It is a shocking thought that the Thanksgiving Holiday is often one of the most stressful times of year. Perhaps you are going to spend time with family, or maybe hosting an event in your home; this Thursday can be stressful. A time that is supposed to be centered on giving thanks can sometimes take a turn for the worse. I have great news; you can make a conscious choice to refuse to participate in holiday stress.
When you look back on this Thanksgiving, would you rather remember stressing out over the incredible amount of food that you had to prepare or spending quality time with your family? Don’t get so wrapped up in Thanksgiving that you forget to enjoy it. If you find yourself leaning toward stress, I have a scripture for you to meditate on.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
From this scripture, I would like to point out a couple of things:
- You have to let the peace of Christ rule in your heart
There are many things that will try to rule your heart this week. Maybe you are a Black Friday Warrior, or a dedicated dish washer; there will be opportunities for strife and stress. Choose God’s Word and his peace, not the drama that brother in law brings with him. CHOOSE to let peace reign. The Lord knows there will be multiple opportunities to let other things rule.
- You were called to peace
You may have to remind yourself about that. I sometimes talk to myself [flesh] and remind me of what God’s Word says. This is one of the greatest things you can do to rein things in if you feel like you are spiraling into a stress tornado.
- Be Thankful!
Don’t forget the reason for Thanksgiving…. It is giving thanks. You may find that you are the only person who wants to reflect on life and give thanks for the fact that you can breathe in your family. Be the beacon of hope and joy in your home. Thankfulness is contagious.
I was talking to someone the other day that was not looking forward to their trip to their hometown this week. They were telling me that their family participates in a lot of activities that they do not approve of and it is already stressful and they have not even left yet. It sounded like they have the home field advantage and it was going to be difficult to coexist. So how can you avoid your Thanksgiving Holiday turning into a stress pot? Here are some practical pointers to keep you on track:
- Stop meditating on what can go wrong.
You will drive yourself crazy and set the bar for a tense trip.
- Don’t focus on the negatives, focus on what is right.
You can almost single-handedly change the atmosphere of a room. Enjoy yourself.
- If someone is a stinker or a drama queen, don’t take the bait.
Some people thrive on attention weather it is negative or positive, don’t let someone draw you into their one act play.
- Pitch in and help out.
Don’t be that person that makes everyone cook, clean and serve their every need. Get involved and lend a helping hand.
- Don’t try to solve every problem and change every life in one visit.
You are not Jesus, stop trying to be him. Look for opportunity to reach out to lost loved ones with the gospel of Jesus Christ. You probably want to refrain from sitting around the table with a Turn-or-Burn sign though. Some of your friends and family may not be ready to receive the Gospel yet. If you try to force it down their throat, you will probably not have a very positive experience.
- Don’t take things so seriously
Someone may say something that will give you an opportunity to get offended. Maybe someone will crack a joke and you are on the receiving end. Don’t let it hang around your head like a dark cloud.
- Decide that you are going to have fun, even if no one else does.
Don’t let the party-poopers and naysayers rule the get together. Have fun!
Hopefully this will help you have a great Thanksgiving Holiday. I hope this is the best ever. God Bless!