I thought many times about changing the name of my blog. Peace through the holidays sounded catchy when I created it. But that was during the holiday season, Thanksgiving and Christmas time. But I wondered if that title would turn people away the rest of the year. For now, I think I am keeping it. It has a meaning that I really want to convey.
Losing our peace
During the very busy seasons of life when we run and run to do all those things that are expected of us, or that we may perceive are expected of us, we can lose our sense of peace. We can become anxious, frustrated and weary trying to be everything for everyone.
During a time of year that could bring the most joy into lives, there are more stressed out people and families then the other 9 to 10 months of the year combined. We fill stores, malls and restaurants in an attempt to satisfy friends and family. Do we even have the time or the energy to experience and feel excitement, even thankfulness for all our blessings? Or are we too worried about our to do lists and ensuring everything is “perfect”? I cannot imagine this being what God intended for us.
Getting to Peace
Celebrating what God has given us is where our hearts should be during what we call the holiday season. We need to figure out how to remain focused on the big picture. Why are we celebrating and gathering? It is to rejoice over all of our blessings as a country (Thanksgiving) and remembering Our Savior who left His home in heaven to come as a baby to earth for our redemption. When we set aside time to reflect and pause we can then find peace through the holidays.
I admit, some years I did not have it all together. I not only ran on that quickly spinning hamster wheel, I think I fell off of that hamster wheel a few times. But life is about learning. Each year I learned more and more how to stay in control of the season and not let it control me. I began to understand what this season needed to be for myself and my family. I was able to work out what needed to be done when and what could just fade away and never be missed.
Plan for Peace
It was for this very reason I began to develop a plan for what was becoming the most stressful time of year for me and thus my family. I wrote down what needed to be done, what I needed to purchase and who I needed to do things for. Each year, the list became more and more detailed and I was able to start earlier and earlier in my preparations. Over time, the weeks preceding the holiday became less and less stressful.
I found myself able to delve into scripture more and more for myself, my relationship with Christ as well as for my family. Peace was present and yet things were getting accomplished. I was staying close to my Savior, therefore more able to help my family gain the true meaning of the holiday. I began to believe peace through the holidays was a possibility.
Letting It Go
Over the years I learned to let some things go. Everything did not need to be done every year. This was a very hard concept for me to do because I love the holidays and everything surrounding them. [ In fact, I was just thinking about listening to Christmas music in my car this week. But, I restrained myself. September just started. I have a week or two.] But back to the topic, I let some things fall to the wayside.
So what if this year we did not make gingerbread houses or sugar cookies, it is ok. There will always be next year. Keep a list of what you do each year and then add the other stuff to your calendar for next year. It it ok! Let it go. Everyone will survive and maybe even enjoy the time more because you are not stressing about what is NOT getting done.
Keep Learning How to Have Peace Through the Holidays
I am learning what it means to have peace through the holidays. Learning how to balance my life with self care and other care.
But the most important thing I am learning is how to keep Christ in the center. Peace comes through Christ and if we cannot find the time for Christ during this very busy season of the year, we will not have peace. He must be our main focus if we are to have peace through the holidays.
The Gift of Peace
I made a copy of my planner and gave one to each of my daughters one Christmas so that maybe they could start their adult life without feeling the same stress I felt as a young mom.
And recently I have been working on it again, changing things, adding and subtracting to adjust to my life now as an empty nester mom. Life keeps changing and so must our plans. It will soon be available in my blog for purchase. I am very excited about this and hope that it brings joy and peace for many families. The time you will save in planning will allow you to spend time with Jesus. You will be able to sit at His feet and asking Him what He wants you to bring to your family this holiday season. As well as allow you to sit with your family and enjoy all the wonderfulness of the season. You will enjoy it all without the the tension.
I know it is only September, but November comes so quickly. I pray that each of you will plan ahead and allow your self to experience peace through the holidays.