This is for the weary woman that is secretly looking forward to Christmas being over. Not because you don’t love Jesus, but because it’s all become too much, overwhelming, and sometimes more than you can handle.
I want to give you freedom — the freedom that only Jesus can provide you — to have FUN this Christmas.
No list here or 7 tips on how to “do” Christmas better. No condensed therapy session to deal with your dysfunctional family. (Although you might need it!) No recipe or list of activities to add to your mile-long to-do list. I simply want you to have fun the days leading up to December 25th and on Christmas day. Because that fun and enjoyment can be the best kind of worship that attracts the world to Jesus.
We are invited to the biggest, most miraculous birthday party in the world. To already wish it was over before the party even begins, because of expectations or stress, is tragic and not living in the freedom Jesus was born to give us.
Jesus talks to us about freedom but rarely do we think that that freedom is for our enjoyment. We know He has rescued us from our sins and given us freedom from the enemy. We know He has given us freedom from bondage. We know He has given us freedom from eternity set apart from Him. We know He has given us freedom to worship Him.
But do you live in the Jesus freedom to celebrate and enjoy life, create special moments, and have fun?
I’m not saying all the other parts of our faith aren’t important — serving others, standing up for injustices, loving others, and laying our lives down. But I’ve come to realize that having fun with the people I love is an act of worship for me. I walk away refreshed, more the person God made me to be, thankful for His blessings, and full of laughter. I’ve forgotten the world’s problems that aren’t mine to solve. I’ve enjoyed the moments of a life God breathed. I stop rehearsing in my mind my mess ups, hang-ups, and sin. For a few moments, I’m like a child, living in the freedom to completely trust the Lord with my everything and enjoy His blessings in my life.
I could put a verse right here from the wisest man in history from Ecclesiastes about “Eat, drink and enjoy the life God gave you.” Or a verse from Paul about how “We who believe in Jesus have the ultimate freedom.” But my mind keeps racing towards the verses about being a child.
Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:16-17)
Jesus asks us to make ourselves like children again. To be completely dependent on Him for everything. To come and be excited — to be with Him. To be in wonder at how God could be born in the stinky hay or become a human at all. To be excited about counting down the days with our merry activities, while our neighbors watch us in curiosity for the joy we possess.
I have a four-year-old daughter, Gabrielle, who can’t wait to wake up to sing Jesus “Happy Birthday” and eat birthday cake for breakfast on Christmas morning. This is one of our family traditions. She’s excited to see our family and open presents. She’s excited to give them gifts, too. She loves the decorations and the lights and the music. She loves the coziness and the treats and the “activity” as she calls the nativity. (I correct her, but she lets me know that’s what she likes to call it.) She plays with the nativities in our home and moves the figures all over the house. She is IN the manger with all of the players and it’s very real to her. I love listening to her play with them.
She’s enjoying Christmas. She’s worshipful and expectant and delighted and full of wonder and questions and fun.
I realize we aren’t kids anymore and this time of year can suck the fun right out of us. Some of us are dreading getting together with our families, due to bad memories and past hurts. Some of us are overworked and under appreciated. Some of us feel depressed and lonely even more during what’s supposed to be the happiest time of year. And the rest of us are trying to survive and not get our tinsel in a tangle.
It takes courage to trust Jesus enough to have fun. We have to know down deep in our spirit He’s handling the healing, the time, and can restore our joy. Only then are we free to enjoy and allow ourselves to have fun.
It’s sometimes complicated to know how to have fun when we look at our past and our present. But I know this:
In a world that is full of people who are hurting, depressed, maxed out, lonely, and definitely not enjoying life, wouldn’t it be great if we were people who loved Jesus, smiled a lot, and enjoyed Christmas?
Sometimes we as believers are so busy making sure everyone knows what is right, we forget how to dance and enjoy the very reason for the truth.
What if we were people that radiated happiness and fun? I would want to know that person’s secret, wouldn’t you? I would be curious why you are so happy. I would want to know how you can have fun when the world is in such disarray.
I would want to join you in the Reason of your celebration.
So maybe this Christmas season you need to worship Jesus like a child through wonder and fun, knowing that God has given you freedom to enjoy each day and especially the miracle of Christmas day. Experience His freedom to enjoy the life He has given you.
His light will shine brighter through you if you’ll put the merry back in Christmas.Leave a Comment
Michele Morin says
“It takes courage to trust Jesus enough to have fun.” -> Amazing! If I’m busily perfecting that worry line between my eyebrows (the horizontal one at the top of my nose), I’m not having fun and I’m not trusting. Why is it that the simplest truths make the biggest difference in the way we live?
Thanks, Stephanie, for sharing your seasonal wisdom.
Stephanie, thank you for this! The Lord used you to give my heart a hug! At Christmas (and other occasions) I tend to have a Martha heart. This year, though, my mom went to be with the Lord in October, and while most of the time I can be comforted by the words at the end of 1 Thessalonians 4, and have joy knowing Mom is with Jesus and my dad. And I know that one day we will all be reunited in heaven…but I just finally got the Christmas tree up (it’s still bare, though). I’ve been talking with the Lord about Christmas, and He’s been calling me to have a Mary heart…to take time to sit at His feet…to worship Him. Tears are flowing right now, as I write this because I am overwhelmed at our Savior’s love. He is so amazingly awesome. He know’s just what each of us needs to draw us closer to Him. This is what He sent me today! But I know He is touching so many other hearts with this to, at this moment! Our Lord is so wonderful!
