How To Combat Fear When The World Is In Crisis

How To Combat Fear When The World Is In Crisis


Reading Time: 6 min 17 sec


How do you combat fear when you are in living in a state of crisis? Are you tired of the news playing havoc with your emotions?  Does each press conference, or latest update feel like a stranglehold on your desire for security?  Are you desperately searching for a safe haven in the midst of a storm?


     At the time of this writing, COVID-19 is assaulting the world.  We are daily hearing stories of toilet paper skirmishes, mask shortages, and how hoarding has become the norm.  The mainstream media continue to stir the pot of fear each trying to outdo each other with elaborate headlines. 


We wrestle with the idea (turned reality) that in our age of advanced technology, and strong healthcare systems, a pandemic can have such an effect on our lives. We subconsciously believe that we are too evolved for viruses that we can’t control. 


    But pandemics, wars, natural disasters, widespread poverty, and pain are not a new phenomenon.  These life-altering events have been affecting humans since the beginning of time.  We fight against it because it forces us to come face to face with our own helplessness, our own vulnerability, our innate humanness. 


    We are not God, and that is never more apparent than in a time of crisis.  You wonder is it even possible to live with peace when fear is the common currency? We are going to be talking about three practical ways to combat fear:

1. Fight Fear: Recount His Faithfulness

2. Fight Fear: Praise God When The Sky Is Falling 

3. Fight Fear: Practical Tips To Turn Your Eyes Toward Jesus

1. Fight Fear: Recount His Faithfulness


The Israelites from the Bible were very familiar with overwhelming odds and near-death situations. After escaping Egypt, the Israelites were caught between the Red Sea in front of them and Pharaoh’s army pursuing them from behind.


I can’t imagine how terrifying and helpless it would feel to see a huge army, including 600 hundred of Pharaoh’s fastest chariots hurtling towards you, as you are stuck on the banks of the Red Sea with no way to get across.


The Israelites responded to the crisis in the typical human fashion, “They said to Moses,“Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?  Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” Exodus 14:11-12


When faced with overwhelming odds, instead of looking too God, they started planning their own funerals. They forgot that they served a God who had just unleashed his mighty power through plagues, rescued them from Pharaoh, provided a pillar of cloud to guide them by day, and a pillar of fire to guide them by night.


So, what do we do, when we feel like the world is closing in around us and there is no way out?  We need to learn from the Israelites and remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness.  Nothing that is or will ever happen is a surprise to God. He is not scrambling to try and figure out a solution to the issues at hand. When we are tempted to panic, we need to stop and remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness to us.  So, let’s get practical, shall we?


Recounting God’s Faithfulness Prayer Exercise:

a. Grab a piece of paper, or journal and a pen. Find a quiet place and get comfortable.

b. Optional -Light a candle as a visual reminder that God is with you right now.

c. Close your eyes and invite God into this time of prayer. Spend a couple of minutes in silence just spending time with God.

*If this new to you, set a timer for 2-3 minutes, so you are not constantly checking your watch wondering if it broke. 🙂

d. Ask God to remind you of his faithfulness in your life. Record those events by writing down any time, large or small, that God has shown up.

Option 2: If you are finding this is difficult, or you have a relatively new relationship with God, start by listing all the ways he showed up for:

  1. People in the Bible
  2. Members of your family
  3. Current Godly men and women that you admire
  4. In the lives of Christians throughout history

e. Post that paper in a prominent place as a daily visual reminder of God’s presence in your life.


2.  Fight Fear: Praise Him When The Sky Is Falling 


The story continues with Moses challenging the panicking Israelites to not be afraid and to trust in God.  With everyone watching, God made history yet again. 🙂  He saved the Israelites from the hands of the Egyptians, by dividing the Red Sea and allowing the Israelites to pass through on dry ground.

Exodus 14:28 says, “The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.”


The Israelites spend an entire chapter, singing a song of thanksgiving to God praising him for his mighty power.


I don’t remember a majority of the sermons that I have heard over the years much to my dismay. However, I once heard a pastor unpack the story of Moses and the Israelites in a way that I have never forgotten.  He said that the Israelites praised God on the wrong side of the river.


