Imagine a woman who juggles constantly.
She’s got all the balls in the air. She wants to stop, but if she does everything will come tumbling down. She doesn’t know how much longer she can do it, but it’s her job so she keeps juggling, juggling, juggling.
As Christmas approaches, do you notice that you are already apprehensive? You’re concerned about what Uncle Joe might say at the dinner table. You hope that little one doesn’t have a melt down. You grieve over the unresolved argument still simmering between two relatives.
Maybe you need to put out a memo. Tell everyone to play nice. Maybe if you finagle, juggle, and hop around enough, it will all come together.
Sis, that’s not your job.
I want to say it one more time. I share this as someone who has needed to hear these words more than once before they sank into my own heart.
It’s exhausting to work 24/7 to try to fix all the things that are out of your control, isn’t it?
One massive joy stealer is the belief that without your intervention everything will fall apart.
Don’t get me wrong. You matter. Your example makes a difference. How you handle conflict when it comes your way is important. But you are not responsible for anyone else’s behavior or actions other than your own.
And if you’ve found yourself worrying, juggling, and trying to fix anything or anyone, you are aware of the power that it has to steal the joy right out of Christmas.
Here’s your Christmas JoyKeeper challenge for today.
Is this your assignment? Clearly define for yourself what is in your control and what is not. If this is not your assignment, then release it. Maybe it’s Uncle Joe’s job to be less abrasive, instead of you trying to smooth it over. Maybe that child will have a meltdown after a messed-up sleep schedule and tons of interaction with relatives, but it’s not reflective of you or her. Your assignment may be to take her to a quieter spot and let her know she’s loved like crazy, but to feel guilty because it took place? Not so much. Reassessing allows you to put down assignments that aren’t yours so you can fully participate in those that are.
Is this someone else’s assignment? If two adults have an ongoing argument, it’s their assignment to work it out. This is an adjustment when you’ve been used to playing the role of mediator or the listening ear. When tempted, and you will be, ask the above question and if the answer is “no,” let them take the reins in their own lives.
Give your heart a rest. If you’ve been actively trying to make sure that no one you love fails, falls, or hurts (or says the wrong thing), you’re probably tired from the inside out. Jesus made a promise in Matthew 11:28. He said, “Come to me, you who are weary and burdened . . . and I will give you rest.” That word “rest” means to sync your heart, soul, and thoughts in rhythm with His. Take a moment every single day. Ask for the rest you need in each of those areas (heart, soul, mind). Ask for His joy to settle in the gaps as you put down assignments and roles that were never yours in the first place.
This is your JoyKeeper promise.
When you allow God to lead you out of an assignment that isn’t yours, you leave space for joy to begin to sprout in those once exhausted places.
Resource just for you
Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith
author of Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity
“During family struggles, health challenges, and disappointment, joy can seem elusive. In JoyKeeper, Suzie Eller intimately shares her path to joy through cancer diagnoses and heartache. Using insightful reflection questions and engaging storytelling, Suzie invites every woman with scars on a journey to becoming a JoyKeeper.”
- Read and download a free chapter of JoyKeeper by Suzanne Eller. Check out all the ways you can buy your own copy or a copy for a friend.