What’s On Your Holiday List?

What’s On Your Holiday List?

This fall I’ve been reflecting on the things that I need to say “yes” and “no” to in my life.  I began thinking about this in August as the Camp Season drew to a close.  It was a wonderful summer.  As always I experienced the Lord’s movement in the lives of so many people that attended C.O.

It was also a challenging summer for me personally.  I didn’t feel well for much of the summer.  After seeing a doctor and finding nothing really “wrong”, I decided it was me – I had a capacity issue.  I was trying to do too much on too little sleep.  This is not a new tendency for me.  I love giving of myself to others and encouraging people in faith.  I love to jump into work projects and see them through to completion.  I love to volunteer with my kids’ activities and be involved in our community.  And the list could go on; however, there was very little breathing room in my life. 

So in late August, I made a list of things I was going to say “no” to:

  • Overscheduling myself.
  • Complaining about “how busy I am”.
  • Doing “just one more thing” before I leave the house.
  • Being chained to my phone and the demands of my inbox.
  • Saying “yes” before I have thought and prayed about a new opportunity. 

I thought, if I say “no”, then what am I going to say, “yes” to?  So I made another list:

  • Staying present in relationships with people I love.
  • Resting when needed and slowing down.
  • Sharing encouragement and praise.
  • Giving myself 5 extra minutes to get somewhere.
  • Acknowledging my limits as a human being.
  • Quality time with God and gratitude for God’s good gifts in my life.

Not long after I made this list, I stumbled upon a book called, “The Best Yes,” by Lysa Terkeurst.  It was confirmation to me that this was an idea that God wanted me to pursue during this season in my life.  I must admit, I still struggle with my old tendencies, but I know that God is at work helping me create new habits and reminding me along the way.

It’s important to think about this during the holidays.  Thanksgiving is approaching and Christmas will be here before we know it (after all, it already feels like Christmas outside).  The holidays are so “busy” but I prefer the word “full” and I want the holidays to be full of the right things – the right “yes-es”.  I guess it’s time to make a different kind of holiday list.  A “YES” list that includes – enjoying time with family, savoring a long road trip – because at least we are all together,  taking time to thank God at Thanksgiving, giving myself grace, and remembering the true meaning of Christmas – Jesus.  What’s on your list?

Kim Laufenburger, Executive Minister and Camp Ojibway Co-Director