As a pastor’s wife, Christmas can be one of the most hectic times of the year. This is when we need to make a commitment to finish strong.

As we draw to the end of another year, let us finish strong. Even as Paul said in Acts 20:24:

But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy…

I do not want to end this year worn out, discouraged, defeated, or depressed. I want to finish this year strong, encouraged, and energized to press on. The word "finished" here means to complete, accomplish, carry through to the end, bring to a successful conclusion, reach a goal, fulfill.  I want to complete this year with successful conclusions.

As I focus on a successful conclusion to the year, one question I must ask myself is if there are people whom I need to forgive. According to God’s word, I have only one option: I must choose to forgive them!

Another area I must address with myself is if there are apologies that I need to make. Again, the scripture is clear, so I will make them. I want to finish this year strong; I want to finish my race with joy. How do I do this? Ephesians 6:10 says, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might."

Isn’t that great? We do not have to depend upon our own strength and sufficiency; we can be strong in the power of His might! As we rely on His might, and His strength, He will empower us to walk through this season successfully and finish strong.

I know that there are a lot of demands on us at Christmas. There are parties to attend – and to host. There are presents to buy, cookies to bake, memories to recall – and to create. With the variety of commanding and demanding roles that we live day in and day out I too feel the pull for my attention during this holiday season. I do not want to just "make it" through the month. I want to come into this holiday season with a sense of anticipation and expectancy of all that God has for me, my husband, my children, and my church.

Take the time in the midst of a demanding season to greet this holiday with joy and anticipation. Anticipate His goodness being poured out in your life. Anticipate His grace to carry you through. Anticipate His love being shed abroad in your heart.

Let us keep focused and not grow weary, as we continue to run the race with endurance. Then we will see His promise come to pass in our lives.

Heb 10:36 says: "For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised. (Amplified)"

Have a blessed Christmas season and a prosperous new year!

Veronica Reece and her husband pastor a church in Georgia. They have four children and she is currently homeschooling two of their children. Their oldest attends college in California. They adopted their youngest child from Guatemala. Veronica teaches and lives Titus 2:3-5 while being a strong woman and honoring wife. Veronica has a rich heritage of faith and contagious enthusiasm. As she leads beside her husband, she is a frequent speaker at church and is very involved in leading their Women’s Ministry. Veronica is a sought-after speaker and travels yearly speaking at women’s conferences and special events.

First published in The Mother’s Heart magazine, a publication for mothers with hearts in their homes. Visit their website at: www.The-Mothers-Heart.com.