As I realized this morning that today is Black Friday, the words that immediately came to mind were, Holiday Stress! I participated once, many years ago, in trying to get some good deals for Christmas gifts, and that was my last! I remember returning home with very little to show for my shopping excursion, but stress and extremely drained, not believing the encounters I had experienced with other shoppers. Ex: I saw two grown women almost get in a fist fight over an item! Wow! Is that Stress or what? I feel this shopping day is appropriately entitled, Black Friday! LOL!
I want to encourage everyone not to allow stress to overwhelm you during the holiday season. It is really a matter of choice! I used to stress over everything when the holidays came around. Being the perfectionist that I am, I wanted everything to be perfect in every way, driving everyone around me (family) crazy! I also desired to please everyone else, and in doing this, I caused myself unnecessary stress that equals sickness.
I have learned to let go of trying to make everything perfect. I do what I can at the time, with what I have! I rest when needed! I plan better so I am not running around at the last minute trying to get things done. I have learned to say NO! For years I tried to handle all the Volunteer church activities, PTA/School activities, family activities...It was hard and so stressful to get it all done, but I managed to get it all done, leaving me emotionally and physically drained. Learning how to balance my schedule and set boundaries, saying NO when necessary, has been freeing in many ways and such a blessing for my family! We actually enjoy our time together. What matters is God, Country, and family!
In reading my morning meditation scriptures, etc...I came across a clipping from a Soul Food Bible Reading that I've had for years, and I would like to share it with you this morning! I pray this will minister to your hearts and help in this time of year and for your entire year to come!
Boundaries and Burnout!
Follow the Lord's rules for doing His work. - 2Tim. 2:5 (TLB)
Are you so eager to stay in everybody's good graces that you're complying with their every demand, even though it's draining you? Good people burn out every day because they lack discernment when it comes to setting boundaries. And once that happens it's hard to fix, because none of us (not even those "ordained by God!) can break His natural laws without consequences. A well known Bible teacher writes: "Once when I was complaining about my heavy schedule, I heard God's Spirit say, "You're the one who makes the schedule; if you don't like it, do something about it."
Paul told Timothy: "Follow the Lord's rules for doing His work...as an athlete follows the rules or is disqualified." Not every problem is Spiritual, some are physical. Furthermore, you can't blame the devil for things that are your fault. We resent people who pressure us, yet we keep doing what they want, and it feeds our silent anger! You're allowing yourself to be pressured by not taking responsibility for your own life/schedule! The fact is, many well intentioned folks are walking around burned out and depressed because they can't say no. They forget that Jesus is our example; that He even made time for rest and renewal.
The answer lies in: (a) putting your life under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; (b) learning to put first things first; (c) not expecting everybody to understand when you set boundaries. Remember Solomon said, "A friend loves at all times" (Pro. 17:17), not just when you comply with their wish. So, if saying no costs you the friendship, it wasn't a healthy friendship to start with!
~Have a fabulous Holiday season and year 2011. I pray peace (Shalom) and God's blessing upon and in your lives. God bless you all! ~
Mary Jean Marquez :)