So glad you’re here! This is the fifth of six tips to help decom-stress your Christmas season. I’d love to hear from you if you’ve had a chance to implement some of the other suggestions (scroll back to see the first four).
Stress Buster #5: Make it a Holy-day, not just a holiday.
Marinate in peace. Tape Philippians 4:6-7 to your bathroom mirror, fridge, and other hot spots where you’ll see it frequently: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Ask Papa God for HIS peace. Not the veneer kind the world gives that’s dependent on blue skies and tweeting birdies … the deeper kind that transcends all understanding. Peace in the midst of chaos – how can it be? Yet it truly can. But hey, don’t sit around waiting like a lump of linguine for the holiness pot to magically boil and plump you up. Actively practice this acronym:
A: Aggravation at
C: Christ’s feet,
E: Expectantly. Yes, expect Him to do what He promised in the Philippians 4 passage above … “And the peace of God … will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” If you do your part (the first part of the verse: tell Him your needs and pray with heartfelt thanksgiving), He’ll do His … you can count on it.
Take a daily prayer walk. Immerse your senses in Papa’s creation and focus on gratitude for everything you see, smell, touch, hear, and feel. Sincerely thank your Heavenly Father for each blessing He’s given you, especially the incredible gift of His son.
Grab the popcorn. As a family, watch a quality biblical account of the Christmas story, like “The Nativity Story” (my personal fave). Just watched it last night, in fact, and it set a sweet, sweet holy-day tone that was much needed after being inundated by all the Rudoph’s and Frosty’s in my face.
Be intentional. Set aside time to pray every day. Make it a priority to communicate with you Savior and draw from His strength. You’ll need it when Aunt Bertha arrives.
Celebrate Jesus’ birthday. What do you do on your spouse or your precious child’s birthday to show he/she is special to you? So why don’t you do the same for Jesus? Buy or make a small cake and decorate it as a birthday cake for the babe in the manger (I like to bring the manger scene baby Jesus right to the table, and sometimes I even top the cake with him surrounded by candles). Sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and let any children present blow out the candles. Before opening your gifts on Christmas morning, give Baby Jesus a present; have each person write on a piece of paper something in their life they want to give Jesus the following year (such as my pride, temper, talent for yodeling … wherever your heart leads) and place it in a box with a bow. Present it to the holy child in the stable along with the Wise Men’s gifts.
Okay, peeps – one final tip will be coming in a few days. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and respond; I’ve enjoyed hearing all the innovative personal stress-saving techniques from those of you entering the Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook drawing (register on the contest page of my website, DeboraCoty.com). In fact, I’ll be posting many of your great ideas – along with your names – in a post next week, so be sure to tune in!
Oh, yes – for those of you in the Tampa area, I’d love to see you at my Brandon LifeWay book signing this Saturday (12/12/15). Drop by between 10 am – noon to nibble some of the delicious delectables from my award-winning Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook, and take advantage of the great sale (30% off the day of the signing only) to pick up some terrific Christmas gifts for the stressed ladies on your list.