I stared at the half-dangling greenery, feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.
Laundry waited to be washed, presents waited to be purchased and wrapped.
My work schedule was full and our family calendar even more full.
I wanted this Christmas to be different than last year’s holiday. I wanted to really savor the season, but I felt like I was failing.
Where was the peace I longed for?
How was I missing it? Where was I going wrong?
Because the overwhelming emotion ruling my heart lately was an awful lot of stress.
Like the world before Christ’s birth, I felt the reality of “sin and error, pining.”
Between book writing, and client work, and church-planting, and home life, it often seems like there just aren’t enough hours in a day.
But I need some peace.
I need to savor this season because I’ve had oh-so-many reminders this year, friends, that our time here on earth is short, our days and hours and minutes never guaranteed.
And as our oldest son prepares to head out into the world, I feel that reality all the more keenly.
So, how do we make the most of Christmas without becoming burdened and overwhelmed?
How do we truly seek peace without creating additional stress by adding another thing to the to-do list ?
4 Meaningful Ways to Find Peace in the Holiday Hustle
1. We put first things first for peace in the holiday hustle.
When I feel overwhelmed, I can often pinpoint one of the root causes as a lack of consistent quiet time. Whenever my calendar gets too full, my time with Jesus often becomes less and less. This is a reality we must guard against, friends.
We may even be tempted to justify spending less time in His presence because we’re spending time doing advent activities with our family, attending extra church services, and so forth.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4
Truthfully, nothing can take the place of that one-on-one time with Emmanuel, the God who came to be with us.
We’re literally starving our souls when we neglect this most important relationship, and we will reap the fruit of that neglect in our lives. Stress, lack of motivation, discontent, worry, impatience – all can be indicators of a spiritual problem.
A return to right priorities goes a long way toward helping us regain peace in the holiday hustle!
2. We content ourselves with “good enough” for peace in the holiday hustle.
I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but perfect holidays don’t exist in reality.
When we fail to reign in our expectations for what a “good Christmas” entails, we set ourselves up for failure every time!
I have to continually remind myself this year that some is better than none.
Some exercise is better than no exercise.
Some Christmas baking is better than no Christmas baking.
Some advent devotions with the kids is better than no advent.
Some planning is better than no planning. You get the idea.
It’s all about showing yourself some grace. After all, would your husband and children rather have lots of Christmas goodies but a stressed-out, grumpy mama, or would they prefer less treats and a mama who is at peace? I can guarantee mine would choose the latter every time.
I cannot have a perfect Christmas, and neither can you, friend. Let’s just toss that impossible notion right out into the cold.
What we can have is a meaningful, peaceful Christmas, and that happens when we slow down and savor the season.
3. We pray for peace in the holiday hustle.
It seems to me that the Enemy works overtime during the Christmas season. As we plan and prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth with our loved ones, he’s planning for our destruction.
But we need not fear his tactics, friends, because his power is limited while our God’s power is limitless. In Christ, we have the power to resist temptation, to choose peace, to choose kindness, to choose love, and all of the other fruit of the Spirit.
Ask the Father for a special covering this Christmas. I know I will be asking the same for our household – that God’s peace will rule our home, that we will be free to joyfully celebrate Jesus’ birth, that we will be free to enjoy loved ones and gift giving and delicious food, and so on.
Peace, Father, give us peace this Christmas!
I’ll be asking for all of these things that I might be able to give God the glory for the kind of supernatural peace that can only come from Him, and trusting that His peace is already ours to claim.
4. We seek scripture to give us peace in the holiday hustle.
I can’t tell you how often the Spirit brings a verse to mind that I’ve previously memorized just when I need it most. I’m certain you know what I mean, friends.
God’s Word brings us peace through His promises and His guidance.
So when I was thinking of you all, faithful friends and readers, and wondering what small gift I might be able to give you this Christmas, I thought of what busy women needed most during the holidays.
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Above all, take time to seek real peace this Christmas.
The best Peace you’ll ever find came to Earth as a mere babe thousands of years ago, just so He might know us. If you’ve never accepted the gift of His love and salvation, you can do so today. Just cry out to Jesus.
Lay down your burdens.
And let Christ give you peace.