In the face of adversity, they promptly forgot his track record of faithfulness, and they demanded proof yet again that God was who he said he was. Anyone can praise God AFTER he shows up in a mighty way.


God is inviting us, built on our love relationship with him, to trust him.  To praise him when it looks like everything is crumbling around us, and the world is screaming, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”


We need to remember that we serve Immanuel, which means God with us.  Deuteronomy 31:6 reminds us of God’s character as it says,


Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”



Will you choose to accept God’s invitation to trust him and to praise him on this side of the river?


3. Fight Fear: Practical Tips To Turn Your Eyes Towards Jesus  

Take a breath and remind yourself that there is nothing new under the sun. The Bible alone is full of men and women faced with extraordinary challenges, completely helpless, and chose to accept God’s help to see them through.

David hiding from Saul in the mountains. Daniel in the lion’s den. Esther facing death. Ruth facing starvation.  Baby Jesus and the threat of King Herod are just some of the examples.


I am always looking for ways to take head knowledge into practical heart transformation. I have compiled a list of practical ideas to help you when fear starts to creep up.   They are not in any particular order.


 a. Place Restrictions on Media Consumption.

I am not advocating burying your head in the sand. It is important to be an informed citizen.  However, be wise at how much control the headlines have over your mental and emotional health.


b. Set Parameters on how Long you will Discuss the Latest News.

 Along those same lines, be intentional on how much time you spend discussing the latest headline.


c. Spend Time in the Bible.

I would highly recommend reading through the Psalms. They are full of David’s sometimes brutally honest cries to God for deliverance.  I would recommend reading a Psalm or two a day and using them as your own personal prayer to God.


d. Don’t Isolate Yourself

Find ways to connect with others, even if it can’t be in person.  FaceTime, phone calls, text messages, and yes, even letters. Skype with your small group.  Get creative! 🙂


e. Memorize Scripture

The great Christian mothers and fathers throughout history have used meditating on scripture as a way to live in peace, not fear.  You can focus on topics like peace, hope, and joy.


f. Exercise

 This is so important to your mental, emotional, and spiritual health.  Go for a walk around your neighborhood, try out a new exercise video on youtube, play outside with your kids. The point is to get moving!


g. Be Honest With God 

Talk with God about your thoughts and feelings. Be honest. He wants to hear from the real you not the “good christian” you.


h. Eat Healthy Foods

 I know you want to indulge in comfort foods 24/7 to help manage the stress. But eating whole foods is crucial to supporting a healthy immune system. The little choices you make today affect your overall health tomorrow.


i. Get Rest

Don’t use the latest restrictions as an invitation to binge watch tv until one am. Be wise and set aside six to eight hours for much-needed sleep!


j. Engage in a Hobby that Brings You Joy

 Seriously, now is the time to try out that new hobby. This should be something that allows you to decompress and invites you to experience joy, wonder, and beauty in this world. Explore music, exercise, art, fix a car, learn to knit, try a new card game, or a new recipe.  The skies the limit and there are no acorns in sight. 🙂


To God be the Glory, Forever, and Ever, Amen.


If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 

What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to fighting fear?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


How to Create A Stress-Free Homeschool

How to Create A Stress-Free Homeschool


Reading Time: 3 Min. 8 Seconds

I sat down late at night and did a google search of how to homeschool. I had no idea that there were (what felt like) a thousand different ways to teach my child. Terms like Classical, Montessori, Waldorf, Unschooling, Charlotte Mason, and Eclectic overwhelmed my thoughts.


I hadn’t even started researching state laws and I already feel overwhelmed. Why I thought, does this have to be so complicated? I stared at the screen feeling alone, discouraged, and wishing I had someone to help make sense of this mountain of information.


Have you ever felt the same way? Have you and your spouse talked about homeschooling but you are not sure where to start? Are you already homeschooling but it’s just not working and you can’t figure out why?  Do you have questions about socialization, curriculum, schedules, and homeschool groups?  Do you worry about how to teach your child subjects that you bombed as a kid?


I talk with moms who are overwhelmed, confused, and stressed out after attempting to wade through all of the homeschool information out there.  There are so many different and often conflicting viewpoints that it can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack.


