Faith, Featured, Personal Growth

An Octave of “T’s” to Take You through the Holidays

Comments Off on An Octave of “T’s” to Take You through the Holidays 21 November 2014

For many people the holidays are anything but, as they attempt to deal with the stresses, aggravations, and distresses of their lives. The holidays seem to bring greater intensity to the already existent stresses of our lives. So, what can we do to help balance our lives and keep us less stressed and more at peace during this special season? Here are some helpful thoughts that begin with “T” that are worth your consideration:

1. Time does a healing work – Depending on your circumstances, you may feel like shouting, complaining, and venting your frustration during the holidays. Being honest is okay. Share your feelings with others. Those around you deserve to know what you are feeling. Information reduces inflammation in any relationship. But, remember TIME and the grace of God do a healing work. Sometimes our prayers seem unanswered. Do not give up, you may be experiencing one of God’s delays. Faith will help you get the larger picture and let TIME make a difference in your life.

2. Tears do a healing work – Take the time to grieve if you are in a period of loss. Crying does not change your situation, but it does change you. Do not guilt yourself when you feel the need to express your grief or pain. See a friend, loved one, or counselor if you need help with this grieving process. Normal grief always comes to an end. Have a check up with a helper if yours does not. Shed the TEARS when necessary.

3. Trust does a healing work – If you are a person of faith, you know that God is bigger than your fears. He asks you to trust Him. You are not lord of your circumstances. You need someone greater than yourself to manage that. Jesus Christ is Lord of all of the circumstances of our lives. I have written a book (For Every Fear a Promise) that has 366 devotionals in it, and each of them has a “fear not” and a “promise” at the end of it. That means there are over a year’s worth of “fear nots” in the Bible. God wants you to trust Him with your fears. At this time of the year, faith and life are all intertwined in the Christmas story. As you contemplate it, let it inspire you to believe and TRUST God.

4. Turning from self does a healing work – Taking time to visit a friend, caring for a loved one, finding a person less fortunate than you and helping them in this season of giving does a wonderful healing work in your life. It is okay to think of your own needs and to address them constructively. But, it is in giving that you are most greatly blessed. Remember the saying, “what you keep will not endure. What you spend is gone. The only thing you have left is what you give.” Take a meal to a needy family at Thanksgiving!

5. Taking a deep breath does a healing work – Take a break from the over-the-top demands on your life. Instead of decorating a large tree, put up a more reasonable one. My wife and I always had those taller 10-11 foot trees until last year. We decided to scale that down to a 5 foot tree. Beautiful! It worked. Let friends and family know what you feel your limitations are this year. Don’t let them guilt you for saying “No” pleasantly but firmly. If you exercise, run, or work out in any fashion you know it is important to catch your breath. Catch yours and complete the season with cheer!

6. Taking an inventory/Trimming your schedule does a healing work – It really isn’t necessary for you to pay for a gift you cannot afford to give to people you don’t even really enjoy hanging around with. It is not sinful to trim down the schedule and the gift list so that there is some of you and your bank account left after Christmas. Do something creative and simple. I recall a dear lady who made gifts for my family and me each Christmas, and we treasured those more than the expensive store-bought items we were given. I still give her testimony regularly because her personally made gifts so touched me. Temper your expectations and set realistic goals for your holiday schedule and giving. I have a new hobby: pen making. I am making pens for some family members this Christmas. Whey not enjoy creating the gift you are giving?

7. Turning on a light does a healing work – We are told by the experts that if we will expose ourselves to light that we will surface from the emotional darkness we’re experiencing. Don’t be a holiday recluse. Throw open the shutters, lift the blinds, let the sun shine in. Open yourself to the light of day, and open your heart to the Light of Christmas.

8. Turning to THE LIGHT does a healing work – At our Christmas Eve Services we always lit luminaries at the end of the service to display the power of a candle to dispel the darkness. The fragile, yet, precious light of candles has deep spiritual significance for us. As Christians we light candles because, “The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out” (Jn. 1:5 The Message).  How can anyone imagine taking Christ out of Christmas? He is THE LIGHT who does His healing work!

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The painting in my logo is by an artist named Kelly O'Neill.

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