Three Ways to Have a Stress-Free Christmas
- Thursday, December 08, 2011
Are you one of those women who dreads the holidays because of all there is to do? Or all you have to buy? Or all there is to eat? Women tend to be stressed out during Christmas time, more so than at any other time of the year. Probably because we’re focusing on our finances, or our full schedules, or that inevitable weight gain that happens this time of year. But Christmas time for a woman can be an extra special time of making memories with her Maker, as well as cherishing special times with her family. It’s all about refocusing your heart and mind and remembering three principles that can get you through the Christmas season feeling recharged, refreshed, and refueled.
1. Rely on God for your Emotional Support
With so much to do prepare for the holidays, it’s natural for us to rely on people around us to notice when we're overwhelmed, offer a helping hand, or just lend some encouragement and support. The problem is, at this time of year, everyone else around us tends to be as busy as we are. These are the times to go to God in prayer and pour out your heart before Him. Scripture says God understands our thoughts from afar (Psalm 139:2); He is a refuge for us when we need to pour out our hearts to Him (Psalm 62:8); and there is nowhere we can go (physically or emotionally) where He is not right there with us (Psalm 139:7-12). When we look to others to understand what we're going through, we are often disappointed. When we depend on others for emotional support, or a kind word to keep us going, we tend to feel let down. But God, your Maker and Sustainer, knows and understands what you’re feeling. Go to Him in prayer. Talk to Him about how you feel. And be refreshed knowing He hears, He cares, and He understands.
2. Refresh Yourself in God’s Word
I remember waking up one morning, about this time of year and thinking “I don’t feel like facing this day. I don’t feel like doing everything on my to-do list. I feel like I’m running on empty.” It was then that I turned to the Psalms in Scripture. I remembered that the songwriters felt many of the same emotions I did, and if I wanted something to fill me up and fuel me up, that would be the place to go. There in the Psalms I noticed a pattern. In all 150 of the Psalms, the phrase “I will” was sung 140 times. Asaph sang “I will mediate on all Thy works…I will remember your deeds” (Psalm 77:11-12). David sang “I will come into your house, in reverence I will bow down” (Psalm 5:7). And when David felt like he was being defeated, he said “I will know that God is for me… I will not be afraid” (Psalm 56:9-11). The songwriters weren’t saying “I think” or “I should” or “I feel.” They kept saying “I will.” They expressed a sense of determination. That made me realize that whether I feel tired or not, whether I am motivated or not, I need to do something to allow God to infuse energy into my day and help me not to feel so run down. And the first “I will” that I incorporated into my life that morning was Psalm 119:16: “I will not neglect your word.”
What I found, as I began going to God’s Word in the morning – primarily the Psalms – was that Scripture became a spiritual source of energy for me, to get me through the day. Second Timothy 3:16 also says that "All Scripture is God-breathed...." Reading it is like getting a “breath of fresh air” from the Living God – a “second wind” to get you through your day!
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