Heart at rest: 5 questions to ask for the holidays
The holidays are a time that can invoke a full range of emotions, from sheer happiness, to loneliness and grief, to hopefulness and contentment. The days ebb and flow from moments of reflection to days of endless busy-ness, and by January, some can feel like they need a holiday of their own to simply stop and take a breath.
And the messages we receive during the holiday season can also bring about inner conflict, as we hear so much about the benefits of gratitude and generosity while also taking in advice about the latest trends for decorations, parties, presents and other things. Even if we don’t care too much about being trendy, they all seem to say:
You should be content with what you have, but you also have reason to want more. Holidays are about spending time with those you love, but you will need to create the perfect setting for nice memories to occur.
What? And these are just a couple of examples of the conflicting or contrary messages we receive every day. If you pay attention, they are everywhere.
No wonder we are worn out.
Simply being aware that these conflicting messages exist can empower you to:
- Discern which messages you will actually accept as authoritative in your own life and
- Strategize how you will help the kids grasp messages that will help shape them into who they are created to be
Holiday ideas, tips, advice, traditions, expectations, etc. can be amazing, creativity-sparking and inspiring. And they can also bring about a lot of unnecessary shame or pressure to be something that is unrealistic.
If you find yourself at some point during the season feeling weighted down or pressured by it all, here are some questions to consider to help you maintain a restful heart:
- What is actually important to my family during each holiday?
- What activities or expectations am I holding onto unnecessarily in light of that?
- What tradition(s) have real value to us in meaning (with the community or history) or memories?
- What voices have been influencing me, and do I really want to give them that authority?
- How might I partner with another family or friends to shoulder some of the responsibilities/tasks together?
- (So many things are more fun with friends around, even if it’s a little chaotic! And chances are, they’d appreciate help just as much as you would.)
Whatever holidays look like at your house, there might be stressful moments, but I hope in the end, you’re refreshed by a heart at rest. Jesus is with you and no matter what is troubling your heart you can have peace in the assurance that his voice matters the most, and he says:
“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” – Matt. 28:11 NIV
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