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After Christmas Has Passed

For me, Christmas has always been a time when I feel the freedom to ease up on my daily responsibilities and replace them with Christmas parties, baking, and lots of fun. I tend to stay up past my usual bedtime and eat way more chocolate than I do in an entire year. (Okay, not exactly true—I love chocolate year round!) Overall, this time of year tends to feel like lots of letting go and living it up. And I just love it!

But then comes the day after Christmas.

The excitement is gone. The presents have been opened. And I’m exhausted with a headache from all the late nights and sugar.

Can anyone relate to the post-Christmas crash?

As the New Year approaches, I want to encourage you that if you feel a sense of loss or grief as the season of Christmas passes and reality begins to settle back in, don’t be so quick to cover up the feeling by filling it with more stuff or busyness.

That feeling you have is a cry from your heart for something deeper– something more satisfying than any holiday season or vacation could ever give you. It’s a cry for the only thing that’s truly needed.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord replied, “you are worried and upset about many things. But only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, and it will not be taken away from her.” Matthew 10:41, 42 (KJV)

Our world is saturated with voices and visions of MORE. Empty promises of peace, satisfaction, and joy grab our attention as we scroll through social media or glance at all the cuteness that overflows the aisles of Target (LOVE that place). And the promises we hear aren’t subtle - they’re loud and in our faces 24/7.

I remember returning to the States every three months while living in the bush in Honduras where I had little access to the modern world. Each time I would come back States’ side, I would be so taken aback by how much advertising was inundating society. My American friends, however, had no clue what I was talking about–they were used to it and therefore unaware of it.

While the world is constantly screaming for our focus and attention, there’s a much quieter voice that can be heard only in the quietest of hearts. Though softer than a whisper, it delivers what the world can only promise but doesn’t have to actually give.

This Voice is the One Thing you need. It’s the one Voice you can’t afford not to hear and follow.

“But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4, (NKJV) (Emphasis mine.)

The Word of God is our very life. It sustains us, gives us peace, fulfills us, challenges us, and gives us joy unspeakable. Nowhere else in the universe will we find anything that comes close to what an encounter with the Lord will do in our hearts and in our homes.

Last fall God challenged me to spend time in His presence with my children each morning. I knew I was being called to really prioritize it above everything else. To see the shift in my children and their attitudes has been incredible. My parenting hasn’t changed, so I can’t take credit for it. It has all been from the Lord. There’s a peace in our home that I have never experienced before.

When He’s invited into our lives and prioritized, He begins to transform us and our environments.

Maybe you’ve been running from His still small voice. The one that says, “You are my beloved daughter, on you, my favor rests.” Maybe you’re someone who hasn’t felt like you’re worthy to hear it. Maybe you’ve become distracted and your focus has turned to other things without even realizing it.

If you find yourself in a place where you feel empty, like life has lost its meaning, where you’re stuck in a negative or hopeless mindset, or struggling with bitterness or jealousy, chances are high that it’s time to sit quietly with Him.

Wherever you find yourself today–no matter how much you may feel like you have failed or don’t deserve Him to speak to you, you aren’t defined by your yesterday–His mercies are new every morning! As the New Year begins, and you think about New Year’s resolutions, I want to encourage you to carve out time every day to sit with the Lord, quiet your heart, get into the actual God-breathed Word of God, and listen for His Voice.

There is one thing I know. Your life depends on it.


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