act on that and get out some yarn and do what I enjoy, and just slow things down.

  2. I needed this. We had already had challenging Christmas seasons the previous 2 years. This year, I was feeling the pressure to have a "normal" holiday season. Why? There is NOTHING NORMAL about my family. So, from now on, Christmas and every other holiday will be free of preconceived expectations. Thank you for giving me permission to stop the madness.