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Resources for a more meaningful, less draining holiday. 

Surviving the Holidays Without Losing Your Soul

For me, December is often a wash.  It seems nothing productive is accomplished in the last five weeks of the year.  If activity equalled productivity it would be the just the opposite, but I often wake up on January 1 completely exhausted, wondering what I've been doing for the last month. 

And, sadly, I often feel less connected to Jesus after the season where I'm invited to ponder anew the miracle of the incarnation. 

So, if you'd like to take a stab at a more meaningful, less draining season I've compiled some of my favorite resources and time-tested strategies. 

Kelli

Leaning In
  1. Pick a devotional guide and commit to use it. (Click here for suggestions)
  2. Plan (and put on the calendar) an hour each week you can spend reflecting on Christ's birth, worshiping with your favorite Christmas songs, or simply getting away from the crazy pace of the season at a retreat center or other quiet place.
  3. Purchase an advent candle and focus on the word for each week.  Most wreaths come with a simple guide.
  4. Memorize Isaiah 9:6,7 and begin and end your day reciting it.

Letting Go
  1. Let go of trying to make everyone happy--it won't work anyway.
  2. Let go of your expectations of controlling the pace of this season.  It will be intense.  The challenge is to carve out little sabbaths in the midst of the busyness
  3. Let go of trying to do everything.  Pick a couple of key traditions and events and let the rest go.
  4. Let go of image management.  Don't be afraid to bring store bought cookies to your kids Christmas party!
Living Out
  1. Serve someone less fortuntate
  2. Commit to worshipping Christ in community with other believers.
  3. Engage your friends and neighbors in your celebration of Jesus. (Click here for some ideas)
  4. Take time to look at your calendar before the month begins. Put as much on the calendar as you can. Include slots for baking, shopping, wrapping, serving, etc.
  5. Review in January and record things you learned and what you'd like to do differently next year to continue to focus the season on Christ.

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Check out my website at www.kelligotthardt.com
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.


And he will be called 

Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6,7
In the next issue: Discerning God's direction for your year
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