Embracing Simple During the Christmas Crazy

While I truly enjoy holiday baking and creating a pretty Christmas atmosphere in my home, I’ve come to realize that killing myself for unrealistic, unattainable, and unnecessary holiday décor (or spectacular cookies) is not a necessary thing. In fact, all my doing coupled with unrealistic holiday expectations set me up for intense stress levels. And exhaustion. 

So I am learning to embrace simplicity. Less is more. Meaning over dazzling.

I’m learning to do what I can and not stress about what I cannot. And I am especially learning to take time to sit at His feet during the hap-happiest time of the year. The truth is no one will notice that we didn’t exquisitely hand-decorate every single cookie. Because at the end of the day, it’s really not about the sparkle in our home, but the atmosphere of our hearts. 

The gospel is simple. This year, let’s ask the Lord to help us embrace simple, and to be concerned about what really matters. 

{Let’s Pray}

Father,

You are good, and You are worthy of all my adoration and praise! Today I lift my holiday expectations up to You, and I surrender my unrealistic goals. Will You please help me to embrace simplicity, and to gladly do what I can and not to allow myself to stress about the unimportant things. Help me cultivate a peaceful, joyful, grateful atmosphere in both my heart and my home. 

Though I desire pretty décor and fragrant smells in my home, I’d much rather possess an exquisite heart that honors You and blesses my family and those around me. I realize I can only do that if I relinquish unrealistic ideas and embrace wisdom and reality. I so want a grateful, joyful, peaceful heart that far outshines my Christmas décor or baking. Help me to make time for You, to make room not only in my crazy schedule but in my heart of hearts. I pause right now and turn my heart to You. Please change the atmosphere of my heart and home. Thank you for all You are doing in my life, and for making this season meaningful in a deeper way. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen. 


There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:42) (NLT)

His Restful Waters Beckon During the Christmas Crazy

It was an overload kind of day. Nonstop tasks. Nonstop appointments. I raced from place to place, from task to task, and by evening my shoulders were hunched up around my ears. Though my accomplishment list was long, I was so seriously wound up from nonstop rushing that my jangled nerves had a hard time settling down. Every taught muscle ached. 

Warp speed days throughout December. Sound familiar? Though that particular day was not typical for me, for many women our days can frequently be nonstop…especially during Christmas time. We rush, we undertake, we accomplish. And then we collapse. 

May I give you permission to slow down, exhale, close your eyes, and just breathe? Steal away for a quiet moment and let your heart connect to God’s. Let Him breathe fresh strength into your weary mind, soul, and body. Relax before Him and just breathe. Allow yourself to be still and rest in His beautiful, refreshing presence.

{Let’s Pray}

Father,

You are my awesome King. I love and adore You, Lord. And I come to You, weary. Please give me great grace smack in the middle of my nonstop days. Right now I pause and allow my weary heart and body to focus on You. I choose to be still and know that You are God. You are so good. You are faithful and mighty. You are gracious and You know my every need. Will you please infuse me with Your revitalizing strength? 

Give me wisdom and help me not to overload my schedule during the upcoming hectic season, and to schedule time to pause and just be with You. When I’m faced with an unavoidable nonstop day, equip my heart throughout the day and, as I look to You, please ease and relieve and refresh my soul. Thank you for leading me beside Your beautiful still, restful waters. I will allow my soul to dwell there. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen. 


 He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. He refreshes and restores my life (my self); (Psalm 23:2-3a) (AMPC)

Refresh My Heart Before the Christmas Crazy

Fact: Most women are nurturers and caretakers. We help, we see to details, we pinch-hit, we encourage. We’re always there for the ones we love. And that’s good. It’s how God designed us. But high levels of doing can lead to high levels of exhaustion. And it’s frequently where we find ourselves as the holidays approach our radar. 

We’re tired. Stressed. Frazzled. 

It’s no way to enter the holiday season.

Yet drained is often our reality. Today, we’re going to pray that God will begin to refresh our hearts. That He will revive us and stir our hearts as only He can. Then, in the middle of the Christmas crazy, we won't be.    :-)

{Let’s Pray}

Father,

You are worthy of all adoration and praise. You are good and faithful and You always hear my prayers.

God I confess that my heart and brain and even my emotions are stressed and overloaded. I truly love caring for my family and friends, but I feel depleted, and I don’t want to face the upcoming holidays in this state. Will you please refresh my weary heart? Pour into every depleted place. Revive me. Pour out Your supernatural strength and stamina as I spend time with You.

God, Your word says that those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Thank you, God for refreshing me as I care for those You have placed into my life. Today, when I begin to feel stressed and overwhelmed, I will turn my heart toward You, breathe in Your sweet presence, and allow You to refresh and revive me. Give me wisdom and grace to rest in You. Thank you for preparing my heart so I can enter the holiday season supernaturally refreshed, rested, relaxed, and equipped by You. In the strong name of Jesus, Amen. 

The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25) (NLT)


A Holy Pause Before the Christmas Crazy

WELCOME to my annual Christmas prayer journey! Designed to help you focus on what really matters during the holidays, this once a week devotional and prayer time will help you still your heart, give you peace, and focus on Jesus. So breathe. Pray. And allow your heart to rest. 

What if, at the very brink of the Christmas crazy, before we even think about setting the Thanksgiving table, and before we drag out boxes of tangled lights, sift through glittery decor, and tenderly unpack nativity sets, we allow ourselves the luxury of a holy pause? What if instead of allowing the briskness of the season to scoot us forward on its endless current, we stopped and bowed our hearts before the One who stepped out of heaven, in awe and wonder of all He has done?  

What if we allowed our hearts to marvel at His unfathomable journey from eternity into an unassuming, most unroyal manger? What if we pondered the miracle of His birth and the reason behind it? What if we asked Him to fill our hearts to overflowing with the reality of the priceless gift of His presence?

And what if that made all the difference? What if making time to be with the One Christmas is all about changed the very atmosphere of our hearts? 

Here’s the challenge: let’s make the decision to engage in a holy pause each day this holiday season. A simple pause. An exquisite shift of perspective. An abiding heart transformation. 

{Let’s Pray}

Lord,

You are awesome and mighty. Right now I stop and bow my heart before You. Lord, I always long to connect with You in a meaningful way, but I especially long to experience meaningful moments with You now, before the holidays sweep in. 

Please help me to make time for a daily holy pause all throughout the holidays, so that my heart can relax and focus on You…so that I am not overwhelmed, stressed, scowling, or cranky. Lord, shift my perspective. Change the atmosphere of my heart and fill me with Your peace and joy.


Help me to ponder Your willingness to step out of heaven to walk on earth, recognizing that You don’t always do things the way we might expect, as Your humble birth proves. Thank you for filling my heart with Your abundant, overflowing love, Your grace, and Your peace. Help me to turn my heart toward You daily. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

A Prayer for Our Mouths

Lord,

I confess that I sometimes say things I shouldn’t—things I regret. Will you please help me to grow and mature in this area?

When a snarky retort or unkind word is on the tip of my tongue, help me to rein it in and remain silent. When I’m tempted to speak careless words, help me to walk in self-control. Set a guard over my mouth. Keep watch over the door of my lips. Keep me aware that You hear every word I speak.

Help me instead to speak words that encourage, bring truth, and offer hope. Help me to be a wise woman who builds her house, not a foolish woman who tears it down.

May the words I speak be truthful and kind, and may every word that comes out of my mouth honor You and bless those around me. In Jesus’s name, Amen.


Reading this via email? CLICK HERE to visit my blog and leave me a comment.