Monday, November 12, 2007

Super Stress or Perfect Peace

Are you feeling a little twinge of stress rise up in you as you see the Christmas decorations going up? I am decorating for the big Thanksgiving meal coming up, and I already feel a season behind. My mind is now beginning to race with thoughts of, “Oh my, I need to get organized. I don’t have my Christmas cards addressed yet. I haven’t bought and wrapped all the out-of-town gifts. What am I going to get the kids this year?” I can feel the tension rising in my arms, flowing to my neck and camping out in my shoulders. Christmas is still a month and a half away, but I already feel like I’m playing catch up! By God’s grace, last night I read Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you.” So I turned my thoughts toward Him. I turned my fears, anxieties and concerns to God. I asked Him to give me strength and wisdom and peace. My friends, I want you to know there was a great calm that came over me as I took my eyes off of the overwhelming circumstances and put them on the God who loves me. Looking to Him keeps things in perspective. I can hear Him saying, “Stay focused on me.” As I do, I realize what is necessary and what is fluff. I begin to see that a joy-filled heart is more important than a perfect place-setting. I begin to see the value of love He can pour through me to the people around me. And isn’t that the most important gift we can give? So as you begin to feel the need to fret, turn your eyes upward and ask for His peace. Let’s place our responsibilities at His feet and walk hand and hand with Him as we step into the Holiday season.

Family Conversation Starter: As we begin to look toward the wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, what would you say you are most grateful for in your life right now?

Family Fun Activity: Set aside time to go on a Fall hike. Gather some colorful leaves as you go and talk together about God’s beautiful creation. When you return home make placemats with the leaves. Glue several (not too dry) leaves onto an large piece of construction paper. Place a piece of clear contact paper over the top to create a smooth, plastic surface or take them to the local copy center and have them laminated.

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