15 In Faith

Staying Calm In The Chaos

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my parents, brothers and sisters and their families. I cooked my first turkey and it was delish!  We sat around, talked and laughed and planned our courses for BLACK FRIDAY the next day.  As I began to puruse the ads, I felt sheer panic setting in.  There were so many amazing deals. Where would I begin?  I had a limited cash flow.  What would I spend it on?  So I made a list, charted my course, decided what I was going to have for breakfast at IHOP at 6:30a in the morning and went to bed.  I awoke on Black Friday at 9:30a.  I thought to myself, “You’d better hurry up. The mega sales end at 11:00a.”  Who cares, I promptly told myself and rolled over and slept for another hour!

My daughter and I did venture out about 11:00a.  First stop, Peets Coffee!  After all, who shops without first having coffee?  Next, we went to the clothing store where my sister works. I was after $5 shirts and slippers.  I was in the store for about 10 mins when I heard a commotion on the other side of the store.  My sister was on the phone to 911.  As I walked over, a woman was laying flat on her back, arms rigid in the air, convulsing of a seizure.  No one was at her side, yet there were several who were looking at her.  Not medically trained, I wasn’t sure what I could do.  But I could PRAY!  I rushed to her side, laid hands on her and began to ask for the presence of Jesus to come.  By that point, she was foaming at the mouth and bleeding a lot from her nose (possibly due to hitting her head when she fell).  A nurse who was in the store came over. We rolled the woman on her side.  There was blood everywhere. On the floor, on me. We grabbed shirts off of clearance racks to try and minimize the damage to the carpet.  We waited for about 15 minutes before the EMT arrived.  Some had panic on their faces, and I could have given in to it.  Yet I prayed, silently and calmly for this woman to be invaded with the love and healing of Jesus.  I will never know what impact I may have made, but I felt good as I walked away knowing I did something.

Next stop, the mall. By this time it was already 12:30.  I could tell getting off the freeway that the parking lot was filled to capacity.  So I asked Jesus to provide “Princess Parking” and found a pretty good spot right outside JC Penny, where my beloved bar stools were on sale from $99 to $39.  But I had missed the sale. They had been marked up to $89. Bummer.  Oh well, I said to myself.  The sale will come around again.  I did manage to pick up a “Buy One Toy Story Talking Buzz Light Year” get “A Talking Woody for Half Off”!  That was a deal for me and I was done.  And home we went.

As the Christmas shopping season has officially begun, it can be quite chaotic out there.  Stores looked like they had been hit by a tornado.  There were screaming children everywhere.  Poor things, they see things they want and can’t have.  People tend to be more rude, cutting you off as you go to park and elbowing you as you walk.  I watched so many people carrying so many packages and wondered what they had bought.  Was it all worth it?  Was it all necessary?

In this season, I have to be very purposeful in keeping JESUS in front of me at all times, so as to not lose sight of the true meaning.  Although it makes my heart happy to be able to give to others, Christmas is not about Black Friday, Santa, Sales, More Sales, commercialism or fancy decorations (of which I have none).  Christmas is ALL about JESUS.  The baby born in a manger.  The God head come in human form so that I could live. And Christmas IS about giving — of my time, my love and my giftings to others.  Yet it’s hard not to get caught up in all of the hype.

Christmas IS about giving -- of my time, my love and my giftings to others. Click To Tweet

Here are some things I do to keep me calm during this season:

  1. Focus on JESUS! I listen to worship music and Christmas music to keep me in perspective. I read His Word. I want to know this man, this greatest gift. I know that if I keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, He will work everything else out.
  2. Make a plan and stick to it.  There were so many amazing deals yesterday.  I could have come home with a lot more than I did.  However, yesterday was all about my little boy and his two greatest desires.  And I got them.  And they were on sale.  My children know that things are tighter this year than normal.  They have all been asked for their lists, and really aren’t asking for much.  They know that a few presents under the tree and a lot of love is more than some kids have.
  3. Shop On Line.  After yesterday, I think on line shopping is the way to go.  I was able to log in at midnight to Best Buy on Thanksgiving morning and purchase an item for one of my kids at an $80 savings!  Woo Hoo, God is good!
  4. Look for ways to help others.  Yesterday someone had a need and I met it the only way I knew how.  Sure, I lost time, could have bought those bar stools, but this was Kingdom Reality in motion and God used me to bring the Kingdom at that moment.  Are you willing to sacrifice of your time to help another in need?
  5. Find JOY in the simple things.  I was happy when I found the deal on the Toy Story toys for my son. But the day was even better sitting around the table with family last night, eating Chinese Food, listening to my son play his guitar and sing worship songs, and hearing my children laugh.  These are the moments that flee all too soon. These are the moments I want to capture this season.

