Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
During the children’s time at church, the minister taught the children how to “breath-pray.” Breathe in, “God is always….” and exhale, “with me.” It’s an ancient practice that helps reduce anxiety and stay focused on him. She had the entire congregation participate, picking whatever phrase came to our minds. While I know Nietzsche’s “that which does not kill us … makes us stronger” was not what the minister intended, it was the first thing that came to my mind in worship, and I couldn’t help but giggle a bit.
This is a season of “do’s and don’ts.” We want everything to be perfect. I want my family and friends to be impressed with my holiday decorating skills. I want the most difficult relative to be blown away by my thoughtfulness. As a result, I end most holidays with a few more gray hairs and exhaustion, neither of which I wanted for Christmas.
As I write this, I am speaking to my own heart: Let’s let go of the to-do lists. Let’s let go of the expectations we and our family have about how the holidays should be. Let’s let go of focusing on what is imperfect or incomplete.
This year, let’s spend more time thanking our heavenly father for his love, his perfect son, his grace and his blessings he has bestowed upon us, including the challenges we may face each day. We are asked to give thanks in all things and we have much to be thankful for. “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).
Breathe in … exhale.
This devotion is an excerpt from the Buckner Christmas devotion guide, a series of devotions written to help us come closer to God during the Christmas season. Order your copy of the devotion series by clicking here.
This piece is written by Amy Curtis, director of post adoption and counseling for Buckner International. Her daughter, Kelly, and son, Parker and his wife Jenny, all live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area so she is able to enjoy every minute with them.
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