Friday, September 28, 2012

Doing "So That" vs. Responding "Just Because"

It's Warm-Up Week for October's PURSE-onality Challenge: "A Holiday-Ready Heart"!  Here's a handy checklist to make sure you're all ready. (And if you're a blogger, grab the button on the right, let me know you've added it to your site, and I'll add you to my blogroll!)

This week's give-away is for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. (It's a Gregory Family tradition to have Daniel read this aloud to us every Christmas Eve...and for him to choke up at the end!)  3 names will be drawn -- enter via the Rafflecopter at the end of the blog post or click here to enter!

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I don’t want to feel pressured by anybody or myself (especially) to do anything that my heart truly isn’t into! I want to do holiday things because it is valuable to my spiritual heart. I want to do things with Jesus in mind. I want to have a desire to do things because my heart is in it, not because something is expected of me. 

I am negative when I do things without checking in with my Lord first, to see if it is something He wants me to do. If it is something He wants me to do, and I don’t want to do it, then I ask Him to gently change my heart, so I want to do whatever it may be. 

The holidays for me are wonderful and so much fun. But I get bogged down in all the DOING, and lose sight of my heart being in the right place as I am DOING. 

Does that make sense?”  


Makes perfect sense to me!

I’ve been a teacher and a pastor’s wife for almost a quarter of a century. 

For me, December has meant DOING the school Christmas program.

Then DOING the church Christmas program.

Then DOING first semester grades before Christmas vacation started. 

For ten years, I was a Sales Director for a direct sales company.

Up to ½ of my yearly business happened in the last two months of the year. 

So I was DOING as many home parties as possible.

I was DOING daytime boutiques and fairs.

I was DOING last-minute deliveries (often on Christmas Eve!)

How I wish I’d been intentional about having a Holiday-Ready Heart when my children were young. 

They witnessed me scurrying from here to there to somewhere else. I was DOING...
  • so that my employers would be impressed.
  • so that my students would make me look good.
  • so that church members would see me “doing my part.”
  • so that the company would reward me with money, recognition, and a trip to Hawaii.

I wonder what those years would have been like if I’d been responding rather than doing.  Responding not so that but just
  • because of Jesus’ overwhelming love.
  • because of the God-given gifts and unique abilities of my students.
  • because I am part of the body of Christ.
  • because I had life-changing products to share.

I know I can’t go back and change the past. 

But I’m determined to learn from it. 

Having “A Holiday-Ready Heart” means that I’m going to make very different holiday choices.

Less doing.

More responding.

(I’m so done with “so that”!)

Your Turn:

  • What "so that"s seem to drive holiday choices for you?
  • What "just because"s would you rather respond to?
  • Anything else on your heart!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I want to have a holiday heart BECAUSE God sent His Son down to earth to become human and die for us. No more stressing about gift buying!

    1. I love your focus on how we've already received the ultimate Gift. When we give to others out of this BECAUSE, we give out of the overflow of a grateful heart.

    2. Before I even started looking at comments; this is what I want

      I want to share my holiday heart just because Jesus died for me; my heart needs to reflect Hi
      , holidays & all year
      Heidi J

  2. I've been a pastor's wife for 18 yrs. and a home school mom for 21 years. It seems as the years have progressed it has become harder for me to get into the enjoyment of the holidays I used to have. I want to be able to focus more on the spiritual and not so much on the physical, but there is so much to do w/ homeschool/church/programs/choir/food/decorating/and feeling like I need to make it as special as I can for my grown children who live away and my grandchildren. I don't think I can do it all anymore.

    1. Teresa -- I'm worn out just reading your list! And yet they all sound like wonderful activities and experiences. Trying to "do it all" can be a never-ending list. How to decide when to say "yes" and when to say "thank you for thinking of me" is one of my biggest questions going into October!