It’s ironic that I’ve barely found time to sit down and write this post about how to deal with our schedule stress during the holidays. Our calendar is starting to fill up with fun activities and family events. It’s a busy event season for the work I do, I’ve started volunteering more at our church, and the holiday craft shows are in full swing for my side hustle.
I love it.
I love the energy and enthusiasm that comes with the holidays. I love the traditions and the preparation and the fact that my sister just volunteered to make our mom a color-coded spreadsheet to organize our Thanksgiving meal. It brings me joy to find activities that will create memories for our family, and even digging out decorations from dusty bins in the garage puts me in a good mood.
But how do we remain grateful during the busy times when we have to add activities to our calendar that maybe we don’t want to do? When I asked you to share your gratitude struggles a few weeks ago, here were some of the most common responses when it comes to our schedules:
- Being so busy you miss the point of the holidays
- Feeling spread out with not enough time
- Cramming all the holiday activities in among the regular daily responsibilities
- Focusing on the activities more than the people
- Finding time to focus on the deeper gratitude instead of quickly acknowledging the easy things
- Having a job that provides but wanting to be free from the schedule
- Being grateful for the preparation because that means we have a home and plans to get ready for
- Finding time to do the advent and devotional activities
- Loving the hectic times and feeling guilty because everyone else complains about it
So what’s the holy hustle solution? When it comes to “hustle” we’re told that we need to do it all, cram our schedules full so no one ever misses out on anything, and make sure we make it all look Pinterest-perfect. On the other hand, if we skip all of the activities of the holidays and do nothing, we may very well miss out on some incredible opportunities God has for us to serve our neighbors, love our families, and create lasting memories. Holy hustle is our attempt to balance it all in a way that gives God the glory and keeps Him at the focus, whether we have one event this season or twenty. You and your family may be extroverts who LOVE to go all out during this time of the year, seeing as many people as possible and soaking in all the beauty there is to find. Or maybe you’re more introverted and would rather stay home playing games or making a special meal together. Guess what? That’s all wonderful! Holy hustle holidays are about embracing the way God created YOU to celebrate while remaining grateful, not guilty.
Colossians 2:7 says “Let your roots grow down into Him and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught and you will overflow with thankfulness.” A grateful heart doesn’t come from a perfectly build schedule but from being deeply rooted in God. When we put God first and fill up with His Word, we can look at this season as a time to be with the people He has put in our lives and allow the gratitude in our hearts to overflow into our activities – without expecting perfection.
Here are a few challenges for you this week:
- Does your holiday schedule reflect your personality style? How can you make small changes to embrace the season in a way that honors the way God made YOU?
- Brainstorm with your family about a few ways you can be intentional about honoring the people involved in your holiday activities instead of just jumping from one task to the next.
- Stop feeling guilty that you may only have 5 minutes in the morning to read the Bible or say a quick prayer thanking God for all He’s provided for you – focus on quality over quantity and truly focus on Him in whatever time you have.