As mommas, we all need moments to simply pause and take a deep healing breath. Time to push the reset button. We need other mommas who remind us of what’s really important—of WHO is really important! One of those friends for me is Lisa Stogner. It is our prayer at Heart of Womanhood Ministry that her From the Heart Blog will reset your heart on JESUS as you embrace God WITH US today and every day in the new year!

Moms around the world have been busting their bums over the last few weeks to ensure their kids and loved ones have a memorable Christmas season. Before I go any further, let me clarify. This post isn’t about bashing dads. I know there are dads out there who do help with the shopping, wrapping, planning, baking, etc. However, for the most part, all the things Christmassy often falls into moms’ laps this time of year.

Moms often go out of the way to make sure everyone they come into contact with, on a regular basis, knows they are loved and appreciated. It’s not just about the shopping and wrapping of gifts. It’s about the thinking. And the details. And the time. So. Much. Time.

  • It’s making sure you contribute to the teacher’s class gift. It’s remembering your kids’ coaches and bus driver. It’s leaving something for the UPS person, mail carrier, garbage man and whoever else.
  • It’s making gingerbread houses with your kids, even though you know they won’t likely be standing upright the next day. It’s baking a billion Christmas cookies, cleaning up icing in random places, and then doing it all again because your dog ate them when no one was looking.
  • It’s moving that darn elf and making reindeer food. It’s buying hot chocolate bombs to make the end of another semester a little more bearable. It’s finding new Christmas pajamas for the kids to wear on Christmas Eve. It’s fixing the darn lights EVERY day.
  • It’s making sure the needs of those that are less fortunate are met. It’s keeping your eyes open to an opportunity to bring hope to the hurting, love to the loveless and compassion to the lonely.

Most importantly, it’s remembering roughly two thousand years ago, God (Immanuel) became flesh and humanity watched prophecies unfold as hope was born. Immanuel is a Hebrew word meaning “God with us”.

Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” -Matthew 1:22-23

The advent of Jesus Christ is what sets Christianity apart from other religions. We affirm that Jesus is indeed with us, and that in Him the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. Jesus is the image of the invisible God. With Jesus an entirely different way of relating to God is revealed to us.

FOR God or WITH God

Unfortunately, Christmas is often a time when us moms assume the posture of living FOR God instead of WITH God. 

The life FOR God posture is deeply rooted in a lie that says the most significant life is the one accomplishing a multitude of great things for God’s Kingdom. Here we fear living lives of insignificance. The world may view our good works as a holy desire to see God’s Kingdom advance. However, when these good works are fueled by fear, peace, joy and love are often fleeting and missing in action.

In the beginning, God called humanity to rule over the earth. This work was to be accomplished in perpetual communion with God, and it was motivated not by a fear of insignificance, but by the assurance of God’s love for us. After the Fall and the breaking of our union with God, humanity retained a desire to work. Sadly, rather than finding our value in God as His beloved children, we often try to find our value in our good works. 

Sometimes the people who fear insignificance the most are driven to accomplish the greatest things. Gulp!

The life WITH God posture’s main goal is not to use God to feel significant, but its goal is God. When God becomes your true treasure and fear is no longer the motivating factor, living life WITH God becomes second nature. Doing good works becomes an act of worship and you’re often able to distinguish God’s will for your life.

Life WITH God is made possible because of what Jesus did on the cross. He removed the barrier of sin and death that separated us from God. We have been reconciled with the Father through Jesus Christ.

“When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God.” -Romans 6:10

Therefore, it is possible to have an intimate relationship and experience the goodness of God here on this earth. This certainly describes how Jesus lived. While attending to His good works of touching, teaching, healing, and helping, He was in ongoing communion with His Father. Times of solitude and stillness were planned and initiated, but they were not the only times He communicated with the Father. When we do life WITH God, communion with Him never ceases.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing the things that I mentioned above. According to Ephesians 2:10, we were created in advance to do good works. However, check in with yourself and God before planning or agreeing to do all the things. Ask yourself if you’re doing specific things from a place of fear or love? Is it something that you’re doing FOR God. Or is it something that you’re doing WITH God? These questions are often more complicated than you might think, and the answers might surprise you. Full Disclosure: My Christmas tree is only 25% lit at the moment, and for the first time in a long time, I am at peace with this.

I know your kids probably have no clue how much thought, effort and time you have put into the past few weeks. Most likely neither does your husband. Nevertheless, I imagine your heart and intentions are good.

You are seen, known and dearly loved by a God who is WITH you always. 

My prayer is that you will start living life WITH the One who gave up His life, so you could be WITH Him for eternity.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!