Wouldn’t it be amazing if a veteran homeschool mom could walk beside you on this journey, simplifying all of the information out there into one spot?  Someone who could help you to craft your ultimate homeschool experience while saving you hundreds if not thousands of dollars on useless curriculum, hours of stress and anxiety, and needless work?



1. Professional Development 

2. What Is Zero To Homeschool? 

3. Why I Love It


4. Why It Might Not Be A Good Fit 

1. Professional Development 


Many of us are coming from one-income families and we are trying to homeschool on a budget.  We research, research, and research trying to make our resources stretch.  An online course can seem like a luxury.


Please, don’t make the mistake of putting your ongoing education at the bottom of the priority list.  As your child’s main teacher, you directly affect your homeschool environment.  When you are confident and operating out of a proactive instead of reactive stance, it changes how you homeschool.


Invest in your ongoing education, and save yourself (and your kids) years, buckets of tears, and thousands of dollars trying to piece together a homeschool structure that works.


2. Overview of Zero To Homeschool


Zero to Homeschool is a step by step online course that empowers moms with the hands-on training  to create a homeschool environment that is tailored to your family’s needs.


The course was created by a veteran homeschool mom; someone who answers your questions, encourages you in your role as a teacher, and fills you with the confidence you need to thrive as a homeschool mama.


The course is very comprehensive with 8 modules, 59 lessons, and three bonus workshops. The course is self-paced so you can take it at a time that works best for your schedule.


It teaches you everything from the importance of deschooling, knowing yourself and your family, homeschool styles and resources, how to plan your homeschool year, juggling home life and homeschooling, and so much more.


3. Why I Love It 

I was blown away at how comprehensive the  Zero to Homeschool course is. I kept startling my family, as I went through each module, yelling, “YES!” to each main point.



I just did Module 3 of Zero to Homeschool and I learned a lot. Now instead of allowing myself to get spread too thin with all the things we could do, I was able to refocus on our family’s key priorities.


What I love is that this course is honest about the strengths and pitfalls of homeschooling.  Kelly, the course creator, takes an overwhelming subject and simplifies it into bite-size pieces. I also love that it’s not just lessons but also practical activities that help you apply what you have learned to your homeschool.


For instance, she includes follow up questions to talk about the material with your spouse or friend. She also includes additional articles, and e-books so you can dive down deep into topics that might interest you.


4. Why It Might Not Be Right For You

  • If your homeschool is doing well. Woohoo! Go You!
  • If you are drawn to a very structured approach to homeschooling.


 You can Register and find out more information about the Zero to Homeschool course here



Are you wondering HOW do you actually get started homeschooling? Join our community of moms who want to invest in the lives of their children through homeschooling. I also created a 10 Tips to Finding Excellent Curriculum form to help you on your journey. 



What about you? What is the #1 thing in Homeschooling that is most challenging for you? Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest! 

What Happened When I Got Sick and Tired of Superficial Faith

What Happened When I Got Sick and Tired of Superficial Faith


Reading Time: 5 min 38 sec

Do you as you get done with the endless rounds of church services, volunteering shifts, small groups, and food pantry donations, ever stop short and ask yourself, “Is this all there is?”.   


Seriously, do you ever feel like a poser always projecting this vibrant relationship with God when frankly you are not even sure you could tell the difference between his voice and the pizza you had for dinner last night?


Do you ever feel like all your running around for God leaves you feeling even emptier inside?  Your devotions and all your knowledge of God feel pointless because it never seems to transfer into real life?


You feel discouraged, unmotivated, and maybe even a little guilty. This is not what you imagined a living breathing, relationship with God would look like.


I was there. I had reached the end of what I could work up for God. My endless doing for God felt exhausting, overwhelming and never enough.   My relationship felt stagnant like someone had pressed pause, and no conference on the earth was going to change that outcome.  


I grew more desperate as the dissatisfaction continued to grow. There had to be more to a relationship with God than my current experience of him.


So, what do you do when you reach a wall in your relationship with God that you can’t scale, you can bury under, and you can’t knock down?


  1. The Desperation

2. The Invitation

3. The Transformed Life



1. The Desperation


I grew up in the church. I was there every time the doors were open. I was involved in various ministries, attended all the classes, and pursued learning as much as I could about God and how to be a good Christian.


