I try to avoid reading blog posts or articles about how we should be Marys at Christmastime, and not Marthas. You know, the ones that say how important it is to stop rushing around DOING things and spend time sitting at Jesus' feet, just listening, reading your Bible, praying.
It was our turn to host Christmas this year, so 'Mary time' was always going to be scant. I thought I was organised this year but, sadly, I was not. There was plenty of last-minute rushing around - presents I'd forgotten, presents I wanted but couldn't find locally, food that needed to be prepared... I put up the tree, sent Christmas cards and newsletters to my extended family and family friends (all non-Christians), bought presents, spring-cleaned the house (partly), baked cookies to give as presents, posted care packages to missionaries on behalf of my church... Not surprisingly I was hit with terrible fatigue just before Christmas. I cried when I had to get out of bed. Even caffeine wasn't cutting it. I started to loathe Christmas and all it has become. We were invited to a Christmas Eve party at Duncan's boss's house, but when my chocolate mousse turned out to be a disaster, I was completely and thoroughly over it. I didn't go the party; Duncan took Rory and I went to bed and cried myself to sleep. I WANT to be Mary, sitting at Jesus' feet, feeling wonderfully spiritually edified. Yet, I always fall into the Martha trap.
Then I read this article, When God Gives You an Overcrowded Christmas on the Desiring God blog which Meredith shared on Facebook! Thank you Meredith! This gave me so much perspective on why I do what I do at Christmastime. While some was probably done from wrong motives (not wanting people to think less of me for having a messy house or not enough food, not wanting people to think I'm depriving Rory somehow for not having a tree, presents and taking him to Christmas parties), I spend time buying Matthias Media Christmas cards and sending them to my non-Christian relatives because I want to point them towards Jesus. I want to have people at my house because I don't want them to spend Christmas alone (our friends who came don't have many family members in Australia). I posted the care packages because I want missionaries spending Christmas in countries where it is not celebrated to know that they are loved and remembered at this time.
I might be exhausted...but it was not in vain.