Today we wrap up our Ten Tips for a Meaningful, Manageable & Memorable Christmas! I do hope at least one tip was like a personalized gift that you felt was written just for you, because it was! I’m pretty sure today’s is for every single one of us.
Tip Ten: Give Grace
Grace has so many meanings. It can refer to elegance, polish, poise and charm. It can be the prayer offered before a meal, and it also means to adorn, decorate or favor. There are social graces and being graced with another’s presence. And of course the greatest grace of all is the grace by which we are saved: God’s grace.
But the grace I’m talking about today is the kindness and mercy we need to extend to ourselves and one another when we’ve over-committed and over-extended and to push through would be to push ourselves and/or our families over the edge. Or the kindness and mercy we need to make sure we maintain a safe distance from our breaking point.
While some of us are more prone to over-committing than others, I would venture to say we’ve all done it. What if you just can’t take on another commitment and you don’t know how to say no to a new invitation or request? Or you’ve already over-committed and to keep pushing through would be to push you and/or your family over the edge?
Pray, and then give yourself permission to gracefully say no. And when someone else needs to say no and you’re the one who might be disappointed, remember grace.
Grace responds, “You’re doing the right thing,” even when their right thing means we miss out on the something we really want. Accept their no with a smile and hug, and pray for them. I promise it’s the best gift you could give!
What if you’ve already said yes but you’re at the end of yourself and your family is unraveling? Pray, and then consider that backing out of a commitment might be the most graceful thing you can do. There are times when the disappointment of letting someone down or missing out on fun is much less burdensome than the regret of doing too much and displeasing God and those closest to us.
Say no when you know it’s the right answer. And if you give a yes that becomes a no, humbly confess your mistake and gracefully bow out if it’s because of conviction and not selfishness or laziness. I only say that because I know my motives are sometimes self-seeking.
In light of practicing these tips in my life, this will likely be my last blog of 2015. I’m going to give myself grace to enjoy the holidays with my family and head off for our family vacation in January. May the Lord bless these days as days we give a little extra attention to what deserves our loyalty and affection all year long: the Lord Jesus Christ. May you know Him deeper, experience His presence more personally and become more wholly His this holiday season and in the New Year.
Merry Christmas to you!
This series of tips is filling in the framework of The 3 M’s of a Merry Christmas. If you’ve missed a few tips along the way, you’ll find all ten here: 10 Tips for Making Christmas Meaningful, Manageable & Memorable.