Wrapping presents, decorating the house, and a sense of expectation in every heart...holidays bring joy to life!
Does that make you feel excited or overwhelmed?
We can get into a routine of holiday preparation that leaves us feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.
Back in Old Testament Days, God provided holidays to refresh His people. Celebrations today should be refreshing, too.
Celebrations can provide refreshment, strengthen family relationships, instill godly values in our children, and remind us of God's goodness. However, if we wear ourselves out in the process of preparation and celebration, we can find ourselves exhausted and wondering when it will all be over.
If we are going to make every holiday holy, setting it apart and celebrating in a way that honors Christ, we need to be careful to avoid exhaustion and frustration.
So how do we do that?
We are all thankful to be alive and have the strength to serve the Lord. We want to use that strength to be effective, not like a little hamster on a treadmill.
Many of us have stressful lives, and burdens that we carry. We may have a difficult marriage, an elderly relative to care for, or a house full of little ones that demand our constant attention.
A holiday is a break from the routine! If we are careful not to run ourselves ragged in the pursuit of the Ideal Holiday Menu, each holiday can be a time of refreshment where we break away from the dreary routine and enjoy the company of family and friends.
View holidays as a time to RELAX and unwind from the pressures of life.
Simplify favorite family recipes. Allow others to make and bring food to large family dinners.
Delegate tasks such as decorating or addressing cards to other family members. Yes, they might do it differently than you normally do. Can you relax and live with that?
Set up a big family calendar and write down all the family holiday activities. You might need to make some hard choices about what you can and can't do.
"Repent then and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord," (Acts 3:18 NIV).
To repent means to stop what you are doing, turn around, and go the opposite way.
When non-Christians repent and believe in Jesus, their sins are forgiven and times of refreshing come from their brand new Heavenly Father.
When we are weary, we may need to make changes in our lives and habits so that times of refreshing may come, once again, into our lives.
Sometimes, our motives at holiday celebrations may need adjustment from the Lord. We may be trying to impress rather than serve.
Or, we may be trying to please others rather than living to please God. Relax the expectations you have for yourself to be the "perfect hostess" or "perfect mother."
Hoping you will be refreshed and relaxed this holiday season.