By Vicki Heath
Special to The Alabama Baptist
Worry, hurry, traffic, presents, shopping, tree, food, kids, money, food, family, party, food and more food. Are you getting freaked out? Well don’t.
God does not want the celebration of the birth of His Son to be anything but joyful. The craziness of Christmas does not have to consume us. We can experience the true meaning of Christmas with a happy heart and attitude. Here’s how:
- Set food boundaries. The average American will gain three to seven pounds over the holidays. This might be the average, but I think Christians shouldn’t be average. We don’t have to participate in this statistic. Boundaries are merely fences or lines we decide we will not cross, for our own protection and well-being. Some suggested boundaries for the holidays: I will enjoy my favorite foods, but I will keep my portions small. I will not go back for seconds.If I get off track, I will not allow the enemy to shame me into abandoning my boundaries.
- Seek out the Wonderful Counselor. Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor and He said in Matthew 6 not to worry over money, clothes or your house. If He can take care of the birds in the air and the flowers of the field, He can surely take care of us. Let’s not allow guilt or shame or television commercials to dictate how much we should spend on Christmas. Instead, seek the guidance of the Wonderful Counselor and pray over each person. He will lead us to the perfect, meaningful and creative gift.
- Ask for peace from the Prince. Nobody does peace like Jesus, for He himself is our peace. If all you want for Christmas is some peace and quiet, then definitely ask for it. God’s peace can reign over our homes during the season, if we seek the Prince.
- Stop and smell the mistletoe. Take time to slow down and enjoy all the sights and smells of the season. It will be gone in the blink of an eye. Were you so busy last year that you cannot recall Christmas? Leave time to enjoy the music, decorations and the special shows. Make the decision now. No overscheduling this year.
- Revisit the incarnation every day. — The Bible foretells and tells the beautiful story of the Messiah’s birth. It has been the inspiration of carols and poetry for centuries.
Read these six passages of Scripture starting Dec. 1. Take your time and spend five days on each passage. You will finish on the last day of the year. Meditate and pray through and visit again, the miracle of the incarnation.
- The Prophecy — Isaiah 9:1–7
- The Fulfillment — John 1:1–14
- The Mom — Luke 1:26–56
- The Birth — Luke 2:1–4
- The Visitors — Luke 2:8–20, Matthew 2:1–12
- The Long Expected — Luke 2:22–35
These ideas should help us deal with the worry, hurry, traffic, presents, shopping, kids, money, family, party, food and more food.
Hack your way to healthy and simple holiday fun
Holiday time is fun but busy. With all the activities, grandkids coming and vacation travel, you might think it impossible to keep up your exercise habits.
Incorporating healthy living does not have to be time consuming or complicated. These simple exercise tips are fun and don’t take much time.
With the kids
- Teach them hopscotch.
- Give a piggyback ride through the house.
- Play Twister.
- Visit holiday events that require walking.
- Play hide and go seek.
- Organize competition games that include who can stand on one leg the longest and who can jog in place the longest.
- Skip the moving sidewalks in airports.
- Walk around the airport while waiting on your flight.
Around the house
- Take out the trash.
- Speed mop.
- Use the upstairs bathroom.
- Clean out a closet.
God’s blessings are abundant. He has given us bodies to move, food to eat, families to enjoy, jobs with purpose, good company with people in our lives and the beautiful season of celebrating.
Enjoy every single day! You might feel more energetic and strong — and have more fun.
EDITOR’S NOTE — All activity should be appropriate to your individual situation and ability. Always check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine. Vicki Heath is national director of First Place for Health. Vicki is a certified fitness instructor, a certified life coach and wellness coordinator for her church in Edisto Beach, South Carolina. Her books include “Don’t Quit Get Fit” and “My First Place.”