Thoughts on the Holidays

Sshhh!  I have a secret, but you can't tell anyone.  Can I trust you?

Okay, I'm convinced, so here goes - Life is busy and it only seems to get busier during the season surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Okay, so maybe that's not such a huge secret.  If you are older than 10, you have likely felt your stress level increase throughout this season, but that brings me to my second secret - It doesn't have to be that way.

We put so much time into the stress of it all that we forget the true reason for Christmas and quite frankly Thanksgiving as well.  I'm preaching to myself right now as I type.  For me, it's not about spending lots of money on things, but I instead fall into the trap of perfectionism.  I want so much to please everyone and make sure that they are happy while at the same time not wanting to embarrass myself by leaving that cobweb behind the china hutch or  allowing someone to become bored.  That's so silly!  It's not about being the hostess with the mostest.  In fact, it shouldn't be about me at all.

It should ALL be about God and how I can bring glory to Him.  Did you know that we are commanded to be thankful over and over again in the Bible?  In fact, when I searched the word "thanksgiving" it was referenced clear back in Leviticus when Israel was living under the law.

"Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving." (Psalm 95:2 - ESV)

How about you?  Are you a thankful person?  Do people recognize you as a thankful person?  Most importantly, have you personally thanked God today for something beyond a quick "thank you for the food?"  Have you thanked and praised Him just for Who He is?  Try it.  A gratitude attitude will completely change your outlook.

Though every day should be a day of thanksgiving, it's really not a secret that stress levels actually increase after the holiday and continue to do so through the end of the year.  I'm not going to spend a lot of time waxing eloquent on "why" this happens.  You already know it anyway.  However, I will remind you that when we take our focus off the fact that Jesus chose to come to earth in the form a a human being to pay for our sins, stress will always increase.

It's so amazing to think about that tiny baby who would take the weight of the sins of the world upon Himself.  It's even more amazing when I think about the fact that He did it for me, by name, though I am just one insignificant person.  When I look at it that way, I am overwhelmed by such awe of Who He is, that the stress melts away.

You see, Christmas and Thanksgiving is not about the food, the decorations, the lights or the presents.  It about magnifying how great my God really is.  This season, though I will have the lights, the tastes, the sounds, the smells and the presents, I am choosing to focus on my God.  That doesn't mean that I won't be busy getting ready.  In fact, I have already spent hours planning, prepping and implementing those plans, but they will not be my focus.

How about you? Have you accepted God's free gift of salvation?  If not, there is nothing that will prepare you for celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas like accepting that gift.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Remember to take some time to enjoy the little things.


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