I went on staff at a local church and served as part of their elementary team and later as their youth pastor. I created and led events that were designed to help students and their families grow deeper in their faith.  I was all about producing more, accomplishing more, and working more all in an effort to prove my worth not only to others but to God.  


I would run from conference to event to workshop hunting for an encounter with God all the while burying this deep sense of dissatisfaction and exhaustion. I believed the lie that “good Christians” (especially in ministry) don’t give up, they stick with it. I found myself running from one thing to the next trying to serve my way into encountering God’s love and approval.


If you would have asked me I would have told you that without a doubt God’s love for me was not conditional on my performance. And that there was nothing I could do to make God love me any more or any less than he did right now. I  thought I believed it, but I obviously hadn’t experienced God’s transforming love. 


Can I tell you that it is exhausting to try and outperform God? Okay, that might be a little over dramatic (:) but it felt like the harder I “ministered for Jesus” the more dissatisfied I became.  My quiet times felt stale and lifeless and I couldn’t figure out where to go from here.


2. The Invitation


I had grown up hearing stories of men and women of faith. Who not only exemplified the fruits of the spirit (the holy grail of the Christian life) but who even more surprisingly had actual deep relationships with Jesus.

They had actual conversations with God which were captivating because if I were honest, my conversations with Jesus were more me talking and him listening.  They completely surrendered their lives to God, it wasn’t always pretty, and yet shockingly they were at peace.  That’s it, I thought, I want what they have. Little did I know that an invitation was about to be presented to me.


I was sitting in a staff meeting when I first heard about several people I respect journeying through a book (Journey with Jesus) that was based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatian. I wasn’t familiar with St. Ignatius at the time, and a coming from a conservative evangelical background I was leery of anything with a saint in front of it. 🙂 


However, I remember sitting there and hearing the stories of these leaders whose lives, ministries, and intimacy with Jesus were transformed. I knew this was something I had to check out.  

One of the things that I learned about St. Ignatius is that he was a man who strongly desired to help others encounter a deep experience of Jesus. The key for me was the word Experience. I did not need more head knowledge about God, I wanted a relationship with him.  


 The process was a little daunting, you commit to nine months of not only meeting with God for an hour a day but also meeting regularly with a Spiritual Friend. After time spent in prayer I felt like this was God’s bold invitation to me.   


I am not going to lie. This experience cost me something. I had to rearrange my life so I could participate in this journey. 


As a mom, who at the time had several kids under the age five (and a brand-new puppy), finding an hour to meet with God each day was not easy by any stretch of the imagination. I had to be creative when it came to carving out time with Jesus. But it was so necessary for my soul.


3. The Surrendered Life

Those nine months (that actually stretched into a year and a half) changed my life. Through daily scripture reading, prayer, silence, and hands-on activities, I encountered the lavish never-ending love of the Father.


I discovered that as I experienced God’s love by indentity started to undergo a transformation. God used this tool (for that is all that it is) in my life to allow me to experience the height and depth and breadth of his lavish love.  It was like a breath of fresh air. Finally, I could cease striving to try to prove my worth and rest in my identity as one chosen, adopted and unconditionally loved by my Father in heaven.


I learned that the basis of my relationship with God is learning how to be rooted and grounded in love. It is out of my great love relationship with him that I can, in turn, share his love with others.   


My whole paradigm shifted, my identity, security, and outlook on life changed drastically. I don’t have to jump from conference to conference trying to figure out the missing key to a deep relationship with God.  My relationship with God has grown significantly. I get to step off the treadmill of performance and  actively participate with the Holy Spirit in my life.


 I am, like all of us, on a journey. Every day, I discover something new, and it feels like I am just scratching the surface of a relationship with Jesus.  Life is still challenging but you get to rest in the peace that you are unconditionally loved by God. This changes EVERYTHING!


You get to embrace of life of freedom instead of constantly worrying about how you measure up.  You get to live everyday in anticipation for you know there is SO MUCH MORE to a relationship with Jesus.


So, my friends, are ready to experience God on a deeper level? Here are some ways that you can get started in actually EXPERIENCING the love of the Father.


