The pieces of my heart and mind can become lost in a whirlwind of confusion this time of year.
Everything comes at me at once, demanding my attention, claiming unmeasured corners of my heart.
Every January as I reflect back on the holidays, there is a yearning for more time, fewer activities, less exhaustion —more meaning.
Standing at the doorway of this holiday season, sometimes I wonder if all of the festivities and facades, decorations and demands, scream to the baby, that there is no room in the inn of my heart —no room to welcome Him, to worship Him, to be undone by Him, the miracle of His presence and joy of the moment. This moment.
The enemy delights in ‘scattered.’ A scattered heart is a weary heart. A scattered heart cannot fully embrace or experience the gift of the Christ child.
Because Christ came to earth to gather together all that the enemy has scattered, He pours His love down over the disease, the wounds, all of the brokenness places in our hearts. He redeems, He restores, He heals totally, completely. We are no longer scattered to the wind. He calls us, draws us to Himself to make us whole.
So I am committed to approaching this season perhaps differently than I have in the past. I am focused, not on less, but on best. Purposed not on more, but on core.
Here are a few principles I am learning to help experience something different this holiday season.
Appoint the days leading up to Christmas.
‘Appoint’actually means to, determine or decide on (a time or a place), to assign a job or a role. The theological definition adds a focus on the appointing, consecrating, or commissioning of persons for special service to the Lord and his people.
Stumbling slowly, numbly through the holidays, I somehow allow the season to happen to me, bombarding me with unwieldy and unforgiving demands, only to waken and find my body exhausted, my spirit weakened, and my mind distracted with lots of ‘good’ things. Yet good isn’t necessarily God’s best for our hearts, our days, or this season.
Don’t let you days determine your life. Let your life determine your days. And don’t just let your days go by. Prepare them, that they may become vessels of blessing and life. Appoint your days or the purposes of the Most High._Jonathan Cahn
Perhaps we miss the deepest meaning because we failed to appoint our days, forgot to consecrate our schedules and our hearts with holy. Before this season begins, I want to prayerfully appoint, consecrate, and plan my days so they don’t overtake me, but rather they fill me with hope, with clarity, and with purpose.
How can you appoint your days this holiday season?
What needs to go? What needs to stay?
How have you made room for Jesus to meet you this Christmas?
Focus more on meaning this Christmas.
Yes, there are loads of fun activities, rituals, and parties that come my way, but are they all meant for me or my family? Somehow the packing-in of schedules and stuff scatters us, preventing us from maximizing meaning for the season, numbing our hearts from being fractured and undone by a baby born in a manger.
All the Christmas presents in the world are worth nothing without the presence of Christ. _David Jeremiah
In our busyness, would we miss the star in the sky that caught the attention of the wise men and guided their journey towards Messiah? Would we be deafened from hearing the angelic voices tell the shepherds’ that the Savior, Christ, was born in Bethlehem?
Off to one side sits a group of shepherds. They sit silently on the floor, perhaps perplexed, perhaps in awe, no doubt in amazement. Their night watch had been interrupted by an explosion of light from heaven and a symphony of angels. God goes to those who have time to hear him–and so on this cloudless night he went to simple shepherds. _Max Lucado
Finding meaning means eliminating the things that distract us or dull our soul-senses from being awestruck by the baby’s birth, that prevent us from falling at His feet in worship and adoration.
Finding meaning means eliminating the things that distract us or dull our soul-senses from being awestruck by the baby’s birth, that prevent us from falling at His feet in worship and adoration.Click To Tweet
Where do you find the most meaning this holiday season?
What distracts you from experiencing the awe an wonder of Christmas?
What deafens you to the voice of Christ this season and throughout the year?
How can you walk away from scattered senses this Christmas, and move toward whole-hearted, meaning-filled, consecrated worship?
Scattered never leaves anything but a mess —at least for me. Let’s embrace something different this year. Let’s appoint our days, focus on meaning. Let’s look for the star and listen for the angels. They’re there. We will experience Christmas, we will experience Christ —if we lift our eyes, tune our ears, and make room in our hearts to welcome Messiah.
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Don’t we all want a little peace? My heart for this community is to provide just that – a needed refuge from all the burdens that weigh us down, some encouragement and inspiration to keep us weary travelers moving forward on our journeys, and some practical advice to help each of us navigate the challenges of life and relationships. Whether in our parenting, our marriages, our faith, or the broken places in our hearts, this place is for anyone who dares to reach beyond the hopelessness that surrounds us and embrace a lifestyle of emotional abundance and peace!
About Peace for a Lifetime
In my new book, Peace for a Lifetime, I share the keys to cultivating a life that’s deeply rooted, overflowing, and abundant, the fruit of which is peace. Through personal and professional experience as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I’ve discovered how to take the broken pieces of life and find indestructible peace with myself, God and with others. Through my story and other’s stories you’ll realize that you can experience the life for which you long. You can experience abundance beyond anything you can imagine. You can experience peace, not just for today, not just for tomorrow. You can experience peace —for a lifetime!
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