Sarah Lysne: The joy of simplifying things

Published 5:47 pm Friday, December 10, 2021

This time of year can be very stressful. Sometimes we may even wish the season to be over. But I have learned to not wish my life away. I have learned that we can make adjustments to make stressful times easier. We can listen to our bodies. We know when we are pushing ourselves too hard.

Putting too many demands on ourselves emotionally and physically. I would recommend that we try to simplify things as much as possible, especially at Christmas time. People will forgive you if you don’t have homemade cookies and you decide to buy some. People will forgive you if you give them a gift card instead of looking for hours for the perfect gift. It is important to remember the meaning of the season and to remember that we should be enjoying it and not be stressed out. We should enjoy being around our families.

We should enjoy the spirit of giving, even if we are just giving time to spend with our loved ones. After you read this devotional, you will understand why I have come to these conclusions. Please have a merry and relaxing Christmas season. It really can be managed in a way to make it special and not stressful.

The Lord will work out his plans for my life-for your lovingkindness, Lord, continues forever.

  – Psalm 138:8

When I left my job to raise our family, I felt fortunate to be able to spend these years at home with my children, but it was important for me to stay involved in our community.

I became Parent Teacher Association President at my son’s school, I taught Sunday school, I volunteered to counsel troubled teens, and I joined a book club and a bible study.

I often wondered if my attempts to stay active within the community had somehow taken too much time away from my family.

One October evening, I prepared a quick supper and flew out the door to make it to my book club meeting on time. On my way home, I stopped for bread and milk.

When I tried to carry my book bag, my bulky purse, the bread, and the milk into the house, I felt the plastic gallon of milk slipping out of my hands!  I knew there was no way to catch it. I watched helplessly as it hit the garage floor and burst open, splashing milk all over the garage floor and making a little milk river down the driveway.   

   At that moment I knew this was the God’s way of telling me, “You are always trying to carry too much.”

I realized this window of time I had to spend with my children could slip away from me as easily as the milk had.

God, help me to understand my limits and to try not to lose sight of what is really important in my life. 

    — Sarah Lysne