The One Gift We Need Most This Season
In just a couple of weeks, Christmas will be here.
Did you just feel a surge of panic hit you after reading that?
It seems the closer we get to Christmas, the more pressure we feel.
We try so hard to plan the perfect holiday and as time ticks down, all we can think about are the things we haven’t done and the gifts we still have to buy.
The Christmas season, while beautiful and festive, can also be extremely stressful.
But it was not intended to be this way.
Just think back to the first Christmas … there were no twinkle lights, no music, no stockings hung by the chimney.
There was just a dark, cold stable and a young couple becoming parents for the first time.
And while it was an event that changed history, it was never intended to create the chaos and anxiety that accompanies Christmas today.
There was a special gift Jesus brought with Him to the earth. And it’s a gift we still need today.
When Jesus was born, angels visited shepherds in nearby fields to tell them of His birth. Then they began praising and said:
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests” (Luke 2:14, NIV)
Did you see the gift?
Peace was given to those on earth.
Jesus came to give us peace … to give us a new way of life that would lead us to ultimate rest in Him.
Yet peace is often the most absent thing from our Christmas preparations and celebrations.
It isn’t bad or wrong to want a special celebration. Christmas lights, carols, gathering with loved ones, enjoying a festive meal, exchanging gifts … these are all good things. But they can’t be everything.
When we focus on these things, we lose sight of the real gift … Jesus and the peace He brings.
I love this definition of peace:
Peace is a stress-free state of security and calmness that comes when there's no fighting or war, everything coexisting in perfect harmony and freedom. In our war-torn world, it seems like there's not nearly enough peace. However, peace can be big and small, seen in entire countries or brief moments. (source: vocabulary.com)
Did you notice that peace can be big or small and found in brief moments?
I received a holiday box recently and this was one of the items inside
It was a great reminder to me that while Jesus came to give us peace, we have to be intentional about accepting peace into our lives.
Life will always be happening around us. We won’t experience peace unless we intentionally seek and receive it.
We simply need to open our hearts to notice the moments of peace and allow them to permeate our lives.
Peace is also one of the best gifts we can give to others this season.
Here are some simple ways we can bring peace to others:
· Offer to babysit for a friend
· Send a friend relaxation music
· Help the holiday host with preparations and/or serving
· Offer to mail packages for a friend so they can save a trip to the post office
· Offer to drive the kids so your spouse can have some down time
· Avoid rocking out to Christmas tunes while your kiddo is doing homework in the same room
· Give a warm hug (a tight hug actually causes the other person’s body to relax!)
The possibilities are endless. Start to look for simple ways to un-burden those around you so they can experience greater peace.
Here are ways we can create peace for ourselves:
· Quiet time with God first thing in the morning
· Taking slow, deep breaths throughout the day (preferably fresh, outdoor air!)
· Pausing for a moment to switch gears mentally and emotionally before serving others or starting a new task
· Practicing self-care (even if it’s just 5 minutes!)
· Practicing gratitude
· Going for a walk … without your phone
· Taking a moment to apply essential oils before heading out the door (or dabbing a little on before getting out of your car)
It’s really important for us to keep up on these acts of peace during the holidays. It may seem like adding another item to the already too-much-to-do list, but these things actually give us more energy instead of taking it away.
Practicing peace is one of the quickest ways to get us focused and refreshed. It also helps us to stay on track with our health. Feeling scattered and stressed can lead to sabotaging our health.
And offering peace to others is often a more meaningful gift than trinkets that can get lost or forgotten.
This season, I encourage you to look for opportunities to give and receive peace, His peace. Peace is there - in the big and small things - if you open your heart and take it in.
Wishing you Peace & Joy this season,
P.S. I love supporting you in your health journey. If you haven’t had a chance to check out my book, TRUE Health: A Woman’s Guide to Loving Her Body, Loving Her Life, and Loving Her God, you can check it out here.