Super Mom Has Left the Building
Marybeth Whalen

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

I just have to insert something in the midst of this busy season we call Christmas:

“You can’t do it all.”

And I don’t think I can say that enough.

I found this entry in my journal from years ago, and I thought you might like to read it…


I’ll remember to order those cute Christmas return address labels for my cards.

I’ll bake real gingerbread houses like Martha Stewart instead of buying those cheap, cheesy kits.

I’ll finish my shopping early instead of waiting to the last minute.

I’ll hand make gifts for all our neighbors, teachers, postal carriers, and garbage men.

I’ll wrap presents that look like the ones in the magazines, not like a kindergartner did it.

I’ll actually do all those service projects that look like a worthy thing to do.

Someday… is not now.

Whatever season in life you are in this Christmas, embrace it. There will be other times to do all those things you want to do. Or not. Whatever your situation is, trust that God is sovereign and He ordained for you to be where you are at this time, for His purpose. There is something to be gained from every season in life. The trick is to find that piece of wisdom God has for you in the midst of each season.

When the angel appeared to Mary, he told her some pretty shocking news about what was going to happen to her. His message ushered her into a season in life that included confusion, rejection and some pretty extreme transition. And yet, her response was “May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38).

I want Mary’s reaction to be my own reaction. I want my attitude to be one of complete surrender to God’s will, no matter what the circumstances. I want to be able to say with confidence “May it be to me as you have said” instead of whining to God, “Why did you let this happen to me?” like I usually do.

The first step in embracing every season is to let go of our own expectations—even when it means learning to love our limitations. Whether you are struggling with illness, or lack of energy, or a marriage situation, or money problems, or family issues—whatever it is, that is where God has you. Stop trying to be Super Mom or Super Woman and trust a super God instead.

Dear Lord, help me see You this Christmas. Help me keep my focus on You and not on my to-do list. And would you please remind me when I forget that You love me not because of what I accomplish but because I am, simply, Your child? In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources
A Recipe for Christmas Joy, E-book by Marybeth Whalen

Can Martha Have a Mary Christmas? by Brenda Poinsett

Marybeth’s Blog

Application Steps

Write down what is on your to-do list for this week. Spend time praying over that list and ask God to show you what needs to be on there and what can go. Then let go of whatever He says.

Why do you feel compelled to do, and do, and do? What feelings are at the root of all that striving? How can you let go of those root feelings and embrace God’s unconditional love instead—knowing that He accepts you whether your house is decorated and your cards are addressed or not!

Power Verses
Psalm 38:19, “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” (NIV)

Matthew 6:8, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (NIV)

I Peter 3:14, “But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.’” (NIV)

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Blogger Lisa said...

Thank you MaryBeth. Traditions are good, but not when we are doing so many of them that we lose sight of our God and families. I used to have a lot of traditions, but now we trade off each year. Makes it a lot easier than trying to 'do it all' every year.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord! This is exactly the devotion that I needed to read today! I have been struggling with this for a while now and reading the devotion was a blessing.

Blogger Rachel said...

Thank you for your wise words today. Am really struggling with all the busyness of this season and always seem to set my own expectations of myself very high and in the end no-one wins.

We all seem to go so mad for one day when in reality that one day should reflect the rest of our lives and be about peace and enjoying our relationship with the Lord which He came to make possible.

Blogger Unknown said...

how encouraging! mary is so the example i need right now. thanks! "may it be as YOU say!"

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the wonderful thoughts! What a reminder to do things for the right reasons and not just to keep up with others. It was a clarification to let go of some unnecessary plans and focus on my family. Thanks so much!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing. These words brought me to tears. I love it when God speaks to us through the message of someone else. Thanks again!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this uplifting reminder we all need - that GOD loves us who we are...just as Mary does. Saints or sinners alike, we are loved. Likewise as you said: because we are simply his PRECIOUS children.

Thanks be to God!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful read! Thank you! I struggled this past week with preparing my Sunday school lesson. With much prayer, I still had no peace about what I had prepared. Early Sunday I woke up and prayed for clarity - in the midst of prayer my mind began to drift to all the things I needed to do....ah ha! Thus my new Christmas To Do List became my Sunday School lesson...1. Seek God 2. Pray 3. Love others 4. Serve 5. Give 6. Thank God for what He gave us on Christmas

Thank you for the reinforcement and reminder to stay focused on what truly matters!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great inspiration of the day. MaryBeth you have captured the worldly things that get in the way of what is really immportant. Because I am just a housewife I feel like I should be able to bake 10 dozen cookies for my children's Christmas party at school,private schools actually allow you to say Christmas, I need to plan dinner parties,and gift lists, Christmas cards with a personal note in each one. In addition to that I still have to clean the house find time to breast feed my baby and have dinner ready when my Lord and Master, he hates it when I call him that, comes home. I feel like I have to be super cook, super maid,super playmmate and super lover. THANK YOU so much for reminding me what is really importantbeing God's little girl who needs him more than anything in this world or beyond. I read your inspirations quite often but this is the first time I have commented I just wanted to let you know what this meant to me today. Good Bye and God bless you.

Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you! To read your devotion today, has lifted me up. It is so true how we decide to do all these things in one season and are then tired and/or can be disappointed with ourselves. Every year at the end of it all I say, "I didn't do as much as I wanted to do, but I did more than I thought I could!" I think another thing that might help with the anxiety is to eliminate TV as much as possible. I find that the more commercials I see on what you can get, makes me more anxious! Listen to the Christmas Songs more because we only have so little time really to celebrate our Saviour's Birth.

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