Staying heavily involved with family gatherings beginning in early November through the middle of January can leave me beyond exhaustion. I tend to let the stress of life gather inside until it begins to seep out in the healthiest ways. Trying to be extremely prepared ahead of time so that when the time comes, I can sit back and enjoy my loved ones and the experience itself has always been the plan. Unfortunately, my plan doesn’t always come into fruition. So, when I feel the heaviness of it all I must escape to my place of quiet!
When I have a cup of hot coffee in my hand I tend to relax and let go! In these seclusions of self, I make a cup of coffee and find a place to where I can regroup my soul. I tend to focus using this acronym:
C ~ Centered on Christ. My everything should be focused on Christ! My heart, mind, emotions, decisions, actions, behavior, etc… Remembering everything He did, does and will continue to do for me, shatters my overwhelment and brings my heart into a state of gratitude and thankfulness!
O ~ Ornaments. Adorn my soul with giving, kindness and love. “Your adornment must not be merely external~ putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” ~ 1 Peter 3: 3~4
F ~ Find pockets of peace. Letting peace be the umpire of my heart, no matter how overwhelmed I feel or how challenging the circumstances amount to. “The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.” ~ Numbers 6:25 ~ 26
F ~ Fullness of Life. In every stress filled event, finding fullness of life reminds me that He wants that for me! Do not let the enemy seep into my frustrations to steal, kill or destroy my joy, peace or happiness. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” ~John 10:10
E ~ Enjoyment. Taking the time to step away and regroup allows me to go into the season with enjoyment! Having my heart beating appreciation, thankfulness and gratitude instead of taking things for granted or having a bitter taste of obligation. “May the God of hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life ~ giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!’ ~Romans 15:13
E ~ Eliminate expectations. The holidays are wonderful opportunities where we want to exercise our control issues and put unspoken expectations on others to do what we want, how/when we want it done, etc… I’ve noticed in my own life that during the holidays I tend to eliminate any expectations of how I want certain things to go, and in doing this, I receive a great reward of peace! There can be extreme amounts of pressure during the holidays anyways, so why add more by having unrealisitic or unspoken expectations of others to follow. Instead extend grace and mercy with a dose of love!
Wishing you all a more balanced, healthy way of approaching the holiday season! Abundant blessing to you in 2014!