Oops, I meant “too”!
Megan Anton says
Aww Sandra, I am so sorry your mother had to leave you. Jesus must have wanted her to be there with Him to celebrate His birthday. This can be such a difficult time of year. My mother broke her foot last week and now I have to sit at our house all day every day. I have been feeling very angry about it because I don’t want to be isolated from the rest of the world while I sit at her house . Then I began to think that perhaps Jesus is using this as a gift for me to spend more time with her right now. I am just going to try to do the best that I can for Christmas this year . I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, too, Sandra! Thank you Stephanie for your wonderful story!
Beth Williams says
I understand your frustration. I assisted in the care of my aging dad from 2009-2017 when he died. The last few years were hard. I had to quit a good paying job & stay home to be more available for him. The late night calls, isolation from friends. I was able to attend church most of the time. But needed to check on him 4 or so times a week. It was hard. The hospital visits, going to ER, etc. all so hard. it was hard & frustrating, but I will never regret being there for him. I know he saw my love for him. Also he got re baptized in 2008. I think it had something to do with my coming & visiting him and mom each week & calling to check on them. Just wanted you to know you are not alone. God & I are here with you sweet sister!! I will be praying for you. May God give you a sense of peace!!
Beth Williams says
Sweet sister. I am so sorry or the loss of your mother. I lost my dad back in March. May He comfort you during this time of loss. Do the Mary thing and just sit at his feet and enjoy him and the quiet time. His love is soo amazing because He forgives us over and over. He wants to touch each of us & bring us all closer to Him. Listen to A Hallelujah Christmas by Cloverton. Here is the link to the beautiful song. I will be praying for you sweet one!
Beth Williams says
Here’s the link http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1yplwp
Kelley Light says
Wow, I needed this encouraging reminder…it’s as though you know what my heart is struggling with as we approach Christmas…thank you for sharing your heart…one that is common to man if you know what I mean by saying it…there’s nothing new under the sun!
Merry Christmas! ❤️
I have added a link to today’s post to my bookmark bar, right next to my Bible reading link. I need to reread this about how to have the Joy of Christ in my life on a regular basis until it becomes habit and ingrained in my blood and DNA. The evil one will not steal it from me. Life is to be lived!
I love this!! It is exactly where my heart is this December!! I was so done with December rushing by in a frenzy of busyness, fatigue, irritability, and feeling defeated by everything that didn’t get done. This year, Christmas is about JOY and FUN in our house!! It is an intentional and constant reminder of keeping our hearts in an attitude of worship. Loving this time of year and looking forward to Christmas with joyful FUN expectation, is absolutely an act of worship!! And I want to do it well!! <3
Barbara Dennison says
LOVE this! JOY to the world….the Lord is come!!! So much to celebrate and worship! Thank you!
Thank you for beautifully putting my heart into words. Not only for the Christmas season (although it can be most difficult with all the ‘to do’ list), but everyday…..to live and laugh with those we love with seeet child-like abandon, with freedom only Jesus can give! It is my hearts desire and prayer for this busy season and 2018.
This was an awesome post, thank-you for your sweet message. ‘JOY’ is what I have been writing around our home lately, but for many reasons, I know it doesn’t always come easy, I pray for those of you who are struggling that you may be surrounded by it.
Blessings to all,
Gail Noe says
THANK YOU!!! This doer is letting go. Jesus came to give us life more abundantly. Yes, Lord
Oh, how I love this! I will be saving this to go back to. I have trouble getting hung up on the stuff of life, satan’s lies and my own idea of how I need to be. I want to tap into the freedom Jesus paid the price for me to have joy and excitement in this life, here one earth. I want this to be part of this coming year! He is so good to us, but we don’t dig into the depths of what He offers His children.
Pearl Allard says
Love this! Beautifully said, Stephanie! I’ll raise my teacup to that!
Cynthia McGarity says
I needed this so much today Stephanie! Thank you for giving us permission to live out loud the very reason for our joy this season. What a gift! Merry Christmas…and have a great time with that beautiful four year old who obviously brings you such delight!
Valerie Beck says
Wonderful article! It has taken many years to realize this truth, and not just for Christmas, but in our day to day lives throughout the year. Thank you for sharing a vital truth. Not only does God love us, but we reveal His love when we relax and delight in the simple everyday gifts; fresh snow to make a snow angel, lake ice to skate, an ocean wave to jump over. God is good!
Rebecca L Jones says
Because I let myself get worked up over difficult situations, I lost my joy. It’s time to get it back.
darlean tipke-kane says
Thank you Stephanie for this. Some African Priests that I met taught me
the most about having fun-because we were having fun together. Your
way of expressing this FUN made me very aware of how we must remain
Beth Williams says
Each year Christmas is hard for me. It is just my hubby & I at home. We visit his parents & one nephew joins us. The thing that seems to get me is the constant barrage of ads & commercials about what to buy for whom. It starts even before Thanksgiving. it so gets on my nerves that we seem to have lost the true meaning of Christmas. No more joyful kids playing in mangers. Just people out there buying stuff. Christmas should be a day to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. I love the idea of acting like children & having fun on Christmas!