Featured Writer: Cathy Peek // More of Jesus!
I was sitting in a doctor’s office one Christmas when a young mom, who I had never laid eyes on, sat across from me. With hot tears rolling down her face, she blurted out to everyone in the room, “I hate Christmas! I hate what it does to me! I am so stressed out!” No one said a word. They just let her vent, but I understood more than she knew.
Christmas is by far one of the busiest seasons of the entire year. Our lives become crazy from being overcrowded with an excessive amount of everything happening all in one month!
In the hype of Christmas activity, I can feel the drain on my energy, unraveling of my nerves, and my soul becoming weary with too much … too much of everything. At times my body longed for rest, but instead I continued to drive it.
Then it happens… Stress kicks in, and even though I fight the feeling, it begins to rob me of really being present in the moment.
Every year I would think… “next year is going to be different”… but how could it be different if I didn’t change things. I realized the activity was stressing me, but it was more than that. My soul was running on empty with long days and extra activities.
I was so busy my soul was longing for more of Jesus!
My busy holiday lifestyle had me running around doing so much that I had almost completely crowded out his presence.
Have your ever felt like this?
I didn’t want it to be like this anymore!
Over two thousand years ago Jesus entered the darkness of this world clothed in humanity for one purpose—the Son of God was born to die for the sins of the world.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Jesus wants to daily fill us with his love so we can pour that love out on a lost world! For this to happen, we have to be fully present, not stressed out.
As Christians it is easy to get caught up in the craziness and leave little or no time to focus on JESUS, the real reason we are celebrating in the first place.
My holidays are by no means perfect, but they are not near as stressful after I started limiting the amount of activities, being more realistic in what I could accomplish, and keeping Jesus in the center of celebrating. I want to share a few things that have helped our family.
3 Simple Ways to Trim Holiday Stress:
- Spend Time With Jesus Each Day: Feed your soul every day, and soak in the presence of Jesus. Give your cares, fears, and anxieties to the one who can do something about them. Each day allow the “Son of God”, your Redeemer, to be the “lifter of your soul”.
- Focus On The Good Things In your Life: When you begin to feel stress closing in say, “God, I release this to you!” Start naming out loud your blessings or start singing. Focus on the things in your life…that can’t be bought.
- Be Intentional In Celebrating Jesus: As a follower of Christ, be intentional in celebrating from the deepest part of your soul! Keep your heart and spirit focused on God, becoming flesh in the form of a baby, to grow up and redeem the world! Because of this great act of love, the entire destinies of our lives have been changed.
Stress will always be in our lives, but keeping Jesus the center of all we do and depending on him for our every need will bring a joy and peace that the world will never understand.
Lord, we give you the stress in our lives. Help us to stay calm even in the hecticness of the season. Cover us with your peace and fill us with your joy. Help us shine with your love!