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Prescription for a Holiday Season that Fills Instead of Drains You

From the Monday Mission, November 16, 2020

Imagine with me there is a holiday melting pot. This is the place where we stir up hopes and expectations for our gatherings. Throw in a little circumstances — stress over finances, travels, challenging relationships, and children all at home (touching each other). Toss in others’ expectations for us. A big dollop of our sweat and tears as we try to make things ideal for everyone.

It’s a holly jolly stressful time. And that’s in a normal year.

Let’s set our hearts on a different kind of holiday. I think the best way to do that is to get in touch with our actual needs.

Here’s what I mean. You know those arguments you get into, where you recognize that the things you are arguing about are not really the things you are arguing about? You have a deep need that you hope will be met, but instead of talking about THAT thing, you’re arguing about the dresser drawer that got left open and brutalized your shin in the middle of the night.

We live much of our lives on the surfaces, going through the motions as our habits dictate without examining what’s really going on inside of us. Around the holidays, these unspoken needs combined with the pressures we put on ourselves create that incredibly aromatic holiday melting pot I was talking about. (I will let you determine the smell.)

In this holiday season, on the surface you might be finding a way to meet with family safely, or figuring out travel plans, or making the most of a tough relationship. But underneath there are deep needs to feel you belong and are seen, there is loneliness, stress, or fatigue.

Dear friend, what do YOU need during this holiday? What are the unspoken things?

I would like to write you a prescription.
1. Take care of you.
2. Take care of the essentials.
3. Take off every other hat you wear that you don’t absolutely have to.

Here’s the good news. God is attuned to your needs. All the time. Even when you’re unaware. Even when people around you aren’t attuned to your needs. (!!) He wants to bless you in this season, fill you with hope, and help you recharge. He is not waning or feeling weary. And he sees into the next year and beyond it, so there are no mysteries for Him. I find that so reassuring.

Let’s ask these 2 questions as we go through our day…
What hats do I need to take off in this season? Be ruthless about it.
What are my unspoken needs for this holiday time?

But first, let’s pray this together: “Father God, thank you for knowing me intimately, the cry of my heart and the unspoken things there (like grief, confusion, fatigue, concerns, hopes). Thank you for taking care of me in this time as I love on my family. Help me to not overdo it but to rest in you fully. Help me to lay every burden down and let you carry it.”

If you want to continue this conversation, download my honest “De-Stress the Holidays” guide.

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