Great Expectations Verses Christmas Reality

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). 

Not.

No other time of the year places more stress on more people. Yet much of the stress we experience is due to our own unrealistic expectations. We assume all our plans 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 our Christmas reality while we’re busy yearning for our Christmas if only. When we realize that our great expectations mindsets can change dramatically by letting go of our unrealistic expectations, we displace stress while making room for authentic peace and joy, and most importantly, gratitude for what we do have. 

On this last week of our five week Christmas prayer journey, let’s ask the Lord to help us face reality, embrace and enjoy what we do have, and allow our hearts to deeply connect with His. Daily.

From my heart to yours, Merry Christmas!

{Let’s Pray}

Father,

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 unnecessary 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 give each one to you…even ______. I surrender my expectations of perfection and let go (to the best of my ability) of every unrealistic desire. 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 deal with my current reality equipped with your wisdom and peace. Instead of yearning for perfection, help me to cultivate a thankful heart. May my eyes be open to the many ways You do bless me, so my heart will overflow with gratitude. Help my heart connect deeply with yours, Lord. Daily. In the awesome name of Jesus, Amen. 


Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) (NLT)


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