Begin the New Year with a Pause

Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts Sheridan House Family Ministries

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).


It seems like the Christmas season has gotten more and more frenetic as the years have gone on. Especially for parents, December seems like a blur. We have shopping, wrapping, cooking, Christmas parties for us and our children, Christmas programs, church, plus all the pressure we put on ourselves to create memories or keep up the traditions we have established. All this on top of normal everyday life of homework and activities for kids, who are laser focused on the fact that break is coming. Whew. I’m exhausted, are you exhausted?



I know we have all focused on the Christmas Story for the past few months, but one thing really has hit me this year as we are past the holidays. What did Mary do right after the birth of Christ? After the glory of the birth, the angels singing and the shepherds rejoicing. She paused. She took a breath and took in what had happened. She pondered them and was sure to treasure the moments.



In the past, we have talked about January as a fresh start, a clean slate to start the brand new year. New resolutions to focus on, etc. What if we took January as a time to ponder, to take a big deep breath together as a family. Treasure each other, and what God has done and is doing in your life.

What does that look like for your family? Is that sitting down and being intentional to talk about it together? Is that intentionally slowing down for the month of January, rather than immediately jumping back in full throttle as soon as the school year kicks back off? Maybe it is being more intentional with screens in your house or sitting down at dinner together rather than rushing from activity to activity.


Be still

pauseWhen January hits, it can almost seem empty because of how crazy the holiday season can be, but I think we can choose to embrace those moments of quiet… of stillness. The definition of stillness is so beautifully applicable here, “a state of freedom from storm or disturbance.” Not that Christmas itself and the glorious moment we celebrate of God coming to earth is a storm or disturbance. However, the frenzy and overwhelming exhaustion that we allow the season to become, can be. This month, let’s choose to “be still.” Let’s intentionally slow down, pause and as a family, exhale. We can choose to make this month about reconnecting, treasuring and pondering all that we have been blessed with.


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