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Choose Moments Over Mayhem

Choose Moments Over Mayhem

choose moments over mayhem

Christmas is less than six weeks away. We are officially in that time of year I refer to as “Madness and Chaos.” Every year I promise myself not to get swept up in the insanity. But somehow, no matter how much I plan and prepare for a calm Christmas season, the crazy seeps in. Maybe that happens in your world too?

Choose Moments Over Mayhem

Last year I made a list of moments I didn’t want to miss. I had never done that before. Oh I always make lists — gifts to buy, food to make, places to go, things to do. {What does it say about us that we add memory-making to our “to do” list?} I created a list of heart connections … not events scheduled on the calendar, rather glimpses of the wonder and grace of the holiday season. 

I found I like that sudden stop — the slowing of time to notice the reflection of twinkling lights in my daughter’s eyes as she laughs while we watch the Grinch’s antics, the slightest glance at my husband as we gather family around our table. It’s as if I slammed on the breaks in the middle of the intersection of spiraling expectations and swelling demands.

Maybe that’s really what we all need. Ann Voskamp writes in The Greatest Gift,

There is no need to produce or perform or perfect — simply become a place for God. That is all. (221)

What if this year we choose moments over mayhem? Yes, the meals will need to be fixed, the presents wrapped, the parties attended, and the decorations displayed. But what if the food and presents and parties and decorations were just the backdrop for the main event … what if the real celebration had less to do with what’s happening on the calendar and more with what’s happening in our hearts?

During the next six weeks there will be countless opportunities to choose our focus, to choose how we spend our time, to choose where our hearts are pointed. What will you choose?

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Teri Lynne (20 Posts)

Teri Lynne is a word loving, idea slinging, encourager of rest, focus, and embracing life's seasons. Her priorities include good coffee, excellent books, and lingering conversations. She is the author of Parenting from the Overflow and Prayers from the Pews: The Power of Praying for Your Church and the co-author of Self-Publish: Moving from Idea to Product. Teri Lynne and her worship leading husband live with their growing-up-way-too-fast teenage daughter and their ever pitiful basset hound in North Alabama where she finds time to write in between the car line and rotating laundry.


  1. I usually get so busy each Christmas that its gone before I know it. I know what Christmas stands for but the calendar gets so crammed packed full of events we are meeting ourselves coming and going.
    This year I would like to simplify. Maybe not put up so many trees. A lot of my friends have stopped gift exchange. At our age what do we need that we don’t already have?
    I start my Christmas cards in October so all notes are written and just needs address labels and stamps. I’d advise not to put things off till the last minute. Our Christmas shopping is mostly done too. I will force myself to get them wrapped. That over and done with we have time to reflect on the birth of our LORD Jesus Christ and what God’s gift of his son means to us. That’s the real meaning of Christmas. It’s not the holidays ,it’s Christmas and lets not leave Christ out of the reason for the season.

  2. Teri, yours is a wonderful reminder. I especially like the quote, “There is no need to produce or perform or perfect — simply become a place for God. That is all. (221)”. It’s something I’ve been just about chanting to my poor work-driven husband for over 30 years (he’s finally catching on!). And feeling driven is no way to be whether it is at a job or at home preparing for the holidays. The worst part about it is that the “drive” is usually of this world and nothing at all eternal… like the love you mention when you see your daughter and husband. How wonderful! That’s how to be “a place for God”. No amount of presents, parties, decorations, etc. can do that. Time spent cannot be replaced. The key is to keep everything that is of this earth simple and give your time to God — This is what the Old Amish seem to know so well.


  1. […] I shared on Not Quite Amish about choosing moments over mayhem during the holidays. But the truth is, it isn’t just during the Christmas season that I get distracted — it […]

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