“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” Jeremiah 31:25, ESV

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. Luke 2:19, ESV

As much as I love Christmas—and believe me, I am about as passionate as they come about Christmas—it isn’t my favorite part of the holiday season. Sounds a little strange, doesn’t it? I love planning, shopping, trying to find that “just right” gift for someone special, baking, wrapping, watching Christmas movies, reading my Advent devotional each day, celebrating with friends and family—and the list goes on and on. However, the best part of the season for me are the days that follow right after Christmas; those quiet, peaceful, restful days spent with family savoring all we just celebrated.

Admittedly, my family has extended time together because most of us are educators or are attending college and we have a longer break together than most. So we get to truly relax, let ourselves do all the things we never have time for, and just enjoy being together. We go on walks, have coffee together, catch up on each other’s lives, and laugh over dinner or board games. I catch up on sleep, treasure the peace, and appreciate this time of feeling loved and completely relaxed. The world is pushed away for a bit, and I love it. I need it.

I wholeheartedly embrace my calling to be an educator. I am so thankful I get to step into my classroom and take Jesus with me in there every day. It has become my ministry as well as my calling. I truly love it. But let’s face it, it is not easy. As the world changes, educators face new challenges and situations daily. The world and our coworkers are not always ready for the message we have to share. Walking in the opposite spirit and having an unoffendable heart is HARD. It requires great discipline and faith. Our hearts break for our students and sometimes it is difficult to hold on to hope. When you minister to people, it takes a lot out of you and our hearts can get a little battered.

That’s why we need “After Christmas” and other times like this. Times where like Mary, I can ponder and treasure all the wonderful, sometimes hard-to-comprehend things God is doing in my life and family. It’s a time to let my weary soul be loved and replenished by my Father and let my hope be restored. As educators, we must learn to embrace these moments and not rush past them with our busy lives. I would never trade my calling to be an educator. But to do it well, I need “After Christmas” to reflect . . .  refresh  . . . and restore my hope so I can move forward into all God has for me.

Dear Jesus, please help me take these moments and sit in them so like Mary, I can ponder and treasure what You are doing in my life. Please restore my languishing soul so I can share Your hope and love with others. Thank you for Christmas and After Christmas, You always know exactly what I need. Amen.

Copyright Trish O’Boyle.

Trish is a member and a 4th-grade ELA teacher/Instructional Mentor in Harmony, Florida.

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Walking in the Opposite Spirit

12 Responses

  1. I loved this. Perfectly summed up what I feel about after Christmas and about the mission field/ spiritual
    battlefield I am on. Some days it’s hard to put my armor on in the morning, but I do it and some days I’m a battered mess by evening but I somehow, through God’s unending grace, am able to do it again the next day.
    thank you for your encouragement!

  2. I can completely relate to after Christmas as my favorite time to rest and refresh. Thanks for sharing. God is good.

  3. Trish, I had no idea you were such a gifted writer. This devotional was spot on and really well written. Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Mike. I have been wanting to do this for a while, just made it a priority over break. Thrilled you liked it!

  4. I agree! This year we worked through Dec. 22nd, so we don’t go back to the classroom till tomorrow (Jan. 9). I have thoroughly enjoyed this down time.

  5. I loved all the thoughts. This break I was sick for most of it, so the opportunity to not stress about what I had to get done is a true blessing. Now we have had three days of snow days, and it has been so nice to have that additional time, which I am trying to spend more with God, but I am still easily distracted. Thank you for the important reminder. God bless!

  6. Kasey, we are praying for healing and good health for you in the new year, and a renewed strength and resolve to to connect with God! God bless you!

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