Holidays are a busy time, and we experience an increase in stress, commitments, and chaos. But what we really want is to be able to experience the holiday joy while keeping our peace. Today we’re going to discuss some practical ways to keep our peace during the holiday season.
Don’t we all desire a more peaceful holiday season? From November first until the decorations come down sometime in January, and then the credit card bills start coming in, stress and anxiety rise and with it, our peace dwindles. What a shame when the reason for the holiday is the celebration of the Prince of Peace.
What if I told you that you really can let go of some of the anxiety and overwhelm of the holiday season with some simple ways to create a more peaceful holiday season? It’s true. I’ve been there, and have been so grateful for making some simple changes so that I could celebrate from a peaceful place. You can too as you read about ways to create a more peaceful holiday season.
Sometimes we go into the holidays with expectations we have of ourselves, expectations we have of others, and feeling the weight of expectations others have of us. After my mother died, I felt the weight of being the new matriarch of the family, and the pressure to do things the way my mother had done it. But over time, I realized that living up to those spoken or unspoken expectations was stealing my peace and joy during a time when the commercials and Hallmark movies tell us should be the most wonderful time of the year.
1) It’s so crucial that we remember who the source of our peace is.
If we were to really understand the nature of God, not only would we not have to worry about peace, but all the other worldly concerns we have would go away. Jesus came not just as our savior, but also the Prince of Peace.
In my newest book, “Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises,” one of the chapters talks about “God Is” our peace. We sacrifice our peace when we take our eyes off God and put our focus on the circumstances going on around us.
A regular discipline of spending time with God and in His word, will remind us of who we are in Him. During the holiday season before you do any of the holiday tasks, take a moment, stop where you are and mentally go through the list of who you are and who the source of your peace is. When we realize how much God cares for us, and the fact that nothing takes Him by surprise, we can rest in His peace.
One way to remember the source of peace, is remembering Jesus only had three years on this earth to complete his heavenly mission, his kingdom assignment. Yet, we never saw Jesus running from appointment to appointment. He walked everywhere, and He walked at the pace God set for Him.
We sacrifice our peace because we make a long list of to do’s that we think we must get done each day. We can get caught up in anxiety when we think of all the demands we put on ourselves. Yet Jesus said His yoke is easy and His burden is light. What if we started off the day asking God what HE wants us to do today?
We’ve been invited to participate in the ministry of reconciliation. It’s something we get to do. Sometimes the most important thing on our agenda is seeing the people around us.
2) It’s important to assess and reduce our expectations on ourselves and others.
We can try so hard to buy the perfect gift, to cook the perfect meal, or set the most elegant dinner table. But we cannot control how others will respond to our best efforts.
In the familiar story about Jesus visiting Mary and Martha, I’m grateful that Jesus didn’t say that what Martha was doing wasn’t important. In fact, scripture said that Martha was doing the preparations that needed to be done. But Martha sacrificed her peace by worrying about all the details, whereas Mary kept her peace because she made Jesus her priority.
Too often we continue rituals and traditions because we feel like that’s what is expected of us. But when we do, we sacrifice our peace. We want to spend time around the table not focused on the details, but on creating memories for our families to enjoy.
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Quotables from the Episode:
Isaiah 9:6 “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Luke 10:40-42 “But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’
‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”
Recommended Resources: (If there are affiliate links in this post, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you)).
- Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises by Dr. Michelle Bengtson
- Breaking Anxiety’s Grip free study guide
- Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, winner of the Christian Literary Award Reader’s Choice Award
- Hope Prevails Bible Study by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, winner of the Christian Literary Award Reader’s Choice Award
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Dr. Michelle Bengtson is an international speaker, and the author of the bestselling, award winning “Hope Prevails: Insights From A Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” and the award winning companion “Hope Prevails Bible Study” and the soon to be released “Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises” (Sept 2019). She has been a board certified clinical neuropsychologist for more than twenty years. This doctor knows pain and despair firsthand and combines her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith to help others be all God created them to be. Using sound practical tools, she affirms worth and encourages faith. Dr. Bengtson offers hope as a key to unlock joy and relief—even in the middle of the storm. She and her husband of thirty-two years have two teenage sons and reside in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. She blogs regularly on her own site: www.DrMichelleBengtson.com and is on most social media platforms. She is also a popular podcast show host of “Your Hope-Filled Perspective with Dr. Michelle Bengtson” at Apple Podcast.
Hosted By: Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Audio Technical Support: Bryce Bengtson