This is about the time in this season that I can get a little stressed. Christmas is a little less than three weeks away, and the distraction of stress affects many during the holiday season. Let’s change that this year.
I could feel the stress rising. Over the weekend I glanced at my calendar and was reminded Christmas was just three weeks away. I have much to my list:
- presents to purchase and wrap, groceries to buy, goodies to bake
- a house to make ready before my family of 30 converges here on December 23
- work responsibilities
- work ahead so I can take a week off between Christmas and New Year’s
- continue writing my book
- my quarterly women’s event is this week.
As I wrote these items on my to-do list, that list grew fangs and grew into a beast I wanted to run from.
Can you relate to this at all?
In that very moment, I knew I had to make a choice. I could either sit in the stress and feel my pulse race and my temperature rise, or I could choose to release the stress and let it go. I could either focus on feeling overwhelmed, or I could choose to relax in God’s peace, instead.
Because the distraction of stress is good at enticing us away from what’s important. It’s good at making us feel overwhelmed and overloaded. That’s what it does… it wants us to focus on being overwhelmed! And I believe it’s one of the most dangerous distractions we experience in our day-to-day lives. Because it not only entices us away from the moment we’re in, it negatively effects our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
This distraction of stress hijacks our peace, our joy, and our hope.
And it replaces it with agitation, misery, and doubt.
The distraction of stress says, “Focus on the overwhelm.” But God says, “Focus on me.”
We look at three passages in scripture that address stress, and I share six ways to combat stress this season.
Click on the player above to listen to the full 16-minute episode.
As I mentioned in last week’s episode, Christmas was never meant to stress us out, so let’s do what we can to live less stressed this season. Next week we’re discussing the distraction of rushing. Hang tight for that!
If you live close to me, I invite you to join me for our Real Encouragement LIVE! women’s event in Cedar Rapids this Thursday, December 8 where we are discussing this further. Details are below.
Merry Christmas and God bless you!
Links in this episode:
Effects of stress article
Psalm 55:22 AMP
1 Peter 5:7 VOICE
Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
Exercise and stress article
Encouragement for Real Life Community
Real Encouragement LIVE women’s event on 12/8 in Cedar Rapids
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