don’t be a Christmas wuss

Here it comes. Christmas production time.

I was going through the calendar and marking off all the nights that I am going to be at rehearsal this month. Needless to say, it was a sobering exercise.

For those of us in the technical arts of the local church, this is our busy season. Preparing a service for the largest numbers of guests that we will see all year. We want it to be flawless (not perfect, see the last post) and we want people to have an experience with God, maybe for the first time. There can be lots of pressure riding on this one service.

I don’t know about you, but as December lengthens, I get more and more exhausted. I have less and less patience and more and more anxiety. As the late nights start piling up, it can be really easy to justify sleeping in and having my wife take care of everything at home. After all, I’m killing it at work so that people’s eternities can be different. I deserve a little extra sleep, right?

After a few years living my December this way, I decided that I was being a wuss. Sure, maybe I am working hard, but my wife has essentially become a single parent for the month. Talk about difficulty.

I would encourage all of you with families to suck it up.

Andy Stanley talks a lot about the idea of cheating your workplace, not your family, in his book When Work and Family Collide. While what we do for our Christmas services is critical, it shouldn’t come at the expense of our families.

2 things:

1.  Cast vision to you family for why you are gone so much. Help them understand what your church is trying to accomplish and how your whole family can help sacrifice for the sake of the gospel to be shared.

2.  Help get your kids ready for school. Engage in normal activities with your family when you can. Build a snowman. Make time for meaningful conversation with your spouse. Go out of your way to be “On” at strategic times.

Christmas is tough for the technical artist. No argument there.

Rise above how you feel and invest in your family this season.

  • This hit home for me about 6 years ago when my twins were 4. One of them asked my wife, “Why doesn’t Daddy live here anymore?” We realized that I would leave before they woke up and get home after they were asleep.

    Since then, we have been very intentional on how we do busy seasons. I’m up every morning with them as they prepare for school. If we know I won’t be home by bedtime, my wife brings them by the church to at least say hello when she gets them from school (often with the bonus of them bringing me a coffee from Starbucks!). My wife also makes sure to find out who is working with me that evening. Then at bedtime, they pray specifically by name for each of us that are there that God will use our efforts for His glory.

    So far, this seems to be working for us. My girls still want me home with them, but at least now they know the why behind my absence. We also try to make sure they know that these busy times have an end so they have something to look forward to.

    • Thanks for the comment, Jay! It is sad that it takes a statement from your 4 year old to wake you up to this reality. I’m so glad to hear that you and your wife have figured out how to make this crazy season work for your family!

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