What are you feeling this Christmas…Peace or Pressure?

Merry Christmas friends!  Only a few more days until we celebrate Christmas.   I’m committed to making this a peaceful time not only for myself but those closest to me and whomever I come in contact with.

I know what your thinking.. Horace,you don’t have a family with kids and everything that entails. I understand but let me share this.  I absolutely LOVE Christmas time!   The  Christmas carols, songs, time with family, and the lights too.  I  enjoy seeing all the lights!   As I get older, I truly love giving more than receiving.  I get such enjoyment trying to come up with ways to surprise and help others any way I can.Do you feel Peace of Jesus or pressure at Christmas?

However 2 years ago at Christmas I went way overboard!  I tried to get something for every one of my nieces and nephews.  With multiple gifts from their parents, grandparents, and myself too; I felt it was too much and did not like how I felt that Christmas morning.

The anxiety and pressure I put on myself to locate a certain gifts and get everything in time for Christmas was exhausting!  Especially when they are as intrigued by the colorful wrapping paper as the gifts inside!

I spoke with my mother about this and said that we may need to coordinate our gift giving going forward.  I felt I was much better last year but it is still a struggle for me.  As with any struggle we have as Christians, we need to seek God first and ask Him for guidance and peace of mind.   I love this verse from one of my favorite passages in the Bible.

” He leads me beside the still waters, He refreshes my soul..”  

Psalm 23:2

I want to feel refreshed and at peace during the holidays especially at Christmas time.  I prayed and asked God to help me this year.  He knows my heart; please show me how I can have peace and not feel pressure to buy something or put pressure on myself to make everyone happy.

I began praying asking God for wisdom and reminded me of one gift I can give to others and that was TIME!

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I’ve called old friends just to say hello and see how they are doing.  It was amazing the feeling the joy of spending 30 or more minutes conversing on the phone.  I tracked down a dear friend on Facebook and we were able to catch up, exchange addresses, and confirm phone numbers.   It was such a blessing to reconnect.

I was even able to secure tickets for me and my best friend Chris to attend the Gift of Christmas extravaganza at Prestonwood Baptist Church.  Look at our excitement before the show!

Horace and Christopher
Me and Chris my best friend of over 20 years at the Gift of Christmas
Gift of Christmas-Collage
They did a version of the Rocketts at Radio City Music Hall. There were Drummers playing as they hung from the ceiling during the “Little Drummer boy”. They closed the show with a live Nativity complete with sheep,camels, zebras, Llamas and all kinds of animal accompanying the shepherds and the three wise men..and so much more!

The show was amazing and the singing/worship gave me goose bumps!  The joy and peace I felt seeing how much Chris enjoyed the show was  rewarding.  Hearing the choir and orchestra praising God was both humbling and exhilarating.  My spirit was definitely refreshed!

Another way that God helped me have peace was to spend more time worshiping Him and asking Him to show me how I  can help and encourage those that are  in need.  Wisdom to discern because he knows I want to help everyone but now I want HIM to be glorified.

Yes, it definitely feels good when someone appreciates your gift but the feeling is beyond all measure when you give of yourself because of  God’s leading!

I know there is a lot going on during this time of year and especially because everything has become so commercialized.    There’s “black Friday”  followed by “cyber Monday” .  People camping out at stores for days. Trampling over each other trying to get that big screen TV or that one in a million video game.

There’s planning for family travel or visitors, and deciding on a menu…I get that.  I speak from experience.  I lived through those pressure packed weeks of planning and preparing for the Christmas experience.

Is that what Christmas is all about?  Does God want us to drive ourselves to exhaustion and anxiety feeling the pressure to please?  I think not…this is what we need to  focus on and remember on Christmas and every day!Birth of Jesus

God did not send his Son as a sacrifice for us to run around half crazed, anxious, and worrying about every little thing.  Look at what Jesus says  here in  the book of John.

 “..I came that you may have life and that you may have it more          abundantly.” John 10:10

As believers, this is what God wants for us, an abundant, satisfying life.  Not a life filled with pressure and anxiety.  When we remember who He is and what He has done for us, our hearts should fill up with joy and peace as we worship Him.

I still have a little time before Christmas but I am committed to not stressing over what presents I have not gotten yet or worrying about messing up the dish I’ve committed to bring for Christmas dinner.

I know in my heart that Jesus loves me and my family will still love me even if something goes not as planned.  I want to enjoy this time of fellowship with family and friends as we honor our Savior and what He has given us.  The perfect gift, the ultimate sacrifice, His son Jesus!

So as you run around fretting over every little detail this holiday season, it is my prayer that you will take a moment and really remember the true meaning of Christmas and what it means for you as a child of His.

Ask God to show you how you can be a peace and share that peace with others.  Have a wonderful time this Christmas and and a safe New Year’s Eve.  I will talk with you in 2016 if the Lord wills.  Blessings to you and yours!