Everyone’s journey to a deeper life with God is different. If you feel drawn to the Ignatian Exercises you can check out this book Journey with Jesus by Larry Warner. I love it because it is written in a very accessible and experiential way. You actually get to participate in activities that help create space for the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Did I make it clear that I LOVE  it? 🙂


If that seems like a bit much, to take on right now, I would suggest reading Surrender to Love by David Benner. It is a short but powerful book (its worth it even if you hate reading) that has played a huge part in my walk with Jesus.  


I pray that you will experience the height, depth, and breadth of God’s lavish love for you.

You will never be the same. 



If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide(below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 

What about you? What is God’s invitation to you?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


Worn Out? How to Replenish your Soul with this One Life Hack

Worn Out? How to Replenish your Soul with this One Life Hack


  Reading Time: 6 min 4 sec


Do you ever feel like you are moving so fast that you can’t catch your breath?  That if one more thing is put on your plate you are going to sit in a corner and cry?  You miss your family, deep conversations with your spouse, and a break from ferrying the kids to different activities, and the endless routine tasks? You spend so much energy keeping all the balls in the air that it can feel like you are just running around in circles.


I will get a break, you laugh to your friends, when Tommy’s basketball season is over, when I complete this major project for work, when my daughter stops teething, when we take that vacation.  It’s funny how postponing works, rest is so elusive, always in the future, always just out of reach.


You read the passage, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matt. 11:28-30 MSG) and you have to laugh, because when have you ever lived freely and lightly? 


In a culture that celebrates workaholism, rest can be seen as a weakness.  We celebrate the “super mom” who can make that partnership at her firm while juggling the PTA, homework, children’s activities, homecooked meals, and perfectly clean bathrooms (come to my house, please), when that picture is just as unattainable as an airbrushed supermodel in a magazine.  As a culture, we act shocked (and judgmental) when we discover that “super mom” is a myth.


Unlike the world who measures our worth by our accomplishments, and the number of activities we can juggle, God has another way.


Imagine God smiling softly on you and saying, “Listen, I love you. My love for you is beyond your comprehension. I love you so much that I don’t want you to implode.  I designed your body to need rest, and the pace you are setting is not sustainable. Come with me… I have a plan already in place.  I will show you a world of deep abiding rest, a place where you can learn what it means to live freely and lightly.”


So worn out, burned out, and tired mom, join us as we discover a life hack that could save your health, your relationships, and your faith.



1. What is Sabbath?       


2. The Best Day of the Week

3. Practical Ideas for Your Sabbath


  1. What is Sabbath?

The Sabbath is a day where we set aside work, and activity to find abiding rest and delight in God’s presence. The Sabbath has been around from the beginning of time, though it has been observed on different days. And God from the very beginning acted as our model for how we should arrange our day to day lives.  


In Genesis 2:2-4 it says, “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.  Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”


God values rest, and He designed us as humans, not robots, who need rest in order to serve and live well.  Eugene Peterson says that, “Sabbath is that uncluttered time and space in which we can distance ourselves from our own activities enough to see what God is doing.


It’s hard to be present with anyone when our mind is traveling a million miles a minute, and we are trying to mentally juggle our schedule, worries, and responsibilities in our head. We learn that if we want to hear God’s voice, deepen our relationship with Him, and find deep soul rest from the demands of this life, we need to set aside time to rest and recharge.


Ruth Haley Barton in her book Sacred Rhythms describes the practice of Sabbath this way, “The point of Sabbath Is to honor our need for a sane rhythm of work and rest. It is to honor the body’s need for rest, the spirits need for replenishment, and the souls need to delight itself in God for God’s own sake. It begins with a willingness to acknowledge the limits of our humanness and take steps to live more graciously within the order of things.”


Observing the Sabbath is a very counter-cultural activity, a time when the world saying you don’t have time to relax; God is asking you to slow down and learn the rhythms of rest.


I would challenge you to set aside time, this week, to rest in God’s presence.  


2. The Best Day of the Week

In the Sabbath, God is giving you not only permission but encouragement to play! The Sabbath should be the best day of your week! Seriously, it is a day when you get to set aside your to-do list, your worries, your dreams for the future, and just BE finding rest and delight in God’s presence.


