Does the Christmas season feel like a mix of joy and stress?

It’s much like the little bowls of treats my mom would set out during holidays. Peanuts, pretzels, chocolate, and raisins all mixed together. Sweet and salty, crunchy and chewy.

It’s a wonderful time of gratitude to God, joy, family, beauty, and making memories. It can also be a time where we feel the pressure of expectations.

Whether or not those expectations are real or realistic doesn’t matter.
We feel them!

As a couple without their own children, Mark and I have “adopted” a lot of nieces and nephews along the way. So, how do we decide who to buy gifts for? The same is true for being on staff at a church. Everyone feels like family, so how do we know who to shop for and what to get?

Several years ago, I was facing this pressure and realized it was building up to more than I could handle. In a time in prayer, I was pouring out my heart to God and I felt a gentle voice speak inside. I heard,

Celebrate people on their birthday and celebrate Me on My birthday.

That whisper from God lifted the pressure I was feeling. It also changed the way I viewed people’s birthdays. I love to make a fuss over people on their birthdays.

Back to the season at hand. Over the last few years, we have been invited to spend holidays with close friends. We adore their children and grandchildren. The whole crew of them are absolutely delightful… and lavish givers.

Again, in prayer, I shared with God the dilemma I was feeling. Physically I am at a low ebb, waiting for some needed dental surgery. I was feeling like a failure that I didn’t know what to get and again I felt the gentle sense.

Why not shop with Me? We can do this together.

Well, that turned the dilemma into an adventure. I love the ideas that God and I got together. God isn’t available only for the big and the hard stuff. He calls us to abide in Him. That is the day to day stuff.

Psalm 27:8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.” NLT

Is there a pressure you are feeling? Is it for cooking? Decorating? Shopping? How would you like to do it with God? You know He is always excited to be with you. He’s been reaching out to us since before time. “Come to Me.”

Have a very Merry Christmas.