Pumpkin spice and everything not-so nice…ugh. The holiday seasons are amazing, glorious and fun. But when we have hurt relationships, missing loved ones, and open wounds we are carrying; it can dampen even the most joyous spirit. So what CAN we do? And what should we NOT do? Here’s my best advice:
NOT do List:
Don’t spend hours scrolling through craftily staged corners of Instagramer’s houses, looking at their heavily (filtered, photoshopped) faces, wrinkles and thighs. You’d be surprised at what a wreck the other parts of their houses are if you could see the “whole picture.” So just know that. And repeat after me, “no one is that perfect, no one is that perfect, no one is that perfect.”
Don’t try to control family members, if they choose not to come to your holiday gathering, it’s okay. They are probably not trying to hurt your feelings, so don’t let it. Just say a little prayer like this, “Lord bring the people that you want here, and make me content with your plan.” It’s not giving up, it’s a health relinquishing of the desire to control others. At the end of the day, it’s only ourselves that we can control if we are being truly healthy human beings.
Don’t let yourself get controlled! Ha ha! It’s okay to set healthy boundaries. But do it with love. Always smile, be kind, quick to forgive and move past a insult or critical comment. Let it roll off you like water off a duck’s back. Don’t take it with you and allow it to keep hurting you. I have a great ability to forget things, so I add stuff like that to my “forgotten” things list! You don’t have to share all the details in your life, it often leaves us feeling overexposed and with a difficult person–sometimes can become weaponized against us later. So zip it with a smile!
Don’t drink too much. Often difficult situations are made worse with too much alcohol, it rarely fixes things because some people are too honest, get too angry, and the strained relationship gets completely blown up. Not what you need or want. Remember you are called to be a peace maker. Maybe I’ll make shirts like to remind us all! Blessed are the peace makers. Get that blessing! Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Look for things of the holidays that truly bring you JOY! Like listening to Vintage Christmas music, getting a yummy hot drink, browsing at Home Goods…those are mine!
Finding someone to be good to. The best strategy against the devil is being good to someone when someone is being bad to you. It also works if you are hurting in your life, find someone and encourage them– and it will refresh you! I love this verse that promises just that– Proverbs 11:25 A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. How good is that?!
Keep loving others. This is hands down the hardest commandment out there. Jesus said John 13:34 “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another.” So keep this in mind, think of your self as a conduit of God’s love, it flows from Him (so you’ll never run out) and it perfectly heals, helps, restores all that are blessed to be near it. You are that!
Enjoy your life. I’m a huge fan of Joyce Meyer and this is her anthem. It’s so good. We don’t know how long we have on this earth, so do your best to enjoy THIS day! Smile easy, give an extra hug, hand out compliments and leave whoever you find in your day, better than when you found them. Be a joy maker.
I pray that every person who reads this post is blessed beyond measure with love, joy, peace, hope, healing, in relationships, in finances, in every area! Choose to make this a great holiday season, not matter what…and see how you will get what you have chosen!
You are so very loved!