A Note from Chris Adams: The first Christmas after we adopted our little twin girls, my husband Pat and I were so excited to have a first Christmas with them—yes, Santa and all! I wanted it to be perfect just as I wanted my family to always be! Oh my, there is no such thing as a perfect Christmas or perfect family, but there is a Perfect Savior. And He is the One we need to lead moms to focus on this year, especially if their perfect plans do not pan out. Read this article by Dr. Deb Douglas, First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA to help the moms you lead enjoy whatever God has for them this year.
A white Christmas sounds romantic and dreamy, but when it snows in the South, life comes to a screeching halt. Christmas or not.
One year a white Christmas rearranged my family’s life. The refrigerator had been emptied, our bags were packed, and we were ready to travel to spend Christmas with extended family. Snow and icy roads changed all of that and kept us barricaded within our neighborhood.
With a little imagination and a rearranging of our expectations, we banded together with neighbors and had one of our best, most memorable Christmases. A neighborhood Christmas Eve service around the fireplace, a mish-mash menu collected from everyone’s freezers, snow sledding, and sharing laughter made for a Christmas to remember. We had 2 choices: take the challenge brought on by the snow as a launching pad for a new kind of Christmas, or pout and be miserable!
Now, what does this story have to do with ministering to moms at Christmas? Moms have a tendency to have a perfectionist picture of what Christmas “should” be. The kind of picture that is impossible to achieve even without the challenges that come with the season. That picture can become the single driving focus to the exclusion of anything else…even the very reason we celebrate Christmas. Expectations can replace the joy of celebrating the birth of the Savior.
How do we encourage moms to exchange their Christmas expectations for a simpler Christmas that is achievable?
- Use social media to encourage tossing unrealistic expectations.
- Take time to talk to stressed moms; remind them of the important things about Christmas.
- Set an example. Live a simplified life, free of unrealistic expectations and false perfect pictures.
- Stay focused on Christ’ birth. Share the story at every possible opportunity.
Getting caught up in unrealistic Christmas expectations can happen to any of us. As leaders, we need to take time to check our own Christmas picture. Carve out some time to sit quietly, listening to Christmas worship music, reading the Christmas story, and pondering the miracle of salvation.
Leadership can steal our focus away from Christmas and put it on our long to-do list. This Christmas, make it a priority to examine personal expectations, spend time in prayer and reflection, and live as an example to moms.
Merry Expectation-Free Christmas!
Dr. Deb Douglas has served in women’s ministry for over 37 years. Now she spends her time working with Purchased Ministry, a ministry to women in the sex trade industry. Deb is also the Director of Biblical Counseling at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA. She was the first to graduate from New Orleans Baptist Theological seminary with a Masters degree focusing on women’s ministry and has earned a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree from NOBTS. She is “Pearl” to 3 sweet grand babies, “Mom” to Jared Douglas and Katie Chavis, and wife/sweetheart to Paul Douglas.