Stress free holidays, huh? Makes you want to laugh right? Stress free holidays only happen in Hallmark movies (unless it’s a dramatic amount of stress followed by being saved by the man of your dreams and shortly getting engaged after–that might be in a Hallmark movie, also).
I am all about avoiding negative feelings (if you know anything about the Enneagram—yes, I’m a 7). So, you best believe I’ve tried every year to make the Holidays as enjoyable and fun as possible. Some years I didn’t go to all the parties. Some years I overextended myself. Some years I was frugal with the gift-giving and some years a racked up the credit card debt. You know what I’m saying? Is the anxiety kicking in yet?
What I’m reminding myself this year is something I feel like Jesus would remind us: What really makes the holidays special? What is something eternal that can be embraced during this time of year? Jesus was all about getting people back to the reasons why we do what we do. He questioned the Pharisees often about their love of traditions and lack of heart. He confronted Martha by saying, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” What are the things we are worried about that aren’t really needed? What traditions are we holding the death-grip on that need to be let go of or transformed? What anxious perspectives are we caught up in that need to be exchanged for supernatural peace?
Let me get practical with you: learn your “no” power. What things deserve your best “yes” this year? Who do you WANT to spend your time with? Do you really need to go do this “urgent” thing or can you take a nap? Do you really need to clap back at that one obnoxious family member or can you peacefully choose not to engage in the drama? Will that one person really stop loving you if you don’t get them the perfect gift? Will Christmas be cancelled if you can’t make it to all the get-togethers?
Embracing your “no” power may upset some, but it will also free both parties to re-assess healthy boundaries and fair expectations. Allow your trust in God to fill the gaps in the chaos. His Holy Spirit is present with you and will tell you what to do and what to surrender to Him. You really do have the Prince of Peace on your side! Get back to “…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” You know how to get back to that? “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
The Holidays are a great time to spend time with the people you love and it can be quality time if you don’t let all the nonsense cloud it. Take a moment of reflection right now: What things are you exchanging your peace for? Are there things that your giving your “yes” to that aren’t the best? Visualize yourself handing those thing over to your Heavenly Father and trust Him to bring out what’s important this time of year.
Christian is speaker and co-founder of #shelaughs Ministry. Christian loves to teach-give her an ear to listen and she’ll talk it right off of ya! She also loves to dream and help others pursue theirs. Christian started following Jesus as soon as she found out that He wasn’t out to condemn her—but to embrace her. Learn more about more about Christian and #shelaughs.