You will accomplish more in your week as a rested individual than if you spend seven days a week and all of your energy at work. Wayne Mueller in his book, Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest,says it poignantly, “If we do not allow for a rhythm of rest in our overly busy lives, illness becomes our Sabbath – our pneumonia, our cancer, our heart attack, our accidents create Sabbath for us.


Taking a day of rest to realign your heart, and soul to Jesus is crucial to your (and your FAMILY’S) overall health. You are modeling sustainable practices that your children will take with them for the rest of their lives.  


It’s a given that you will need to make some changes your schedule in order to make this happen. Creating a lifestyle, where you take off a day to recharg takes practice and effort. You can ease into it by making small changes each week.  Know that it won’t be perfect, it will definitely be messy, but it will be worth it! 🙂


So, what does Sabbath look like in real life?

 It will look different for everyone, but it should be the most anticipated day of the week. Sabbath is centered around worshipping Jesus in community, and time spent with family and friends.  We plan a rotation of our favorite meals and prep them on Saturday.  We have spent our Sundays taking walks, and naps, having quality conversations, playing games, participating in joy-filled hobbies, and time spent just being present with Jesus.

I would encourage you to walk slow, finding joy in being present with your loved ones and with God on this holy day.

3. Practical Ideas for Your Sabbath


Here is a list of practical ideas to jumpstart your own rhythm of Sabbath rest. Your day might look completely different from mine and that is okay!   


1. Sleep In

2. Participate in Joy-Filled Hobbies

3. Feast Day- We eat our favorite meals and desserts on this day!

4. Worship God in Community

5. Reflection- Reflect over the past week, where did you see God’s presence at work. Reflect over the upcoming week, what worries or concerns do you need to give over to God?

6. Have each family member choose one thing to do on the Sabbath

7. Take a walk– By Yourself or with family- Notice God in the smallest things of creation.

8. Spend time with Family– Put down the cell phone, and be present for your family.

9. Read a good book

10. Enjoy Silence

11. Listen to Music

12. Invite over Friends and Family

13. Participate in Art– by yourself or with your family

14. Reflect over the week as a family– What was the highlight?   Where did you see God at work? What are you looking forward to this upcoming week?   What do you need to give over to God?

15. Take a nap

16. Light a candle- as a reminder that God is with you and in you

17. Play with your family– Board Games etc.

18. Start a specific tradition for the Sabbath

19. Take a break from Social Media

20. Take a break from shopping

21. Give Hugs

22. Speak words of Affirmation-  over family and friends

23. Pray over the upcoming week

24. Spend time in God’s word


What about you?  What are your favorite ways implement Sabbath in your own home?  


Do you want more super practical tips on how to develop a deeper relationship with Jesus for yourself and your family?  Most Important Work is all about helping moms LIKE YOU with tools, to nurture a lavish love of Jesus in your heart and in the lives of your children; through creativity, curiosity and everyday life. 

Don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!


Want to Go Deeper?

1. Sabbath Keeping: Finding Freedom in the Rythms of Rest     Lynn M. Baab

2. Sacred Rhythms         Ruth Haley Barton

Pushing Pause in the Midst of the Christmas Chaos!

Pushing Pause in the Midst of the Christmas Chaos!


Reading Time: 4 min 27 sec


I walked into our local craft store on the day of Halloween and had to weave through a maze of boxes because Christmas had arrived at the store in full vengeance. I love Christmas as much (if not more) than the next girl but I started realizing that as a culture we sprint through fall to get to Christmas.

We don’t place value on being present in our current season of life but are always looking ahead to the next big thing-constantly worried that we will miss out. 

You see this theme repeated in our eating patterns, where instead of finding enjoyment and contentment in the produce that season provides, we jump ahead expecting to have access to every type of fruit or vegetable no matter the time of year. If I want cantaloupe in January, then my word, I should get cantaloupe in January.


Christmas has been turned into a season filled with a flurry (pun intended) of holiday activity. We want to give our families a Pinterest worthy Christmas season filled with as many Instagram moments as possible. 

We are all about the destination instead of the journey.


Advent offers us a counter-cultural way to approach the celebration of Jesus birth. It offers us an opportunity, to walk slowly, press pause, and enjoy a season full of hope, and rich anticipation.

