This is such a timely message from guest blogger and women’s ministry leader ,Deb Douglas. Take each thought she shares to heart this December! You will be blessed and you will bless others.
Last year’s December calendar still haunts me. A solid month with only one un-booked night turned me from Minister to Women to Minister Monster! Christmas season starts in November at my church. The first event is over and I am bracing myself for the parade of events through December. Like most churches, the December calendar for my church looks like a tangle of computer wiring. As leaders, we can be robbed of the opportunity to be recharged with the sweetness of the Christmas season by busy-ness.
How can we survive an impossible calendar while still experiencing the joy of the season?
· Schedule a personal day to retreat for prayer and scripture reading. Christmas is a great time to remember what Christ has done for us, the miracles in our life, and times of Christ’s nearness. Spend time worshipping; worship rejuvenates our soul!
· Be intentional. It is easy to be distracted and let your mind wander to the next event, time slot, or woman in line rather than really listen to hear what is being said by a woman who catches us in the church hallway or at an event. To prevent the wandering mind, look into the eyes of the speaker. Observe her actions as she speaks. If red flags are raised, schedule a time to talk further with her or suggest someone she can talk with further.
· Recognize the challenges of the season. The challenges that come with the season leave women vulnerable and in need of a listening ear and caring heart. If we as leaders are not prepared for the season spiritually, the multitude of challenges overwhelms us.
· Determine to be present in the moment. Celebrate Christ! Worship Him. Laugh and be a kid again. Enjoy the moments by slowing down and put worries on the throne of grace.
· Stay away from the shopping trap of overspending. Spending too much for gifts brings guilt that robs the joy of Christmas. No one will remember next year what their presents were but they will remember our presence.
· Delegate to keep sane! All requests for assistance do not have to be filled by the leader! Enlist other women to help.
· Know when to say, “No!” There are limits to what can be done, whether it is adding another event to the personal or church calendar, or giving assistance. Saying yes to every request leaves us exhausted, burned out, and resentful: not positive emotions!
· Understand that life continues to happen during the season. Washing machines will overflow, cars will breakdown, tragedies will happen. Life’s normal crises seem more daunting during the Christmas season. Take things one thing at a time.
· Relax! Get outside, exercise, and breathe! Taking care of physical needs helps us be prepared for challenges and drama.
To keep my sanity through the month, I am focusing on one day at a time; one person at a time; one event at a time. I’m practicing the word, “No!” and scheduling time to relax and enjoy the family. Challenges will continue to come and surprise me. In fact, today one knocked the breath out of me. But the sweet Holy Spirit sent encouragers and re-directed me to spend time with Him. My aim is to keep the Minister Monster at bay during this season!
Dr. Deb Douglas, is the Minister to Women, First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA and also serves as one of our LifeWay Ministry Multipliers. Deb launched her first women’s Bible study at the age of 20. Her passion is encouraging and equipping women to serve. She is the Minister to Women at FBC Bossier City and a conference/retreat speaker, strategic planning consultant, and freelance writer. Deb graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Arts in Christian Education/Women’s Ministry and a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree from NOBTS. She is the wife of Paul, mom of Jared and Katie, and mother-in-law to Emily.