Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Heart care for a CALM CHRISTMAS

Thank you for joining me in this Creating a Calm Christmas series.  I'm loving how it's personally making me focus as I write, and I am hopeful that you will leave each post uplifted, inspired or encouraged.  Today, I'm talking about heart care, which is a bit of a continuation from my previous post.  I feel like it's really important to camp here just a bit longer before we talk about how not to over decorate, recipes, and such... it all begins in our hearts and how we approach the season.  This is something most of us know, regardless of our religious beliefs. Daily, spending time to reset our minds on things that are positive and uplifting can't help but spin our moods the correct direction as well.

It's really easy to get lost in the Christmas chaos around us, which is the opposite of creating a calm Christmas for ourselves and our loved ones!  Parties and events can cause us to be out later, thus interrupting our nightly routine, sleep patterns and rest.  That in turn, can affect our mornings and cause more rush and hurry that carries into the days.  It often starts all over again and we limp into January, exhausted and very "over the holidays." But what if we resisted the urge to get those extra winks, and instead set our alarms daily, for some heart care.  For me, that means digging into a daily devotional or readings centered around what Christmas means to me.  This year, I'll be doing the She Reads Truth Advent study which begins on Sunday. I've always enjoyed it and my bible study group is joining together so we can hold one another accountable.  That is a huge key for me.  I can't do much alone but give me a few friends, and I'm on board to the end.

I asked the question today on Instagram, what stresses everyone out the most.  It was overwhelming to read the variety of responses and I'm going to dig a bit into some of those in our next post. I would give anything for solutions to dole out like candy to everyone.  We will definitely touch on several of them as we work through this series.  However, the first place to begin for every single thing that spins us around, causes us stress, anxiety or frustration during the month of December, is exactly where we are today.  Our hearts and who we offer it to each morning.  Do we offer our hearts to the stress that the day ahead of us is greedily reaching out for?  Do we offer it to the false refuges we seek after for escape or relief?  Or... Do we offer our hearts as an offering, each and every morning, asking God to give us His words, His thoughts, His responses, His wisdom, His grace, His kindness and His purpose?

This totters on décor and home care, but I'm find that creating a restful space for morning time with God is so important, that I'm sharing it here as a broad solution to much (all?) of what ails us.  Each morning I get up before my kiddos and sit in my special chair.  It was a present from my husband two years ago and I curl up with my furry blanket, my feet up on the coffee table and my coffee.  Sometimes I light a candle or two. Then I can focus.  Often, I put a fireplace DVD on and just savor that time. Setting the atmosphere actually matters, and coaxes us to sit and rest. My chair also faces away from the kitchen so if there are dishes or people making breakfast I don't need to view those distractions.  It has been working really well for me and if you haven't taken time to create a calm space to bring God your heart each morning, you might consider gathering your favorite pillows, throw blankets, pens, journals and scented candles.. or whatever speaks cozy to your soul.  Just make an intentionally welcoming spot and see how that motivates you to use it in the wee hours before the Christmas jingles begin rolling in your head and crowding into your thoughts.  That alone could be the precursor to the calm in your holidays.

"Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it." 
Proverbs 4:23

I wouldn't begin with this topic if I didn't know that it could make a huge impact in having a C A L M   C H R I S T M A S.  We can either limp through this holiday or we can sail through it gracefully with a sweet, tender,flexible and peaceful heart. But one way or another, this month will pass before we know it. 

*Also a note about the fireplace DVD.  We don't have a fireplace in this home sadly, but this is such a great alternative and people always comment on how nice it is. It even makes crackling sounds like a real fire. (We got ours one year at the grocery store but I know you could find one easily with Google.)  I often put Pandora very quietly on my phone so that I'm not tempted to check notifications and such if I'm in the mood for music while I read.  The station I enjoy this time of year is the Hereford Cathedral Choir (Holiday). It's soft and not a huge distraction if you want some soothing holiday music.


  1. Thanks for the encouragement! Going to store today to get a fireplace dvd!