Ahh, the holidays. The time of year when all the extra time we need simply materializes into our schedules, every single thing goes according to plan, all our relatives are happy with not a bicker in sight, and there is peace on earth (and in our homes).
No other time of the year places more stress on more people. Yet the majority of the stress we experience is due to our own unrealistic expectations. We assume everything will go off without a hitch. We wrongly anticipate a golden glow around our festivities—around our lives—that simply isn’t realistic.
Somehow our holiday expectations (and perhaps one too many Hallmark Christmas movies) prevent us from enjoying what is while we’re busy yearning for if only. The only thing that we really have the power to change during the holidays is us. When we realize that everything can change dramatically by letting go of our expectations, we displace stress while making room for authentic peace and joy, and most importantly, gratitude for what we do have.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) (NLT)
You are holy and awesome and mighty! God, I don’t want my holiday expectations to become a barrier that prevents me from enjoying my reality. I don’t want to experience untold stress because of my unrealistic expectations. And I don’t want to yearn for what will never be, or assume everything will always go smoothly simply because it’s Christmas time.
Right now I choose to let go of my expectations, Lord. I even surrender my yearnings for everyone to be happy and for the things I’d love to happen that most likely will not. Thank you for lifting every ounce of stress from my heart and shoulders and filing me with Your authentic peace and joy. Give me grace for the inevitable hard moments. Help me to cultivate realistic expectations and deep gratitude. May my eyes be open to the many ways You do bless me, so my heart will overflow with gratitude. In the awesome name of Jesus, Amen.
Christmas Box Give-Away! On Wednesday, November 23, TWO random winners will be chosen from ALL of the RaffleCopter options below (you may choose more than one option to increase your odds of winning) to receive a beautiful Christmas box containing lovely goodies, including a signed copy of my devotional, “Prayers for a Woman’s Soul”, and a Christmas mug courtesy of my sweet daughter-in-law’s Mostly Smiling Sticks (design may vary).
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