Thursday, December 22, 2011
Hey Friends ~
Happy almost Christmas to you! Hard to believe Christmas will be here in a matter of hours!
In the midst of preparing for Jesus' birthday, I can't help but think of others who are struggling this Christmas.
Families like Judy's, and Samantha's, and Derek's. Will y'all join me in keeping these families in your prayers? Who else do you know who has an "empty chair" this Christmas season? Let's overwhelm them with prayers and love.
In case you too are wrestling with some "holiday blues", today I'm thrilled to feature Poppy Smith as she shares some simple ways to Beat the Blues this Christmas! Here's Poppy....
Eight Ways to Beat the Blues at Christmas by Poppy Smith
Instead of a houseful of kids and their little ones running around laughing, crying, playing with toys and sneaking treats, this year my husband, Jim, and I will be home alone for Christmas. My automatic reaction is to feel sad—but I am glad that all of them will be celebrating the coming of Jesus with their in-laws. After all, we are usually the ones who get that privilege!
But—it’s easy to be sucked down into a “poor me” mindset and play the blues, unless we decide to change our perspective. So here are eight simple ways to help you enjoy the holidays whether you’re physically or emotionally alone. Why not join me and let’s beat those blues which aren’t where God wants us at this special time of the year—or at any time!
Play music. Listen to the words and join in praising God. Singing is a guaranteed mood lifter and perspective changer. “Sing for joy to God our strength” Ps.81:1.
Smile at little children. Their harried moms. The older shoppers who are trying to find just the right present. Make smiling your chosen expression (not through gritted teeth, however!). It will make you feel so much better and maybe lift up another lonely soul.
Is there someone you haven’t had time for this past year? Could you suggest meeting for coffee, lunch, or even over to your home? Perfection isn’t needed—only a loving heart that looks beyond it’s own world.
Remember all those too early mornings when you longed to just stay in bed? Now’s your chance. Take time to read a book of the Bible or several psalms. Choose a special book, magazine, or television program. Make or buy some once in a year yummy treats and ENJOY this gift of time!
•Give gifts to others.
Go online and look for simple Christmas recipes. Make peppermint candy or a cranberry loaf and go drop it off at a homeless shelter or place that serves those without a home. Change your perspective from looking inward to looking outward—as God our Savior did when He gave us the most amazing gift of love any one can receive.
•Write a list of your blessings.
Think back over this past year. Even if it has been one of the most difficult you’ve experienced, ask God’s Spirit to show you where He was present, loving and supporting and guiding you through. He will show you something and lift your heart.
•Go to a Christmas Eve Service.
Even if you’re by yourself, don’t miss the presence of God amidst the beauty of this celebration. Let your senses feast on the beauty, your ears delight in the music, your heart be moved to new heights of gratitude and love.
•Pray about your dreams for 2012.
What do you want to see happen in the coming year? Have you thought about changes you want to make? New paths to walk? Write out what comes to mind when you think of taking better care of yourself physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.
May your “Home Alone” Christmas fill you with joy and a fresh awareness that Christ is with you, whether you’re surrounded by people or peacefully alone. ~ Poppy Smith
With her fun personality and passion for communicating life-changing truths, Poppy Smith inspires believers to thrive spiritually and personally. Poppy’s practical how-to messages (in print or in person) uses colorful examples from her own struggles to be more like Jesus. She encourages women (and men, at times) to grow in every kind of situation—whether joyful or painful! Poppy is British, married to an American, and has lived in many countries. She brings an international flair seasoned with humorous honesty as she illustrates Bible truths. A former Bible Study Fellowship Lecturer, Poppy’s teaching challenges women to look at their choices, attitudes and self-talk. As a result, God’s speaks, changing hearts, changing minds, and changing lives.
Check out Poppy's website or sign up for Poppy's THRIVE newsletter.
What helpful ideas, Poppy! Thanks for sharing!
And I'd love to hear from you, dear friends! How do you stay joy-filled at Christmas, even in the midst of disappointment? Any way we can pray for you this Christmas Season? Share with me please!
Have a wonderful, refreshing, Christ-centered weekend! I thank God for you!