I love making lists.
And I’ve been making a lot of them lately.
To-do lists, grocery lists, lists of goals, and especially Christmas lists of gifts, and party planning, and elf-like stuff.
I think one reason we make lists is because we like the illusion of control it gives us. It says “I have a plan!” We get to check things off, accomplish things (and yes, I’ve been known to do something and then add it to my list so I could check it off).
But sometimes those lists are the very thing that threaten to leave us clutching a bottle of Advil, wondering “How in the world did I get in this mess and how many days til January 2nd?”
And then I imagine Jesus saying, “Come to Me all who are weary with Christmas and give me your lists.”
What’s on your list?
What are all the relationships, and activities, and traditions that are coming up this season that threaten to drain you?
And all the relationships, activities, and traditions coming up that fill you – that draw you closer to Jesus and closer to each other.
What if we held all the things on our list before the Lord and asked, “What do you want me to cross off? What do would be good to put on my ‘Don’t do’ list?”
Last year I did this and it was really hard! I’m the original Christmas girl and I love traditions, so I want to do it ALL, and I mean EVERYTHING!! Twinkly lights and frosting and parties, and Rudolph and candlelight….
But last year we didn’t send Christmas cards because it relieved a little financial strain. And some cookie-baking (not all!) was sacrificed on the altar of sanity, and a couple of church activities were on the “don’t do list”.
And you know what? I sure didn’t do it perfectly but there actually was more space for the most meaningful things and the ability to be more present to Jesus.
Last night John and I took time after dinner to walk through our neighborhood in the dark. We talked. We looked at all the twinkle lights. We tried to see the stars.
It was simple, but walks like that are the kind of thing that remind me of Emmanuel, God with us in spite of anything that does or doesn’t get checked off my “to do” list.
What are you putting on your “Don’t do” list?