We’re on day two of our “Home for the Holidays” series. Today, I’m super excited to welcome my friend, Gwen Rutz to the blog. I’ve come to know Gwen through a morning message she hosts Monday through Friday on Facebook called “Inspiration On-The-Go.” Gwen is usually broadcasting live while I’m preparing breakfast for my kiddo, and so I grab a few words of encouragement as I pop a waffle in the toaster and pour a cup of milk. Gwen is full of energy and she’s sure to start your day with a smile. If you haven’t caught her morning inspiration before I’d encourage you to check her out on Facebook. You’ll find her information below.
But for now here’s an awesome message from Gwen! Enjoy!
Do you sometimes find yourself so busy during the Holiday season that you forget things like adding spices to the pumpkin pie, wrapping a child’s gift, or turning on the oven? Shudder the thought!
Last year on Christmas day I was so busy preparing the meal, getting out the serving dishes, visiting with family and cleaning up that it wasn’t until the end of the day when I was looking at family photos I noticed I had left my apron on the whole day. Ugh! What a great family photo. It’s no big deal, I suppose, but I did get dressed up for Christmas – only to have covered my cute outfit with my pink and white stripped apron.
I couldn’t believe I wore my apron all day long. My Grandmas used to wear their aprons all day but they were Grandmas. Well… I am too, but… somehow in my mind this is different. I don’t know if they forgot or it didn’t matter to them. But I forgot. I did not intend to wear my apron all Christmas day but I did.
This year I’ll pay better attention and remove my apron after Christmas dinner is cleaned up and before family photos are taken. I’m going to be intentional about it. I find when I’m intentional about things more things get done and in a better way. Being intentional about removing my apron has reminded me of other things I plan to be intentional about.
Here are 3 ways to be intentional during Thanksgiving and Christmas…
- Intentional Listening
We don’t always see all of our family often enough so we don’t always know where they’re at in life. Thanksgiving and Christmas is a great time to catch up on kids, work, hobbies etc. If we’re intentionally listening to people, we may even pick up things they’re not saying. We may hear stress in their voice or catch a glimpse of a look on their face that tells us to listen deeper. If we’re intentionally listening we may see a window of opportunity to share the love of Jesus and give a word of encouragement because we truly listened.
- Intentional Talking
Have you ever been the person sitting alone at a Christmas party? The person you went to the party with found old friends and since you’re new in town – or to the family – you know no one else to talk to. Awkward. If you happen to see that person this year, you could be intentional about carrying on a conversation with them and making them feel comfortable. You may make a new friend in the process or, at least, have an interesting conversation while easing their discomfort. If you are the person sitting alone, be intentional about striking up a conversation with someone else – maybe another person sitting alone. Whatever your situation, be intentional about talking to others. You may just learn something new and find an open door for ministry.
- Intentional Ministry
I mentioned ministry in the the previous paragraphs. That is because I believe ministry can happen anywhere and everywhere. Ministry can happen while we’re listening to someone and while we’re talking to someone if we will simply open our ears, open our mouths and let it happen. Ministry is everywhere. Ministry can happen as we…
- Listen for the opportunity to identify with someone’s situation then tell them how Jesus helped us through a similar situation.
- Listen for someone’s need and ask how we can help meet their need or point them toward resources that will help them.
- Listen for questions they have about current events, social issues or Bible verses and give them a Godly perspective according to what The Bible says.
Ministry is just waiting to happen and if we’re intentional about looking for it, we can be a part of the ministry that God wants to give to those who are hurting or questioning this Holiday Season. Let’s pray for Divine Appointments and approach Thanksgiving and Christmas intentionally looking for a way to minister hope and encouragement to family, friends and new acquaintances.
Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas,