Christmas is here in 3 more days!!! Either you are ready for the big day or panic has now set it!! For some the list seems longer, if your kids go to school they are now home for Christmas break and the house is getting dirtier!!! The ideas of making cookies with your kids, sipping on hot chocolate and singing Christmas carols just didn't turn out exactly how you envisioned it!!! You may feel overwhelmed not being able to meet all the demands that are being put on you. You may feel busy but nothing seems to be getting done. Money may be tighter this year. What you wanted to buy your kids, family and friends is now became only a hope for maybe next year, which makes you feel like a total looser. Maybe the thought of seeing family members in less than 48 hours sends shivers up and down your spine! Because you feel the stress your kids are feeling it too! They are having melt downs and you feel like joining them! Instead of being filled with the spirit of Christmas you feel like the Grinch! Instead of proclaiming Merry Christmas from the top of your lungs, you want to cry, kick your feet and scream BA HUMBUG!!! Maybe just maybe as you are doing last minute grocery shopping your kids are filled with so much excitement but instead of joining them, you feel like the worse mother in the world because they are on your last nerve!!! But alas!!! You happen to walk down the aisle and reunite with your long lost best friend. Jack Daniels!!! He is looking right at you! You hear him calling your name!!! How good does it sound!!! The thought of just a few sips could take you into your own winter wonderland!
If this is you, I can relate!! For years, I put so much expectations on myself and on others. It was never enough and felt like a failure. (Still to this day if I'm not aware of it and let my guard down, the stress and pressure will start to way on my shoulders. When this happens I take a few moments pray, focus on the good and let everything else go.) We spent money we didn't have on gifts nobody really needed! We love to give! We love to give to family and friends too. But doing it out of obligation or beyond your means and running your credit card to the max, is plain stupidity! If you can give gifts great and if you can't that is ok too! Now, when you feel the world sucking you in and just want to cry, try doing something from someone else. Look around at all you have been blessed with already. Instead of looking at the lack of in your life, look for the blessings. You'll begin to feel the stress being lifted off your shoulders if for just a moment. Ask God to help you see the world in his eyes. The enemy wants to steal your joy. He wants you to be self consumed and focus on your life and problems because this will keep you and me from loving God and everyone else like the way God has loved us. You may be going through some huge struggles right now. If this is you, I pray you find the strength and love of Christ. By helping someone else, helps you see no matter what you are going through the blessings that are right in front of you. Don't believe the lies nor let the world suck you in and take you down.
Instead of reaching for Jack Daniels to take your problems away reach for Jesus Christ. Now, God does want to work through each one of us. He has a unique calling on each one of our lives. But I doubt the majority of things on our list or what we are so stressed out about God is telling us to do! God is peace not stress. We need to be prayerful in all we do. He has not asked us to get our panties in a bunch because we haven't gotten all the Christmas cards mailed, cookies made to feed the entire neighborhood, he didn't ask you to buy gifts our of obligation nor did he ask you to stress out, live beyond your means and buy gifts your family and friends don't really need. He didn't ask us to fight with our spouses nor scream at the kids or to let the bottle of Jack take all our problems away.
Remember as the clock begins to tick and the nerves begin to get short, remember the manager, the baby and know Jesus is enough and so are you! Your time and presence is all that he is requiring from you! To be honest that is all your family is truly looking for too. At the cross Jesus said, "it's finished!" Don't let the enemy win. Whatever doesn't get done, no big deal! Take all the expectations you have put on yourself and give them to Christ!
FYI: I do not try to pretend I'm perfect because I'm far from it!!! It's only because of Christ and what he has taught us! We aren't buying much this year and haven't even finished our shopping! We'll go tomorrow! I can finally say no stress for me this Christmas! Whatever we do or don't do is enough! Christmas is not one day, it's everyday! Remembering the true meaning of Christmas!!! Merry Christmas to all my family and friends! I love you so very much!!!