Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pre-Holiday Thoughts

Are you merely putting on your game face for the holiday season, wondering how you're going to get through it all?

Perhaps you're wondering where the physical strength will come from to tackle the cleaning you need to do or lug that huge bird into a roasting pan on Thanksgiving morning.

Perhaps you're feeling mentally and emotionally drained at the thought of family get-togethers, which can be just plain stressful at times, but more so when you're supposed to welcome them with a smile on your face, just because it's the holiday.

Maybe you're nervous about hosting a crowd for the first time and wondering if your efforts will be good enough.

Perhaps you're wondering where the finances will come from, even just to feed a few extra mouths.

Are you dreading the travel, wondering how the kids will hold up with the car trip and missed naps, or still thinking of all you have to do to get ready to go away?

Perhaps you're already feeling the pressure of the Christmas season, pressure to go and do and shop and buy and be . . . expectations thrust on us from without . . . that conflict with who we are in Christ.

Or maybe you're dreading the thought of being alone on yet another holiday.

Then let me share these words from my reading this morning, in hopes that they will bless and lift your spirits, as they have mine:

Even though the day be laden
and my task dreary
and my strength small,
a song keeps singing
in my heart.
For I know that I am Thine.
I am part of Thee.
Thou art kin to me,
and all my times
are in Thy hand. Alistar MacClean (from Celtic Daily Prayer)

I know this is a rather strange holiday post. There'll be plenty of time for thankful thoughts and sharing memories. But it's no secret that holidays can be a most stressful time of year, even for those of us who know the Lord and the "reason for the season." So maybe a better starting point is just admitting our need and letting God take it from there.