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Christian Work at Home Ministries

By Cwahm.com received 3 years ago

Categories: Faith | Conviction
Age: 14 until 18 year 19 until 30 year 31 until 64 years
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Christian Work at Home Ministries

Finding rest from holiday stress

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 04:00 AM PST

Several years ago my church put on a Christmas pageant. One song from the play which has stuck with me was sung by a young girl, asking her mother “Where is the line to see Jesus?” The girl had observed the lines for Santa, and the lines for shopping, but she had been taught that Jesus was the reason for Christmas, and was wondering why there was no line to see Him.

It is true that during the holidays we are inevitably in a line waiting for something, whether at grocery store checkout stocking up for Christmas dinner, or standing for hours hoping that the store won’t be sold out of that newest piece of technology for our child’s Christmas present or waiting for a parking space at the mall.

The marketing that we see all around us, challenges us to find that perfect gift for all the people in our lives. And I for one can find myself in a state of perpetual movement in my mind. I am always thinking of the next thing to be done before Christmas, as if I am standing in a ‘line’ of my own making called a ‘to-do list’.  The next batch of cookies, the next package to wrap, the next project that a client needs before Christmas….and on it goes. I feel like if I rest I will never meet the impending deadline of Christmas day.

When I think about the lines of the stores, and the list in my mind I get bogged down with things that really have nothing to do with Christmas as all. The focus of my heart drifts off course. 2000 years ago a baby was born in a manger – a baby who offered peace and joy to those who will receive Him. We say this is the greatest gift of all.

Think about it. How much does your heart need peace and joy?

As we decorate our homes, and fill the oven with cookies- As we dress for holiday parties and stay up late wrapping packages – what is the state of our hearts? Are we unruffled, free from anxiety, dwelling in the gift He brought us? Or are our minds taxed with mental anxiety over where we are in our to-do list?

I think to myself that when I complete my list then I will have time to just rest and celebrate Jesus – the true meaning for this season. By my actions I evidence the fact that my heart is not really focused on Him as the meaning for the season.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to go through Christmas this way.

What would I say if a child asked me “where is the line to see Jesus?”

Every year when Christmas comes around I find that I easily get pulled into all that has to be done but slowly He is changing me and helping me to find ways to focus on Him. I see that the focus of my heart changes, He brings peace and joy not because of how well I am moving through my list but because of how He teaches my heart to rest in Him.

Some of the ways that I have helped reduce my stress this year is to make sure that I have started early. As much as we might like to procrastinate procrastination is a sure way to destroy peace.

Another practical way to reduce stress is through what I call ‘self-talk’. Yes, basically it is that – talking to myself but not outloud. I am a person of high expectations, and I have to tell myself to lower those expectations. When I get an invite to another party rather than jumping to say yes, I need to step back and ask myself whether it is realistic and then I have to tell myself that I don’t need to except every invitation I am given.

Rather than feeling like I need to make every kind of Christmas cookie, I have asked my husband which ones are his favorites and picked out a favorite of mine, which has helped me narrow it down to four kinds. In doing so I have created a boundary in my mind, mentally telling myself ‘this is how much I am going to do and no more.’

One thing that I have been struggling with this week is thinking through whether I got ‘enough’ for each of my children. Especially with commercials flashing in front of me I keep thinking maybe I need to get just one more thing, or add a few more things to what I am going to put in their stockings. But if I step back and look objectively at what I have gotten them I can rationally tell myself that we have given them plenty.

Having this mental chats with ourselves helps keep our hearts and minds at peace.

When those around us see that we are at peace during this season they will know that we celebrate because we see Jesus.

Through the busy season of family, friends, parties, and festivities our hearts can be resting in Him; in the line to see Jesus.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Naomi Fata is a small business owner, operating a sewing business, Love Stitches by Naomi, out of her home. She is passionate about encouraging other moms who are looking for home based employment. Naomi is also the author of Beyond Head Knowledge; Knowing Christ who Satisfies our Hearts. In all things, whether through writing, business or homemaking, her vision is that God’s love would shine through. She is married with three children, and will begin her homeschooling journey in the fall of 2015 as her oldest begins kindergarten. You can connect with Naomi at her blog, facebook, and twitter.

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