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What Gift Can You Give Yourself this Christmas? - Girlfriends in God - December 21, 2020

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December 21, 2020
What Gift Can You Give Yourself this Christmas?
Holley Gerth

Today’s Truth
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NIV).

Friend to Friend
Gift-giving is not my strong suit. I stand in the aisles of stores slack-jawed with my eyes glazed over. I don't know how to choose between the Cranberry Cinnamon Scone candle or the Christmas Cookie one. I just get hungry and go home empty-handed. Or if I dare to pick one it turns out to actually smell like the poor old pumpkin that has been on the porch since Halloween.

I'm not only like this with gifts for other people; I'm the same way with myself. I need quiet and instead I say "yes" to one more event on the calendar. I desperately want peace and instead make a to-do list so long it rivals Santa's. I long for joy and yet I tell myself the holidays need to be perfect until I'm gritting my teeth and stress-eating candy canes leftover from last year. Ever been there?

So I, quite audaciously, decided to pause and intentionally ask this question: "What gift am I going to give myself this Christmas?"

I already have pink fuzzy socks and flannel pajama pants with hearts on them so I settled on this: Permission to rest.

In Mark 6:31, right after the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus says to the disciples, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

This invitation is extended to you and to me as well – this Christmas season and every day of the year.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NIV).

What does rest look like to me? It's the little things: a nap, a cup of tea, a few moments sitting with my husband on the couch, a cozy blanket, a "no" instead of "yes" sometimes, leftovers for dinner. And, perhaps most of all, giving the critical voice inside my head the holiday season off. I'm sending her somewhere sunny like Florida or the Caribbean or Australia. Anywhere that's far enough away that I can't hear her. A one-way ticket, I hope.

I used to think "rest" was selfish, but then two things happened:

I read a whole lot of research that showed happier people are more giving, kind and generous.

And a friend said something to me that I'll never forget: "Sometimes rest is an act of worship."

Both of these makes good sense to me. So I'm picking "permission to rest" as a gift to myself because I know if I do then this gift will ultimately be passed on to the people I love and the Savior I serve and this weary world.

I may never be the best gift-giver, but I'm slowly learning. Maybe next year I'll even be brave enough to venture back into the candle aisle.

Let’s Pray
God, it can feel as if we have to carry the weight of the world in our shoulders. But the truth is, we are children who are cared for by a loving Father. The weight of the world isn’t on our shoulders, it’s in Your hands, and we are too. Help us to be children who rest and trust and delight in You.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
What gift would you like to give yourself this Christmas? I'd love for you to share your answer by leaving a comment on this post.

More from the Girlfriends
Gig-holly-gerth-girlfriends in godHolley Gerth is a bestselling author, encourager and life coach who loves empowering women to embrace who they are and become all God created them to be. Her newest release is The Powerful Purpose of Introverts: Why the World Needs You to Be You! If you’re an introvert, or you love, lead, or share life with one, you need this book today! (It would also be a great Christmas present and a way to say “I see you” to an introvert you love.)

© 2020 by Holley Gerth. All rights reserved.

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