Holidays can be stressful. So much to do, so little time. Why do we do this every year? We are the most over stressed and over worked people in time. Then add a cell phone. Instant access – to everything and everyone – all the time. No wonder we are at our wits end.
Then, just for fun, let’s throw in a family party. Why not? Hey what should we make? Do I need to bake cookies? Truthfully the last few times I tried to bake it was an epic fail. I tried a new banana bread recipe that had oil in it and it just sucked. Then I thought I would “cheat” and buy cookie dough. Hey – who can screw up chocolate chip cookies? Can I tell you they were awful!
Welcome to reality Miss D – you are not a Baker. My kids are awesome Bakers but truthfully I am not. Today I am OK with that. I’m NOT going to bake. I can buy cookies anyway.
Be gentle with yourself this Holiday Season.
You don’t have to do it all.
Let it go, it’s OK to let go of unrealistic expectations for yourself!
I gave up trying to be the “perfect little hostess”. It wasn’t real anyway. This Christmas I am going to enjoy my family and our special moments together – that is what matters the most anyway. God bless you my friends. Love you all, Diana
casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
Worry. It has a way of eating up your hope and joy and destroying your peace of mind.
WORRY – to give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.
Worry is dwelling on our troubles or difficulty. The more we worry the worse things get. Worry can lead to anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. Excessive worrying can lead to physical health problems as well – headaches, sleeplessness, poor job performance, and hindered relationships. People may turn to alcohol, drugs, overeating, or other harmful habits to cope. I have even heard it said that worry is a lack of trust – in ourselves, in someone else, or in God.
When we choose to direct our thoughts towards someone else with worry we can bind them to us in fear. This does not help us or them. Most of the “What if” thoughts we have don’t happen. We play out all different scenarios and endings in our heads. “If he does this, I’ll do that” type of thinking is rarely productive. It is debilitating and paralyzing.
There are many actions you can take to relieve your mind from worry.
Prayer – God listens and cares
Counseling – talking helps
Reading a book – helps with changing the atmosphere in your mind
Going for a drive – seeing new things
Listening to positive Music – the words and genre matters
Exercise – going for a walk
Mindfulness – being in the moment
Watching a movie – changing the moment
No wonder God asks us to think about the good things and to be grateful. When we change our thoughts we change our actions. When we choose the good things to think about our feelings change. We begin to believe that good will come out of all things. There is hope my friend. Make a choice – to change your negative thought patterns and replace those old tapes with the Word of God today. It might be the beginning of a new life for you!
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:8-9 NKJV
Busy, busy, busy. That describes most of us. School,work, sports, music, family, church, etc. We are overburdened with obligations. Whether you are an adult or a child committing to multiple things at the same time takes its toll on our peace of mind. We as a people are overworked, over committed, and over stressed.
Yet why do we do this?
What good does it do?
This past year I found myself getting sick again. I was overcommitted. I was trying to do too much with too little time. It affected my family as well. My kids started having issues with depression and anxiety. They picked up on mine. I had to make a choice to change. I had to trust God to lead me with what I could hold on to and what I had to let go of. I had to choose to trust Him with the rest. Let go and let God right?
I cut back on a number of things I was doing this year. I stopped recording every song I wrote. I gave myself permission to rest. I stopped going to every function I was invited to. I chose which times I could say “yes” and which times I could say “no.” I let myself say NO. That is huge for me. I was such a people pleaser for so many years. Thank you Lord for delivering me from that!
I am more grateful now. I am more thankful now. It was worth it. My family and I have more time together. We may not go out every night, but we have simple times together. A trip to Dunkin Donuts for coffee for my daughter or a trip to McDonalds for hash browns for my son. A grill and Netflix night with my husband is our date night. A visit with my older girls every two weeks and my granddaughter has brought me such joy. My life is much simpler now. Thank you Lord for REST!
God’s Word for You:
Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed. – Exodus 23:12 KJV
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Mark 6:31 NIV
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. – Matthew 11: 28-29 NIV
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God ,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-7 NIV
(Image source – healthywomen.org)
My Prayer for You:
Show us which things to hang on to and which things to let go of. We want to enter the rest of the Lord. Let us lay down our people pleasing selves and accept the newness of life you died to give us. Let us rejoice in peace that surpasses all understanding, in Jesus name.
Overwhelmed? Stressed out? Lost? Yeah, I’m having a day like that too. Sometimes trials, troubles, or just plain life wants to drag us down into the pit of despair. So what do you do?
How do you not follow your feelings down into the pit? Or perhaps like Joseph, someone or something threw you in. Despite your best efforts, your still find yourself sitting in a dark well.
I know when I feel like this I have two choices. I have been here before. And maybe you have too. We can:
1. look at the dark
2. look up at the light
I don’t want to sit and ‘lick my wounds’ in this place. That never helped me. I have found that the more I fed my bad feelings the worse they got. And thedeeper I went. Wallowing in the pool of self-pity never helped anyone. Even that beggar guy that Peter and Paul ran into. Hey there were Angels in that water just waiting to heal him! See the story here at John 5:1-15.
Yeah, it may be dark. Yeah it may be lonely. Yeah, it’s not where I thought I would be today. But look up there. Lift your head oh ye gates. Is that a light? Do you see it? We are getting out of here today. Help is on the way! Here comes the King of Glory!
God’s Word for You: (food)
Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a shelter for me,
A strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah
(Psalm 61:1-4 NKJV)
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” (John 14:1 NKJV)
I cry out to the Lord with my voice;
With my voice to the Lord I make my supplication.
I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare before Him my trouble.
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me,
Then You knew my path.
In the way in which I walk
They have secretly set a snare for me.
Look on my right hand and see,
For there is no one who acknowledges me;
Refuge has failed me;
No one cares for my soul.
I cried out to You, O Lord:
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.
Attend to my cry,
For I am brought very low;
Deliver me from my persecutors,
For they are stronger than I.
Bring my soul out of prison,
That I may praise Your name;
The righteous shall surround me,
For You shall deal bountifully with me.” (Psalm 142:1-7 NKJV)
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah (Psalm 46:1-7 NKJV)
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory. Selah (Psalm 24:7-10 NKJV)
Teen suicide – America’s high rates and growing prevention efforts – is the topic of this week’s cover story project. Here students at Chautauqua Lake Central High School in Mayville, N.Y., participate in a Sources of Strength suicide-prevention…