"Horace Williams, Jr.'s non-fiction Christian Worship and Prayer book, Unleash the Power of Prayer in Your Life: A Power that Transforms Lives, briefly and eloquently explores the benefits of prayer and the richness of having a personal relationship with God. Williams answers many questions in his book, including what prayer is, when and how often should one pray and how forgiveness impacts one's relationship with God. Each chapter in his book addresses a power imparted through and by prayer, Unleash the Power of Prayer in Your Life: A Power that Transforms Lives is most highly recommended." Now available on Amazon. Get your copy today.

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16 comments on “What are you feeling this Christmas…Peace or Pressure?

sue

Hi Horace! Congratulations! Your post was in my top two picks in the #OvertheMoon linkup. You made some great points about taking the pressure off and remembering what this time of year is all about. See you at the next link up next Monday.

I also love this line “God did not send his Son as a sacrifice for us to run around half crazed, anxious, and worrying about every little thing” and how you connected it with John 10:10 It has also spoken to me about other aspects of my life. Thank you for sharing.

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thanks for visiting and your comment Miriam! I am pleased to hear that the post spoke to you. It has been speaking to me before,during, and after writing it:) God loves us and knows our hearts. We can have the peace He offers when we seek him first in every aspect of our lives. Blessings to you and yours in 2016!

Jed

“God did not send his Son as a sacrifice for us to run around half crazed, anxious, and worrying about every little thing.” I love this line! It’s funny, for the last three years, my wife and I have conversations about how we did not get the children enough for Christmas. Then, Christmas day arrives, and we realize that things may have been over-done–I think the two of us still have some growing to do.

It’s all about Jesus, yet it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle-and-bustle of the season. Thank you for the reminder to rejoice in His peace, and to let go of the pressure. Wishing you and your family a Merry and Peaceful Christmas!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts Jed. I by no means have this peace over pressure thing down but I am praying that I will get better with God’s help. However,we always have hope when we seek and put our trust in God to help us with whatever we are struggling with. That’s when we can have the peace that he offers us. I really enjoyed my time with family yesterday and I believe they enjoyed our time as well. Thanks again for the visit and blessings to you and yours in 2016!

Horace, your words are encouraging me this evening. I had a stressful day on the phone off and on with my poor 74 year old dad, who was stuck in airports all day. He was supposed to arrive in Dallas today at 3:30, but instead will come tomorrow at 7:45 a.m. This is a reminder that I can’t do anything about it other than pray for him, so I’ll leave the rest to God. And I’m NOT going to worry about messing up the food I’m preparing! 🙂 Merry Christmas.

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Haha…Betsy I’m sure your food will come out excellent:) Praying for safe travels for your father too. It is surprising the things that seem to “come up” at this time of year. I am really depending on God to get me through and look forward to spending more quality time with family and friends. My fajitas have marinated for hours and are slow cooking in the oven so things are looking up… so far!(we like to have a theme other than turkey on Christmas.) This year it’s Mexican/Tex-Mex food. Blessings to you and yours and have a wonderful Christmas!

sue

Hi Horace great to hear from you at our #OvertheMoon link up. We can all get so caught up in preparations for Christmas that we lose sight of the true meaning. Thank you for reminding us it isn’t all about the gifts, food etc which are all lovely additions to show love but about the birth of Christ. I wish you a happy and holy Christmas and a wonderful 2016.

Such a great post Horace! We all need reminders of what is important this time of the year. It’s so easy to get caught up with the presents, parties, and all the stress that it can bring. Thanks for the reminder that all we need to do is go to our Father to ask for peace. May you have a very peaceful Christmas. God Bless!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thanks Amanda! I keep reminding myself how important it is to keep my Savior in the the forefront of my thoughts. This will help in giving me peace in any and all situations I may face. It is not always easy but I am trying! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family my friend. Blessings

Horace, I am right there with you! We stress over things that really are not that important and it takes our eyes off the real Reason we celebrate Christmas. Over the years we went from buying gifts for everyone to giving them something that we made ourselves and that has been a huge hit. Every year I get asked if a jar of salsa will be included in the gifts, before we moved here and had a garden it was but now that we don’t have a garden spot they get jellies or pickles and sweets. Those homemade items are a lot of work to created but knowing family will enjoy them is worth it. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas, Horace. Thank you for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thanks Lori for your kinds words and encouragement. I absolutely love homemade salsas!Homemade jams/jellies is a weakness of mine…YUM! Blessings to you and yours this Christmas my friend!

Horace, I love this Christmas post, and your insight and idea to give the gift of time; encouraging “peace of mind” during Advent and Christmas, bringing God much glory.

Thank you for the inspiration and encouragement.

Merry Christmas!

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