Somewhere in the midst of a toddler and preschooler, a wise woman shared with me a systematic lifestyle of maintenance. Every day has its task and if you choose to accomplish these few tasks every day of the week, you won't be overwhelmed by a huge task later. These days, that means the golden heads vacuum (if we're lucky) Mondays and Wednesdays and I do the thorough "mom" job on Fridays. (Not that I always vacuum the corners, but I definitely catch a larger percentage of the popcorn crumbs.) So this Friday, sweep by sweep, I began thinking of the value of maintenance. Not waiting until the house is a complete disaster (which maybe the kitchen floor was) to clean but day by day, task by task, maintaining.
What about spiritual maintenance? How do we maintain our hearts? Not our ministries. Our hearts? How do we maintain our relationship with Jesus?
Having moved a handful of times across the country, I can vouch, if you don't maintain a friendship with regular contact, the relationship will fade.
Ever thinking of my resolution to make this Christmas about Jesus, not cookies, I know that He wants a relationship with you and me. Two truths come to mind: relationships are intentional and relationships take time.
And because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share His divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. 2 Peter 1:4-5a
"Make every effort," or be intentional! Just as I must choose to pick up the phone and call a friend, I must choose to STOP and spend time with Jesus. With Jesus, our time can look different from day to day. For example, you might be wrapped in a blanket, in the dark and just listening; writing; reading a Bible passage; meditating or memorizing a verse; stopping irritated veins at the dinner table and asking Jesus to see them through His eyes with patience and love. He doesn't box us in!
Susanna Wesley, mother of 19 children, intentionally spent time with Jesus and her children knew it. At random throughout the day, she would toss her apron over her head and when she did, her children knew that she was spending time with Jesus.
At this time of year, no one seems to have enough time as our "to do" lists get longer and longer. Even a relationship with Jesus will take precious time. However,  I am learning from a new friend how I take time for granted. I choose to spend time on things that don't matter, things without eternal significance, even things that will eventually trip me up spiritually. What if we chose to do things that matter? What if we chose relationships over things? If we're honest, I'm pretty sure that we'd agree, we can all make time for Jesus.
Whether at home or within relationships, maintenance is important and it's also a choice. Don't let Jesus be a relationship you let go this Christmas while you move onto baking and shopping.

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