I could hear the tears in her voice.
She was overwhelmed with the stress of marriage, mothering, and extended family, not to mention the preparations of Christmas. To be honest, she’s so tough I was surprised she was struggling.
Then it all tumbled out. Impossible demands at work. Issues far out of her control. Feeling frustrated that she just couldn’t do enough to help her needy students.
The weight of her troubles reached through the phone into my my heart, hundreds of miles away. She was at her breaking point.
I hung up with a heavy heart. My good friend was hurting. Though she was blind to it, from a couple hundred miles away, I could see she’d strapped on a lot of guilt for no good reason, taken on way too many really good projects, and suffered from self-imposed stress.
I do it too. All in the name of love, generosity, goodness.
What a lie.
With all the people I can be generous with, I ought be generous with myself. Not in a “I-deserve-diamond-earrings” way. But to bathe myself in God’s grace when false guilt takes over. To rest in His expansive love that holds the world together when I think its my job. And to allow his goodness to flow out of me, instead of trying to manufacture some for myself.
In these next couple days, as we celebrate Christmas, I’m going to revel in God’s amazingly generous love for us, for me, for you. After all, his love is the best gift I could ever receive.
How can you be generous to yourself this Christmas?