Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting with a very close friend of mine for a quick dinner. Both of us arrived at Panera exhausted, worn, and ready to be filled. We both had all our buttons pushed, we were feeling guilty, and beat down. While the hot chocolate with chocolate chocolate chip marshmallows and a gluten-free double chocolate cookie was looking REALLY good to me at that moment, I opted to eat a soup and salad and prevent myself from spiraling down even more…lol! But as we bowed our heads to pray before our meal, she prayed words that really resonated with me at that moment. She said “Lord, help us to remember what the real JOY of CHRISTmas is and that is Jesus.” God really spoke to me at that moment and I really needed to stop and listen.
I think my friend reaching out to me to meet with her was God’s hand reaching out to me to stop and listen. With all that has gone on in the past six months with building a ministry organization along with everything thing else in our family, I am still trying to find the right balance in it all. Meeting with my friend really brought that all home to me and gave me a fresh new look on where my priorities need to be. I know with starting a business, the first year or more can be very challenging. But with that said, I know that life doesn’t have to be such a struggle just because we are growing a ministry. I have to find the right balance to enJOY the journey as we grow.
So I told my friend that the time I felt I was able to handle things the best since I started this blog and our JOYFull Oily Ministry is when I did my 30-day tickle challenge. Basically, the Holy Spirit “tickled” my heart and I felt I needed to change. I prayed James 1:19 over my life and allowed God to work through my issues of busyness, impatience, and more:
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry..
I worked hard on making sure I was listening and doing. I was intentional about listening to my children, making time for them, and being slow to get angry. Was I perfect? Absolutely not. But I did see a significant change in me and in my family. So what happened? I got sloppy and let the busyness back into my life.
This Christmas, I want to give my family the gift of JOY and I want to be an intentional mom and wife as I grow our JOYFull Oily Ministry. I want them to know that even when life gets eventFULL and things may not be as routine or we have to go with Plan B, that God, our family, my marriage, and our health will come first over everything else.
So my friend and I decided we would pray for each other and every day choose JOY. We both love Young Living’s JOY essential oil so we took it to another level. I decided to say “Today, I choose JOY,” and pray James 1:19 over my life as I put on my JOY essential oil and reflect on “Jesus Others Yourself.” I want to remember that if I put Jesus first and take care of others, I have to remember to take care of myself too. That way I am not pouring out of an empty cup. I can choose to be a better mom, friend, daughter, sister, wife, and ministry builder for those around me.
Sometimes the gifts under the tree are NOT the gifts that our family really needs. The gift they need is YOU. The gift they need is to see the true JOY of CHRISTmas that can only come from the light of JESUS shining through YOU. You may be the only chance someone has of seeing what it means to truly be loved. When you allow Christ to shine through you, you can do amazing things. YOU may never live to see the impact you have on someone’s life, even your own family, but believe me when I say that you planting seeds that can grow is better than not planting a seed at all.
Merry Christmas to YOU my friends. Thank you for your likes, your comments, your follows, your prayers, and for sharing my posts with others. Having you in my life this past year has truly been a blessing to me!
The best gifts we can give are the ones we can’t wrap up in pretty paper and place under the tree. What gift will you be giving this Christmas?