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Guard Your Joy and Peace this Holiday!

by Amanda on December 1, 2009
category: Humor/Random,Inspiration

christmas_card.jpg

This post was originally published on Dec. 21, 2008, but I think this is a wonderful reminder for this year too! Today is the first day of December and this month is going to fly by FAST! Let’s remember to enjoy it! Say no when we need to. Get off the computer when we need to. Get on the carpet with our children. Laugh. Eat. Enjoy. Count our blessings!

Original post:

The Christmas cards sitting on my mantle are bellowing at me in their cursive gold fonts to have a joyful and peace filled holiday season.  I think the cards are mocking me as I run about town shopping and stressing about cookies and wrapping presents.  I do desire to have joy and peace over the next two weeks and I am determined to guard my joy and peace.

Joy stealers come with many different faces.

Unmet expectations certainly steal your peace when you are disappointed and upset. Anger is a form of unmet expectations. So next time you are angry ask yourself which expectation you had wasn’t met. Then you have the choice to look at a situation logically or choose to just get over it. My spiritual mom would ask me when I was upset “What is the worst thing that can happen?” Once you worked out a situation backwards, you realize that it is just money, stuff, a bummer, or a disappointment. Then you come out thankful that you are alive and everything is relatively okay.

Unresolved conflict steals your joy when you are fighting with a your spouse, family member or a friend. Some conflicts can be resolved quickly. While others have been the elephant in the family living for years. My parents have unresolved conflict between themselves as long as I have been alive, but I decide not to take sides and not let their conflict between each other bug me. They are both wrong and my only concern is their relationship between them and me. Even when they complain about the other to me, I have to let their comments roll off my back. Sometimes putting on a hard shell and letting stupid comments roll off my back is my way of guarding my peace and joy.

There are joy stealers on the road!
They steal parking spaces, go too slow, block the parking lot by waiting ten minutes for someone to load up their car and start it just so they can walk 20 steps closer to the door. One joy stealer may even be in the driver’s seat of the car! Your husband may be driving like a maniac or not going the route you would have gone. Just close your eyes and remember you will get there eventually.

Remember the big picture and keep your peace. What does Christmas mean to you? Is it spending quality time with your family? Is it remembering the Savior coming to earth so we can spend eternity in heaven? Is it being generous to others or a good time off from work? Whatever reason you celebrate Christmas, remember the big picture when something goes wrong and ask yourself if the big picture is still being accomplished. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

As you have joy and peace the rest of your family will feel it too. Don’t keep that joy and peace to yourself let it radiate from you wherever you go!

How do you plan to guard your peace and joy? Are you having a rough holiday season or this one being pleasant to you?

6 Responses to Guard Your Joy and Peace this Holiday!

  • Comment by Dawn
    December 22, 2008 @ 11:17 am

    Having a FAST holiday season. I can’t believe it’s the 22nd. Didn’t we just talk about Halloween?

    I smiled at the driving comment. Just this weekend we were very rudely cut off by someone in a restaurant parking lot – he whipped around us to take a parking space before we could get to it, and looked at us like we were the crazy ones. I was so flummoxed, we decided to eat somewhere else. It would have been too distracting for me to have to sit and eat in close proximity with a mean and stupid driver. :)

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Heidi
    December 22, 2008 @ 12:54 pm

    My joy stealer is this crazy weather we are experiencing in the NW. A 30 min. car ride in the Seattle area took us 3.5 hours. Plans to visit my parents in Idaho had to be cancelled due to all the ice and snow, resulting in shutting down major freeways and flights. Currently we are trapped in my in-laws house in Portland, OR due to several feet of snow….which happens to be the worst snow storm recorded in 40 years. This sucks and is my joy stealer this season. My husband and I decided we will never travel back to the NW to visit family during the winter season.

  • Gravatar December 23, 2008 @ 12:08 am

    [...] gave some good tips on guarding your joy this season.  My number one joy stealer during the Christmas season is family overload.  Like many people, I [...]

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Jon
    December 23, 2008 @ 8:56 am

    I have claustrophobia and Adult ADHD. On their own on a normal day, each is quite manageable. However when it’s the holidays and the entire family is (cramped) together in someone’s house, it exasperates both at the same time, and has caused many “unfortunate” holiday incidents throughout the years.

    My tip to survive the holidays with joy? Be honest with yourself regarding your own weaknesses and hot buttons. (After all, nobody knows how to exploit your weaknesses better, or push your buttons more easily, than family!)

    I pray you don’t have anything like ADHD, but you’re human, so you do have some areas that probably are magnified at these times of year. Be honest about what they are, and predetermine a plan for coping with them.

    In my case, I try my best to “escape” to another room when I’m feeling too closed in, or even “volunteer” to run the errand or anything to get out of the house when needed. And when my adult ADHD makes me get irritable because of all the stimulus and break from the norm that comes from holiday gatherings, I’ve been working my best on coping strategies. (I need to get my wife more involved in this, to help me recognize it sooner.) Fortunately, the same strategies for coping with my claustrophobia often work for my ADHD.

    Hopefully this isn’t TMI… I just wanted to share my perspective on the blog post. Thanks!

  • Comment by Christy
    December 1, 2009 @ 8:10 am

    this is great Amanda… funny that I was debating whether or not to write about how family issues can ruin a holiday last week! LOL

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Amy
    December 10, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

    The season certainly means spending time with my family. And by the looks of the dust on the TV and the dirt on the floors, we’re doing a great job prioritizing. ;)

    We’re busy baking, playing in the backyard, building forts, attending Christmas events…

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