Holiday Change of Plans


I am late writing my blog because it is “The Holiday Season” which translates to: “I’m gonna lose my ever-loving-mind, while simultaneously being of good cheer and teaching my kids its all about Jesus’ birthday and giving (not getting) while somehow decoding the algorithm for buying them gifts they like but won’t make them spoiled.” Groan. Eggnog please.


I love our church at Christmas. I love it year round, but I especially love it right around mid-November when we all start feeling the expectancy of the celebrations to come. The best part for me is always the kids: they are straight up awesome. Bright, enthusiastic, funny, unpretentious, and never ever boring or lame. They run, they risk, they leap. They ROCK. They don’t need us to create some amazing magical Advent experience for them… life is already naturally full of wonder and they are willing and joyful participants.

The thing that has me hung up this Christmas is maybe a tiny flicker of doubt. My flame naturally runs high, I am the girl who is always up for a new adventure. My husband is the same way, we get ourselves in over our heads at times, but both love to “join” whatever we can. We are relatively new to Holden Chapel in the grand scheme of things, and are still energized and excited by it all.


I see a sister of mine…she has been quietly doing the work most don’t want to for YEARS. I just listed here the scores of thankless jobs she performs for our church, but then deleted the words because she would hate anyone to feel responsible for her pain, her fatigue, her tears, her burnout. She feels she can’t back off from the ministries she runs…because there is no one else to do the work.

I realize there are many people in our church family who feel maybe their gifts aren’t good enough, bright enough or impressive enough for ministry. What a great success for the Enemy if he can truly convince you of this lie. He whispers in your ear “Someone else will do it better than you….” I tell you this: In the face of the thousands of dying passengers of the Titanic would you have said “I’m sorry, I don't row very well. Someone else is better suited.”

I know a woman who was willing to answer the call, to eagerly change her plans and be used in a way she NEVER considered. Can you imagine if Mary had told Gabriel “Thank you so much for asking me, but I’m not really 'gifted' in raising God. What a great idea though, I will pray for your endeavor!” That sounds like a lot of replies I have heard this season in my calls for help with Church programs…

Mary’s willingness to step up and “join” in God’s great rescue plan for all mankind is astounding. Can you imagine what our church would be like if each person was so willing to change their plans? Some people wouldn't even consider changing their Christmas Eve Party plans to include a worship service, never mind change their life-plan.


I apologize if anything I’ve said has offended anyone, it is truly not my intent. My mission is always to be more like the kids I love spending time with. I encourage my readers to try to do the same this coming year… think: “Eager, Enthusiastic, Funny, Unpretentious….Always Up for It!” They run, they risk, they leap. You should too. Volunteer to do something that scares you….it might just change you.

StefSparkiesHey, I’m Stef. I am a girl who began really loving Christ as a bright-eyed teen, and somehow this whole “serious adult life” has sprung up around me. I find myself striving to stay connected to the passionate dreamer I once was, the one who truly believes God has great, GREAT plans in store. It’s sometimes tough when your career has requirements such as; policing potty words, being the gatekeeper of the wii, and interpreting the speech of a chronically sobbing 2-yr old. Yet, in the beauty of the mundane I do see His great plans, and I know He is using me to change the world.

1 Comment

Perfectly said! My new year resolution starting today is being Eager, enthusiastic, funny and unpretentious! I pray for that sister that God would bless her with more help and that HE would give her a time of rest

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