Praying that as you enter this season, you will rest in knowing that JESUS is all that matters.  May He fill your spirit with peace and calmness and my you and your family be blessed beyond measure.

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)

15 Comments

  • Reply
    Taylor
    November 27, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I loved reading this post. You are so right: We need to keep Jesus as #1 at all times! It's so easy to get distracted, especially during the holidays. So it's very important to keep these things in the right perspective. 😉

    Oh, and I can somewhat relate to what you were feeling when that woman was having a seizure. I went through something similar with my dad last week and all we could do was PRAY!! It's really hard to see a person going through something like that, because you feel pretty helpless. But praying IN THE NAME OF JESUS is very powerful! You definitely did the right thing. 🙂 And isn't it amazing to think that God put you in that store at just the right time, so that someone was there to pray for that lady?! God definitely knows what He's doing, doesn't He? 😉

    Have a wonderful day!

    Blessings,
    — Taylor

  • Reply
    Laura
    November 27, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Wow, you were very busy! I've never been out on Black Friday. Even when it's NOT Black Friday, I shop online to beat dealing with people…haha. 🙂 Glad you had such a great time!

  • Reply
    Thena
    November 27, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    When we slow down and let God lead us we never know where he may lead. Isn't it so awesome to be right where He wants us when He wants us there.

  • Reply
    Esther
    November 28, 2010 at 12:21 am

    You had a very eventful Black Friday!! So glad that woman had you prayer for her!

    Amen to keeping Jesus the focus of our advent season.

  • Reply
    Child of God
    November 28, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Nice post!
    I love the saying 'Keep Christ in Christmas'. Lot's of small Christian business around here have this sign up during the holiday season, helps keep folks centered around here.

    God bless,
    <><

  • Reply
    Brenda Susan
    November 28, 2010 at 1:04 am

    Ok, you amazing woman! I would have gone right on home after going through the experience with the convulsing and bloody woman!
    wow! Blessings on you for stepping in!

  • Reply
    Lea
    November 28, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Beautiful post! We have to constantly remind ourselves of these truths as we are so surrounded by all the commercialism of the season. I have never participated in Black Friday and do 75% of my Christmas shopping online. I'm just not a lover of chaos at all. Blessings to you as we enter this most Holy Season.

  • Reply
    Kate
    November 28, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    I have been very worried that this year's holiday season will be a work season rather than a holiday season for me. Thank you for reminding me that no matter where I am I can make a difference and try to focus on what is really important: Why this season even exists.

    I hope you are blessed with a wonderful holiday season!
    Blessings,
    Kate

  • Reply
    Kristi
    November 28, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    I always love reading your posts! You clearly start the day with the Master who leads your every step. Thank you for sharing this today! Blessings to you!

  • Reply
    Joan
    November 29, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Wonderful post, Barbie! It's so true, Christmas is all about Jesus!!!

    I'm a big fan of online shopping. (I hate fighting the crowds). I'm glad you were able to help the lady – you were definately a good Samaritan.

    Blessings,
    Joan

  • Reply
    carissa @ lowercase letters
    November 29, 2010 at 4:49 am

    you were one busy gal on friday! i love your list to keep calm! especially #1!

  • Reply
    Jenn
    November 29, 2010 at 6:02 am

    What a great reminder of why the Holiday's are so important. I can't believe what happened with that woman, it must have been scary.

  • Reply
    Adoption Mama
    November 29, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Praise God for using you. Thanks for the tips…keeping JEsus at the forefront is crucial. Blessings to you and your family this advent season.

  • Reply
    Julie@comehaveapeace
    November 29, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I love reading this post, Barbie. You said so much of what I was thinking. And the story of the woman in the store gave me goose bumps – obviously a divine appt. You got to be the hands of Jesus to her that day, and I think that's a beautiful way to begin celebrating the season of His birth.

    Blessings,
    Julie

  • Reply
    Paula
    November 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    These are great plans to keep Jesus at the center this time of year. I deal with much extended family drama, so I have to rely on Him to get me through. So thankful you were there to pray for the hurt woman. (((hugs)))

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