  • Walking Slowly


  • Pushing Pause


  • Engaging the Senses

So, grab a cup of coffee and a thick blanket and let’s see what God has for us this season.


1. Walking Slowly

The Advent season encompasses four Sundays, starting on the Sunday closest to November 30th and ending on December 24th or Christmas Eve. 

Advent is a time full of hope; Jesus the Savior of our souls, has come and will come yet again! A time of rich expectation, both as we prepare to rejoice in the day of Jesus birth, and as we anticipate His second coming.


Luke 12:35-38 (MSG) says, Keep your shirts on; keep the lights on! Be like house servants waiting for their master to come back from his honeymoon, awake and ready to open the door when he arrives and knocks. Lucky the servants whom the master finds on watch! He’ll put on an apron, sit them at the table, and serve them a meal, sharing his wedding feast with them. It doesn’t matter what time of the night he arrives; they’re awake—and so blessed!”


Advent is a special time, where we not only prepare our hearts to celebrate Christ’s birth but to serve as a reminder, to live with expectation, with excitement, with joy, JESUS IS ON HIS WAY! 


It can be hard to live with hope and expectation when our ordinary days are so bombarded with the pain and evil at work in this world.  We know Christ is coming back, but sometimes it can feel like he will be arriving at some future time, never today.


 Sybil Macbeth in her book, The Season of the Nativity says it like this, “But what the season of Advent tries to teach us is how to wait and to not lose heart, to live in hopeful patience. We rehearse during Advent the way to wait during the rest of the year, which is really the way to live during the rest of the year!”


When you engage in the season of Advent you learn patience and how to wait with hopeful expectation.


  1. Pushing Pause

God wants to invite you to press pause and experience the season of advent in a totally new way. He wants to invite you into a place of rest, expectation, anticipation and joy. 

Pushing pause is not sticking a couple of advent activities into an already crazy schedule. If we are not intentional, Advent can be regulated to just another thing to check off the to-do list.

Jesus is inviting you to experience Advent with your heart instead of just your head. You might know a lot about the season but have you truly experienced it?


So how do you practically press pause?


By choosing to take time each day to refocus your heart on Jesus. Spend some time in silence and reflection just being present with God. Travel through an Advent devotional (they are literally everywhere) or reflect on a passage of scripture. 

Here are some passages to get you started:

  1. Isaiah 40:9-11
  2. Matthew 1
  3. Luke 1
  4. Mark 13:31-37

Reflection Exercise:

  1. Choose a passage and read through it slowly several times.
  2. Ask God to underline a word or a phrase.
  3. Reflect on what that word or phrase says to you.
  4. Pray and tell God your thoughts.
  5. Ask what is the Lord inviting me into?
  6. How can I respond?


 3. Engaging the Senses

Spending time with the Father without activity; in prayer, reflection, silence, and study is the foundation to Advent. Advent is not about doing but more about being.  Being present with the One who is ever present with us.

As you are immersing yourself in anticipation of what Jesus has and will do, I would encourage you to choose one or two symbols or practices that will serve as a daily reminder.  


Here are Some Suggestions:


  1. Spend some time with your children reading the Bible stories (or the passages listed above) that led up to the birth of Jesus. Children love and need repetition, as it allows them to engage deeply with the experience. Taking the time to engage with a passage and looking at it from different angles gives children the space to experience truth in their own lives.


  1. Make or buy an advent wreath. Take time each week to gather everyone together, to light a candle and pray. This will become a meaningful tradition, as your family experiences setting aside time to focus on the meaning of Advent.


  1. Find or make one meaningful symbol that will remind you (and your family) to press pause and not focusing on rushing towards Christmas day. To help you in this process, I have included directions to one of my favorite Advent Calendar activities below. This is a great activity to make with your children and needs only a couple of supplies (woohoo!).


I hope you join me this season in walking slowly, pressing pause, engaging your senses, and sitting with expectation and longing for what God has done, and will do through Jesus’s birth and second coming!


What about you? What are your favorite ways to engage in the season of Advent? 


If you try any of these activities, let us know! Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest.

Want to Go Deeper?

1. The Season of the Nativity – Sybil MacBeth

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