With Halloween now out of the way, we run headlong into the busiest time of year, the holiday season. And even though the season culminates in the most beloved of days—Christmas—it often ends up causing more stress than inspiring joy, peace and love in our lives.
In fact, I’m often tempted to be my “worst self” because of all of the demands and stressors that come with the territory of this time of year. If you’re like me, you’re busy decorating your home, attending parties, traveling near and far to visit family and/or hosting family gatherings, as well as picking out and wrapping the perfect gifts to give to a variety of friends and relatives.
Shwew! Just writing that sentence wore me out!
[bctt tweet=”With all these stressors, it’s easy to lose sight of the meaning and message behind the holidays.”]
Though Thanksgiving (celebrated near the end of November in the U.S.) quite obviously speaks of being thankful, both the message of Thanksgiving and Christmas point us toward the more foundational commitment to love.
After all, Christmas is all about Jesus—who “is Love”—coming to earth as a babe in a manger, so that He could go on to be our Savior through His loving and sacrificial death on the cross for our sins.
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” ~John 15:13
- Yet I can find myself copping a real attitude while cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my family. Or . . .
- Getting bent out of shape when fighting the crowds on Black Friday, just so I can save ten bucks on a Christmas gift that no one really wants anyway. Or . . .
- Spending far too much—busting my budget—just so that my friends and family will not think that I’m “El-cheapo!” As opposed to “El-broko,” I suppose?! 😉
I say all this because I really want to do things differently this year, and I believe focusing on Christ’s love will make that difference! If I really focus on loving like Jesus loves, I think I will be less stressed. Now, I’m not doing that simply to avoid getting stressed, but it is a beautiful result of making Christ my primary focus. Don’t you think??
I’d love to have you join me in this effort to love more and stress less. Are you interested?
So this week and every week on up to just before Christmas, I’m going to unpack a new series called, “Love Strong Through Holiday Stress.” I will be focusing on the commands and examples of love spoken about in Scripture, so that you and I can learn to love God and others more consistently and completely when the stress of the holiday season is on.
Each week, I will focus on a different relationship and/or situation where our love can be challenged—making our marriages as well as our lives messier. Next week, I’ll be kicking this series off by exploring how to really love our children at a time of year when a parent’s love can get hijacked by busyness, commercialism, and overindulgence. #messymoms&dads
Also, if you’d really like to sink your teeth into the subject of love more completely, then consider joining my private Facebook Bible study group—“6 Shades of Love.” To find out more details about this timely opportunity, click on my Bible Study page to read all about it.
[bctt tweet=”Avoid getting stressed-out this holiday season by focusing on …” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
What does the stress of the holidays tempt you to feel and do?
What are you planning to do to prevent becoming too stressed this holiday season?
Regarding the “From Messes to Messages” linkup, I am sad to announce that, for the time being, I will not be hosting a linkup. I’ve struggled to keep up with reading the posts of those who join me here each week, as well as feeling as if I need to put the money I spend on the linkup toward other blogging investments. So I’ve decided to step away from that role. But I still hope to visit as many of you as I can who have been my linkup partners, and I hope you’ll keep stopping by here to say “hello” to me too from time to time. For now, my linkup hat is getting packed up and put away. Thanks so much, my friends! You’re the best!
Here are some lovely linkups I join – Mondays @ Soul Survival, Inspire Me Monday, Moments of Hope, Literary Musing Mondays, Testimony Tuesday, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Writer Wednesday, Break Through Homeschooling Linkup, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Faith and Friends, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday