The Christmas season… gifts to buy, people to meet, events to go to, food to prepare, charities to help and so much more.
To some, this might sound like the best time of the year and while it definitely is a season to be jolly, it may also become a little overwhelming to keep up with all the physical and emotional energy this time requires from us.
While it is a beautiful thing to be able to participate in all these joyous activities during such a people-oriented festivity, it may also come to the point of saying ‘yes’ way too much. I don’t know about you but sometimes we may have a habit of saying ‘yes’ to everyone and forget whether or not we are actually able to go through with what we would have promised without compromising something we’re going to do or who we are. If you also have a tendency of feeling like you are letting people down when saying ‘no’, for fear of being labeled as unhelpful, or being rejected altogether, I understand you more than you know.
The difference between saying ‘yes’ after giving a request some thought,and saying ‘yes’ out of fear of future rejection, is that the former is done with joy, and the latter comes from a place of fear. This Christmas, we can give ourselves the grace to evaluate whether agreeing to plans, service, activities, help and more, would add to our inherent joy or compromise it. By beginning to admit that we struggle to say no, we can start to be more aware of creating a life that is set on priorities, especially during this time.
The simple fact is that there isn’t time for everything and everyone. If you don’t have time to do what brings you most joy, or be with the people you love the most, then you don’t have enough time. After all, what is the spirit of Christmas if not living out its true purpose of joy? Saying ‘no’ to what we cannot follow through with healthily not only brings life into us but also provides an opportunity to have more time to what we will be saying ‘yes’ to, as a result of that. This means saying ‘yes’ to having more time to enjoy with family and friends, being less overwhelmed, and allowing ourselves to appreciate the beauty of what it means to slow down and experience the present moment which we will never get to experience again.
During Christmas this year, we can strive to give ourselves the space to experience the joy of the good news, the joy of saying ‘yes’ to having Jesus in our life, and the joy of choosing to spend time with the people we love.
What will you choose to say ‘yes’ to this Christmas to bring you joy?
Heavenly Father, you know my everyday reality and commitments. Give me the grace to be able to say ‘no’ to be able to say ‘yes’ to You and the priorities in life that will bring me joy as I am more able to live out the true spirit of Christmas. I pray for more wisdom in my life to be able to distinguish when I need to say ‘no’ so that I am able to be present, and be there for others, giving not out of empty hands but from a heart that is filled with Your joy. Amen
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Written by Sarah Zammit Munro