Joy Over My Calendar

Feeling stressed by a busy calendar? Take a read of this.

"Because He is what we’re celebrating this Christmas. Not presents, not parties, and not all the other stuff that gets in the way."

Words: Aimee Cowan Published: 28 November 2023

How’s your calendar looking over the next few weeks? Busy? Me too! Done your Christmas shopping yet? Nope! I haven’t even started.


But I’m determined not to let that be a bad thing. It can be so easy to get into the habit of complaining about all the extra things in our calendars this time of year – the Christmas shopping to do, the work tasks mounting up before we go on leave and the fact that some of us might have to juggle kids over school holidays. We almost talk ourselves into being frazzled before its begun and create this picture of dragging ourselves across the finish line for the year.


A few weeks ago, I felt God speak to me about adjusting my attitude this year, entering into the ‘silly season’ with a different mindset and the impact that might have on those around me.

Am I thankful that I get the opportunity to celebrate my kids finishing a year at school? Yes!

Am I thankful that someone thought of me and invited me to a party? Absolutely!

Am I thankful that I have the capacity to buy gifts for people I love at Christmas? Of course.

But more than that, am I truly thankful for the gift God gave me in sending His Son Jesus?


Because He is what we’re celebrating this Christmas. Not presents, not parties, and not all the other stuff that gets in the way. When we accepted Jesus as our Saviour, He changed our lives forever. Because of what He did for us on the cross, we are no longer slaves to our old lives. We have been set free and get to live each day with the Spirit to guide us – what an incredible blessing! And part of the change we experience as Christians is that we get to look different. Even if life is busy, even if time is stretched, even if we feel worn out and ready for a holiday, we can still experience HIS joy and HIS peace in our lives.


As Pastor Scott reminded us recently, JOY stands for ‘Jesus Over You’. It doesn’t mean we should say yes to everything or run ourselves ragged, but it does mean we can carry joy as we go. Jesus told us that as His disciples, we would be known by the way we love one another – not by telling others how busy we are and grumbling about all the things we have to do. By His Spirit, we can have a supernatural peace and joy, regardless of what’s going on around us.


Holidays are great – God in His wisdom designed us for rest! Parties are fun, school graduations are cause for celebration and there’s such joy to be had by surprising someone with a really thoughtful gift. But perhaps the greatest gift we can give others this Christmas, is to love them well by choosing to be thankful for each and every day. Choosing to show up with gratitude, being intentional in finishing the year well, and not wasting opportunities to demonstrate God’s love to others when they need it most.


If you’re feeling worn out already at the thought of the next few weeks, here are a few things you can try:


1.Stay in the Word

We have a tendency to skip reading the Bible when things get busy. But this is the one thing that will actually refresh us and keep us nourished to get through what’s ahead.


2. Prioritise Sleep

Nothing sets us up well for the next day like an early night. Instead of scrolling endlessly or binging Netflix after dinner, why not prep for the next day by getting some much-needed rest.


3. Practice Gratitude

They say gratitude is the on-ramp for joy, so why not make time each day to reflect on what you’re grateful for that day. As you’re driving to work or laying your head on the pillow each night, give thanks for something you’re grateful for. Perhaps that might look like sending someone a short text to thank them for a job well done or to let them know you’re thinking of them. If you’ve got kids, get into the habit of talking about this at the dinner table and helping them find something to be thankful for!


Together, let’s be the hands and feet of Jesus this Christmas and give Him the glory for all He’s done. Enjoy the parties, shout yippee when the holidays come and remember that whatever you’re facing, God is with you and that’s worth celebrating.

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