Do you ever find your day being hijacked by something other than what you had planned? How do you respond?

This morning I woke up in some of the worst pain I have experienced since being given a cancer diagnosis, having surgery, and beginning treatment, and I was frustrated.

I felt frustrated because I had planned to spend the day doing some Christmas shopping, wrapping presents, and attending to some of the holiday tasks that we all feel the need to engage in during the Christmas season. Yet it seemed that pain and nausea hijacked my plans for the day.

Be still in God’s presence

As I stilled my heart during morning quiet time with the Lord, He spoke to me and said, “You know what you’re struggling with is not something you battle just during the Christmas season. You have a tendency to jump into problem solving and doing mode.”

The more God got a hold of my heart and spoke to me, the more I realized that my problem solving and doing mode excludes God from the process. It takes God out of the picture.

The longer I sat in my quiet time and reflected on it, I thought about how as a neuropsychologist, I have spent decades problem solving with patients. So that tendency is very well ingrained in me. The enemy can use that for my disadvantage. While the Lord can use that for good in my life, the enemy always tries to twist everything and use it for bad.

We can get so focused on the tasks, and on the problems, and even on the pain that we lose sight of what God wants.

The Lord gently reminded me of the well known story in Luke 10:41-42, “But the Lord said to her, ‘My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.’”

Seek God’s will

As I considered the account of Martha’s struggle to keep her focus on what really mattered, one thing kept ringing true for me as I considered my recent health battle, the Christmas season, and trying to support my children through some of their challenges. The most important thing we can spend our time doing is not really doing at all but being in the Lord’s presence and seeking what He would have for us to do, to be, to say. When we do that, He’s going to show us the right priorities for the moment, for the day, for the week, because He knows best.

Let go and let God take control

I don’t know what you currently have on your plate. I don’t know if you’re up to your ears in wrapping paper and bows, or trying to keep the home plates spinning while caring for a loved one, or you are preparing for company coming into town, or some other pressing needs, but I would encourage you to let go and let God take control. Take the time to prioritize spending time in His presence. You’ll be surprised how the rest of your time goes so much more smoothly when you do.

Hope-Filled Perspective: Let go and let God take control

A prayer that relieves stress at Christmas

May I pray for you?
Father, the Christmas season is a busy time for all of us. More to do, with no more time to do it. Father, will you help us to focus on what truly matters: spending time with you receiving our plans and priorities from you, and leaning in to you for strength for the tasks of the day. Father, let us not lose sight of the real reason we celebrate, but to focus our attention on the greatest gift that has ever and will ever be given: the gift of your son born on Christmas Day. Thank you Father for helping us to remember. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

A prayer asking God to help us focus on what truly matters (a great way to relieve stress.) #stress #mentalhealth

Because of Him, #HopePrevails!


As a neuropsychologist, I have spent decades problem solving with patients. This is what I use to de-stress at Christmas and through the year. #stress #anxiety #mentalhealth


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