Christmas is 40 days away and Thanksgiving a mere 12 days—as of right now. This. Very. Minute.
Feeling dizzy? Is anxiety creeping in? Or, maybe you’re an exceptionally gifted procrastinator, like me.
The first five federal holidays were set by U.S. Congress in the late 1800s. Thanksgiving and Christmas were there from the start. Not sure which leaders had the bright idea to put these HUGE celebrations only weeks apart? Clearly, a woman was not present for that voting session.
Like a lot of you, I’ve hosted dozens of Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas breakfasts and evening events. I’ve smoked turkeys and burnt hams. I’ve wrapped gifts, made cards, baked thousands of cookies and pinched my share of small children to keep them in line during Christmas Eve service.
I understand holidays and how quick our desire to create special family moments can turn into a hot mess.
Maybe that’s why I’ve been inspired to be your hostess during these next forty days. Because I get busy. To be completely honest, busyness has become a dirty word to me. It’s a magical little word that can morph into a verb, a noun and even an adjective. It’s been most abused by me as an excuse for something I’m not in the mood to accomplish or not wanting to do.
At it’s most heinous, my own busyness kept me distracted and preoccupied doing things that took my eyes off of the most important treasures of all.
After so many years of crazy and chaos, I’ve discovered two especially important things about bringing peace back into the growing frenzy this time of year brings.
The first? Being intentional.
Intentional. You hear that word thrown around quite a bit. What it means is: to determine to do something with a goal in sight—to have a plan and take aim and then follow up by moving forward in a simple and thought-out manner.
The second? Focus.
Focus. What’s yours? If your focus is to give your kids the best Christmas ever, then expect to be disappointed the day after when they can’t remember what toys were waiting under the tree the day before.
My focus is Jesus. He never disappoints—ever. He is who calms me in the morning and soothes my racing thoughts at night. He is who I desire to bring glory to in the madness of so many holiday activities. He is the One I am most grateful for at Thanksgiving dinner and the One I am most grateful for on Christmas morning. He is the focus. Anything or anyone else is a poor substitute. He is my peace.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled,
nor let it be fearful. John 16:33
Friends, I’ve got so much planned for us as we navigate these weeks together. I can hardly wait to share simple ideas about how we can place Jesus back into our life, front and center where He belongs. There will be days I share links to places that can assist you in the planning and preparing of this time. There will be devotions that will encourage and may bring a tear or two. You can expect a few guests to stop by to make you smile, a handful of easy holiday crafts to do with the kids and even a few recipes to try on your hubby. Be ready for anything.
But, most especially, be intentional to come back each day where I pray you will leave with a renewed focus on Him.
On a slightly different note. Today is my anniversary. I’m so incredibly grateful for this man. If I’d known then what I know now, I would’ve sprinted down the aisle.
Jill Wolf says
I’m looking forward to spending the next 40 days with you, being intentional and keeping my focus on Jesus.
Me too, Jill! So glad you’re coming along. This should be a fun few weeks.
elaine @ peace for the journey says
40 days of intentional “peace” with you and Jesus – just what I need, friend. And I pray you enjoy this day with your Paul. Love you.
Thanks friend. xo
Katie Chaney says
Yesterday I prayed intentionally as I drove to feed the underserved. I shared this message of intention and I made an extra effort to be intentional in my serving. It really brightened an already stellar morning. Thx
You’re comments ALWAYS encourage me. Aren’t I supposed to be the one encouraging YOU? You’re such a gift, Katie.