Permission To Be the Real You at Christmas (and Year-Round)

It’s December, and Advent, that time of preparation…and peace…of our hearts and minds. And my intentions are good.

Letting go of some things. “Doing” less. “Being” more. That’s what everyone is agreeing to. So I do to. 

Yet for me, I say I’ll be, but I end up doing. And I grow frustrated: Oh, why can’t I quit doing? Everyone else is. 

But may I be honest here? I’m not really frustrated with my doing: I’m frustrated that I’m frustrated about it. You see, I enjoy doing. God cut me from the mold of my dad, who is a doer. 

I enjoy making one more batch of truffles, hauling up one more tub of ornaments, writing one more Christmas letter. I enjoy the preparation for the celebration.


The voices out there, the people I admire, the ones who love Jesus and want to serve Him with all they have and are, they are saying, Be still. Stop doing. At least slow down.

We’re All Different

And I try.

But I pray better when bent on mindless tasks like walking or cleaning.

I am happiest when making treats to give away.

I carry more of the Christmas spirit when I steep in stillness in the presence of God for little snippets of time and then pour out His love and grace in the act of doing.

Resting in God is important. But everyone rests in different ways. My husband tends to chide me, “Sit down and relax.” My reply is always, “I relax better when I’m doing.”

Some of us carry busyness to an extreme, and I admit to being a recovering over-doer. I certainly won’t advocate for that. It is soul nurturing to sit and let the silent of the night overwhelm your senses. It is important to incorporate quiet time, Bible study, and prayer.

But is it possible that we can carry stillness to an extreme as well?

We must be careful, not to project a good standard for some to be the standard for all.

We must be careful, not to project a good standard for some to be the standard for all. Click To Tweet

Be the Real You

God created us all with different personalities and preferences.

For those of us gifted with the desire to serve, stillness may be better incorporated in shorter time slots. For us, preparing treats, decorating, entertaining, ministering may be a blessing, not a chore.

God did praise Mary for sitting at His feet and listening to His teaching (Luke 10:38-42), yet He also commended her for serving Him by anointing Him with fragrant oil (John 12:3-8).

There is a time to be still with God. There is a time to rest in His presence. We should let the love of Christ invade and fill our days.

If that means you need to cut your to-do list in half, then by all means, do it.

But for me, resting with God just might include making one more batch of peanut butter cups.

So may I encourage you this Advent season, ask God to direct your stillness, your worship, your preparation. Don’t just blindly project other peoples’ standards on yourself.

Open your heart and soul to be filled with the spirit of Christmas and the love of Jesus Christ. But do it in the way that is most meaningful to you.

Open up to be filled w/ the spirit of Christmas & love of Jesus. But do it as uniquely you. Click To Tweet

In worshiping the Lord at Christmas and beyond, be who He created you to be.

“Then Mary took a pound of fragrant oil — pure and expensive nard — anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped His feet with her hair. So the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.” John 12:3

Reflection: How about you? Do you find yourself feeling nearer the Lord when you are being still or doing?

Since beginning over 3 years ago, I’ve counted more than 3,000 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! So here we go: #3408–3428, read my entire list by clicking here.

  • Haunting moaning of the frozen lake; Arrival of#unwrappingthegreatestgift Advent devotional; Editing in front of the woodstove
  • Peppermint mini marshmallows – the best; Son calling from college just to talk; Lovely and yummy Christmas progressive dinner with the ladies at church
  • Daniel officially accepted an internship position with Senator Grassley for his Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program in DC spring semester; Uplifting nature of music; Silouette of branches against the moonlit sky
  • Celebrating my man on his birthday; Danny’s car fixed; First egg nog of the season
  • “Attending” Zach’s Christmas concert from afar via livestream; Laundry caught up!; Sweetness of my girl even when she’s not feeling well
  • Warm-enough day to throw the football around with Joey; Sharing treats with the men helping my hubby; Dipping pretzels with Rach
  • Hitting every note in Handchime practice; Sunday suppers of leftovers; Rach hanging Jesse tree ornaments by herself

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

2 comments on “Permission To Be the Real You at Christmas (and Year-Round)
  1. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) says:

    I am a recovering over-doer. I find I am a better child of God when I sit and read my Bible or comminicate through prayer. Then I can do the things I need to do. Last evening, I read a book I am to review. Spent some time online. I watched one TV show and the news,folloowed by part of a second TV show.Then, at midnight, I started to wrap the few Christmas packages I have purchased. My prayer time in the mornings is a quiet time. My prayer time at night is just as I get comfortable in bed, also a quiet time.

    • Julie Sunne says:

      I spend 15-30 minutes in the morning in quiet Bible reading and some prayer, but much of my prayer is done while on the move, so to speak. I’m glad you discovered how you best connect with God, Cecelia. We all need to find that optimum “resting” posture.

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