This has been quite a year, starting with losing my Mom on day one. A friend of mine told me when she passed, “Give yourself a year.” That was great advice. I’ve needed a year to deal with that grief and several other hard hits this year. On the bright side, we have had two new lives added to our family this year – little Birdie Elizabeth Sullivant and our Sheltie puppy Max! Both of them are huge blessings in small packages
This is the first time I’ve actually had a desire to write in several months. I wrote an article called “Have Yourself a Happy Healthy Holiday” for a magazine a dear friend of mine publishes called “AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE”. You can access the article here with all the photos as well as other articles written by Christian women. If you’d like to subscribe to this free monthly publication you can do that here. In this blog post I am including all the content for this article so you’ll have it all available without clicking any links.
Ready or not December 2022 is here, and the end of the year holidays are upon us. What are some things to keep in mind as you prepare so they will be healthy and happy?
There are 3 words that come to my mind:
1. Well grounded:
First things first. To make sure you are keeping God first in busy times, start your day connecting with Him. My husband and I do this together now, which was impossible to do when our little ones were still at home. Find a devotional plan that works for you or create your own. When my children were young, I used the One Year Bible and did my devotions in the morning while they were watching a favorite show on TV. Now we use the Bible Project devotionals found in the YouVersion Bible app. The Bible Project guys also have YouTube videos that give so much insight into the Biblical texts. Their resources help you see the Scriptures as one big God story with Jesus at the center.
Another app that has been helpful when things get busy and stressful is the Pause app. This app guides you with music and interactive readings in the moments of time you have available to connect with the Lord every day. There are meditations for 1 minute, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and a 30-day morning/evening mediation for growing in Resilience. It’s helpful to have several options like these to help you stay connected to God and full of peace throughout your day.
These are just a couple of a myriad of tools out there to help you study the Word and interact with the Trinity so you can abide in Him all day every day. If you aren’t in the habit of having daily devotions now would be a great time to create this habit!
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
What does it look like to be well-rounded in life and to make that a priority over the holidays?
Well-rounded means balanced. Think of walking on a balance beam. Staying balanced is crucial if you plan to make it to the end of the beam without falling off. Finding the right alignment as you stand on that beam is where you start. Then you keep that alignment as you carefully place one foot in front of the other. Keeping all the parts of your life in balance is what it means to be well-rounded as we navigate life, during the holidays and always.
A balanced diet, exercise plan, budget, rhythm of activity and rest, celebration, time with friends and family making memories, time for worship and prayer, serving your community – all of these are parts of your whole life that you give your time, talents, and treasures to in a balanced way. Give yourself what you need to stay filled up. Then you will be prepared for the output of love you want to give to others. Loving well requires living well, in a well-rounded way.
“Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” Philippians 4:4,5
3. Well bounded:
We put fences around what we value to preserve and protect – our land, our home, our relationships, our belongings, our health. Good boundaries are like fences that protect and preserve our valuables, keeping out what might rob and destroy them, enabling us to give proper focus and attention to who and what we value.
As I think about how this applies to our physical health, I think of having a plan to practice self-control when we know we will be celebrating with lots of special treats over the holidays. We can choose boundaries for what we will eat and drink to keep ourselves healthy. Some ideas I have are:
- Bring a charcuterie board to parties so you can share high protein food options with others and enjoy them yourself
- Always have raw veggies, salad and fruit around your home and eat them every day.
- Cut out bread, especially when you know there’s a dessert you will want to enjoy that day
- Use a food app to keep track of carbs – Carb Manager is one I have used. Carb Counter and many others are available if you search in the App Store.
- Plan to be active as a part of holiday fun – ice skating, walking to places you visit, etc.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20
Most of all, put boundaries around your treasured relationships. Make sure to enjoy undistracted quality time with your dearest ones, making memories that everyone will enjoy for years to come. Have yourself and happy healthy holiday!
“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:11,12
If you’d like to have a happier, healthier 2023, check out my website here and request a free consultation – I’d love to help!
Blessings to you all,