Finding Peace in Stress Week 4
In this last part series of Finding Peace in Stress, I can’t help talking about stress around the holidays. This is a busy time of year for everyone and you can feel the anxiety, tension, and strain all around you. I sometimes feel it takes the Joy out of the real meaning of Christmas. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the idea of Christmas and not the meaning of Christmas. That is why we start feeling the stress of the holiday season.
Family gifts have to be bought and where to spend Christmas has to be decided. The house needs to be decorated inside and out. You have gifts to buy for people you know and some you don’t know. Finding all the gifts that everyone wants to have, even the hard to buy family member, can be stressful. Your favorite charities need your support and this is the time of year to do it. Then you have to decide how much money you have and all these things to make Christmas a success!
It does not help when Christmas is so commercialized by retailers that it starts in October and has gotten worse over the last decade by decorating way before Halloween. It amazes me how my children trick or treat with Christmas trees! It so easy to so get caught up in the holiday stresses even if you refuse to decorate your tree and buy presents until Thanksgiving is over you still feel the pressure.
I started to feel the stress of all these things this year. It started out stressed, seeing Christmas decorations going up prematurely by retailers, trying to figure out what everyone wanted and where to get it at the best price. Shopping for seven kids, family, friends is enough to make you quit before you begin the holiday rat race.
Those thoughts made me stop. I was starting to think of Christmas, the most joyous holiday as a rat race! Stress was taking the joy out of my Christmas spirt! What was I really teaching my children about Christmas? What will it mean six months from now in all of our lives that I drove all over town to get the “hottest” toy of the season? Will it make my children happier? With every question, I asked myself I was not getting the answers I was looking for. That is when I began to pray to the Lord and I asked Him to help me stay away from trap of the Christmas and help me stay true to finding the ideal Christmas in Him.
The Holy Spirt answered my prayers. Christmas is not about the joy of finding the ideal gifts. It is not about department store Christmas decorations of glitter of silver and gold advertising what they have and making you feel like you need it. It is not about stressing out to make everything in your life Christmas card perfect.
We already have our Savior who is perfect!
He is the one to look to for joy.
He is there to bring to you the perfect gift of peace.
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” –Isaiah 9:6
The Holy Spirt guided me to this Bible quote and I immediately felt at peace. I have not worried about ALL the things I think I need to do. The truth is all we need we already have. We just need to remember how glorious Jesus is. We will still buy gifts for one another and celebrate Christmas with festivities and decorations, but Jesus will be the center of our celebrations and I know it will be the best Christmas ever!
“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” –Titus 3:4-7
-Tamara, Head of the Oakley Family @7thHeavenMomma