I’m sure you’ve seen this meme floating around on social media. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen it, and like most of you, I laugh. But the reality is, we laugh because it’s true. We laugh because most of us are running circles trying to keep up. By the beginning of December, I had every day scheduled to the max with everything from laundry to mopping floors to basketball games to Christmas parties and programs. Last week we had three different school events, and the Christmas party for Patrick’s office, in addition to the normal, daily chores and activities. Then . . . sickness hit our house. And everything came to a screeching halt. Amidst the mad disinfecting, because that’s how I cope (my house smells of Lysol and bleach), I was thinking about how to deal with the craziness of the holiday season so that we don’t forget the literal “Reason for the Season”. Specifically, how do I deal with things in order to keep my sanity and peace? So without further ado . . . in no particular order (except for number one . . . number one is the most important) . . . <insert drumroll here> . . . also, try to contain your excitement . . .
Courtney’s List for Keeping the Calm in the Craziness of the Holidays . . .
1. The Word . . . I’ve talked about this quite a bit, but when I’m starting to feel anxious and unsettled, I need to stop and do a self check. How much time have I spent with God . . . praying, reading the word, praising Him? Because that’s the foundation for everything in my life, and if I’m feeling off balance, this is the first place I need to stop and evaluate. Sadly, sometimes, too often, it’s also the first thing I let slip when things get crazy.
2. Move . . . and by “move” I mean my body. I learned a long time ago that I have a lot of energy. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I have to move . . . exercise . . . work out . . . whatever you want to call it . . . in order to feel my best. If I don’t get enough exercise, I find I start to feel sluggish and irritable. I don’t sleep as well, etc. And I think this how God designed our bodies. He designed us to work our muscles and move. That doesn’t mean it looks the same for all of us. For you, it might look like a stroll outside. For someone else, it might look like a run or a session in the weight room. Whatever it looks like for you, just move. I promise you won’t regret it.
3. Fuel . . . it’s sooooo easy to not fuel myself well this time of year. To not eat what is well balanced for me. And to overindulge. Especially in the sugar department, but also just with junk in general. We’re eating out more. We grab stuff on the go, and french fries always look better than salad. Can I get a witness? So I have to check my fuel source because just like movement, God did not design our bodies to be fueled on junk.
4. Just say “no” . . . Set boundaries. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. Sometimes you have to look at everything going on and say “no” to some things. And that’s fine. Will people get mad or offended? They might, but if making it to every single event affects your peace and the peace of your family, then you need to be willing to say “no”. The thing is, our family needs time away from all of it. Time to just be a family with the four of us. My kids need rest, and routine (bedtime is king in our house . . . not sorry), and downtime with Mom and Dad so I rarely feel bad when I set boundaries on outside activities.
5. Grace . . . I give myself and others as much grace as possible. Because things aren’t always going to be perfect. People get sick. Plans get cancelled. And just like I need to set boundaries so do others. The thing is the picture “perfect” Christmas isn’t perfect at all. I’m sure Mary didn’t feel like things were perfect when she gave birth in a stable. And shepherds, lowly shepherds, were the first to hear about the birth of our Savior. Definitely, not perfect by the world’s standards.
“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”” 1 Corinthians 26-31 NKJV
Perfection is overrated. It’s not about the things or the events or everyone doing everything right. It always circles back to number one on my list . . . Jesus. When I’m feeling like it’s all just a lot to handle, and I have no time to slow down, that’s the exact moment I need to stop the most and just remember Who it is we’re celebrating this time of year. There is nothing wrong with all the celebrations . . . the family . . . the food . . . the decorations . . . the gifts . . . all of it is fine, but none of it is more important than Jesus.
May you enjoy Peace and Rest in the midst of the busy-ness of this Christmas season.
Copyright 2019, Courtney G Davis, All Rights Reserved The writings and images contained within this site are the intellectual property of this writer unless otherwise noted, and may not be copied or used without express permission of the author.