Redeeming Our Time

christmas-background-2985552_1920“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” I truly believe that. I even have that phrase saved as the wallpaper on my phone. I love just about everything about the holidays. I love the fact they start with giving thanks and end with celebrating the most spectacular gift known to mankind. I love the lights . . . the music . . . the generosity . . . the cheer, BUT like many of you, I often get weighed down by the sheer busy-ness of the season. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the activities and forget the WHY. Even Charlie Brown knows the struggle is real. So how do we take back Christmas? How do we stay sane and keep our focus on what really matters? That’s what we’ll be talking about this season here on the blog. Join us as our Equip Her writers share their thoughts on Redeeming Christmas. First up is Annie Rohde who will tackle the topic of “Redeeming our Time.”

Ah, time . . . the one thing that it seems there’s not enough of, especially at the holidays. How do we get all of the decorations hung, the projects done, the presents bought, the gatherings attended, and the cookies baked? Elf on the Shelf, school programs, visits to Santa? And on top of all that, there’s the Advent devotionals, the Christmas readings, the talking about baby Jesus?

Last weekend, I was feeling the weight of the holidays, and as I went for my mental health run, I found this podcast called “How To Get More Time!” YESS! Exactly what I needed . . .

Except, Alison, the host of the podcast, started talking about how all of those things you “need” to do, don’t really NEED to be done. And it hit me straight in the face. Oh, yeah.

I’m supposed to know this already. God’s been teaching me about simplifying lately—about doing things for His approval and not “people pleasing.” Apparently, I’m a slow learner.

I got home and started reading the meditation for December 1 from John Piper’s Advent meditations, Good News of Great Joy. (https://www.desiringgod.org/great-joy)

And he said the same thing.

In that meditation, John Piper quoted Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”  Then he said this: “Let every heart prepare him room . . . by cleaning house.” – John Piper, Good News of Great Joy

I think this is the key to redeeming our time this Advent season.

So how do we prepare Him room in our hearts (and in our schedules) this Advent? We clear out everything, fill ourselves with Jesus, and then see what still fits. I think that a heart full of Jesus will have time for all the things that are eternally important . . . and there may be some things there simply won’t be room for.

I trust that if my heart is filled with Jesus, I will find peace saying “no” to whatever doesn’t fit.

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