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As the busyness increases this time of year it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, isn’t it?

You and I have so much to do. So many places to be. So much on our minds.

And yet, in the midst of the chaos, He quietly whispers to our hearts — “Come away with me to a quiet place….”

I’ve been longing for that “quiet place” lately…the time and perfect place to get quiet with Him…to catch up in our relationship…to recapture a heart for only Him. But I realize that “quiet place” is not found in a change of location, but in a change of lifestyle. And that’s a good thing because it’s often not possible for us to pack our things and get away to a quiet place. Yet, you and I can create a “change of location” by going away with Him in our hearts and making room for Him there this Christmas.

My friend, God would rather have us be with Him than do a bunch of things for Him. So, right now, wherever you are, whatever is on your mind, would you join me in going away with Him in your heart?

  1. Relax your shoulders, let out a deep breath and say softly aloud “Lord, I release my anxieties, my expectations, my worries and my plans to You.”
  2. Breathe in deeply and slowly and as you do, say “Lord, I receive Your peace, Your wisdom, Your rest, knowing You have everything under control. Remind me that You are my greatest gain and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).
  3. Read Psalm 121 with a heart of praise to the One who never slumbers nor sleeps, but invites you to rest peacefully in His arms.

Go away with Him in your heart this holiday season and experience His peace and rest.

xmas2014

With our daughter, Dana, now 22.

afterlight

With Hugh, my husband of 26 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been a joy ministering to you during 2014.  Thank you for reading my blog and my books, and for being a part of my life.

My prayer for you this Christmas is that — in the midst of the hustle and bustle — you will remember that you were created to love God and enjoy Him forever.  That will slow you down and cause you to enjoy everything around you. “Above all else, guard your heart (and your relationship with Christ), for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23). I firmly believe that as your soul is strengthened, so are your relationships and every other area of your life. Our relationship with God centers us, strengthens us, and changes us — all for His glory.

Have a blessed Christmas and a wondrous new year with Him. (And stay with me because I can’t wait to share with you what I’m learning.) 

Cindi

lovequoteDec2014Do you have lofty expectations this Christmas?

I hear from many women who fear the family won’t get along or their husband won’t be as romantic as they had hoped, or the day will turn out a mess.

Our Christmas expectations can be muddled….or they can be met. Let me tenderly encourage your heart with this unexpected — and heart-warming —  story I received from a reader this past summer.

A woman called in to a radio show I was on and shared with me that all she wanted for Christmas was for her emotionally inattentive husband to read a book she handed him on how to connect emotionally with his wife. When Christmas came and he gave her gifts…read more

Busy-woman-with-post-it-notesIt’s easy to be a woman on the edge at Christmas. After all, there’s so much to do, and so much to buy,  and — good heavens — so much to eat! 

It’s a fact, women tend to be stressed out during Christmas time, more so than at any other time of the year. Probably because we’re focusing on our finances, or our full schedules, or that inevitable weight gain that happens this time of year.

But you can avoid going over the edge, and instead, experience Christmas as an extra special time of making memories with your Maker, and cherishing special times with your family. It’s all about refocusing your heart and mind and remembering three principles that can get you through the Christmas season feeling recharged, refreshed, and refueled.

read more

I’ve never had more of a potential for stress than this holiday season. Since I put off my November 1st book deadline to focus on some Fall speaking engagements, my back is now up against the wall to complete my next book,  When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter. I’ve been given a deadline extension — Dec. 27 — just two days after Christmas. And I still have a ways to go before the manuscript is complete.

Yet this gives me a great opportunity to practice what I’ve been preaching the past month about having a stress-free holiday season. read more

It’s natural for us to feel like we’re running on empty as the holidays approach.

I remember waking up one morning, about this time of year, and thinking “I don’t feel like facing this day. I don’t feel like doing everything on my to-do list. I feel like I’m running on empty.”

It was then that I turned to the Psalms in Scripture. read more

As the holidays approach, you might already be feeling like a woman on the edge. We can feel edgy because there’s much to do and it seems like there are few to help. We can feel stressed out because we need a lot and there are few to step in and meet us where we are hurting. Statistics also show that there are more people depressed at Christmastime than at any other time of the year. If you are finding yourself feeling this way, then I want you to focus, this week on Principle No. 2 for a Stress-Free Christmas:  Rely on God for your emotional support.

read more

Blog quote -restAre you one of those women who gets stressed out at Christmastime? If so, you’re not alone.

But regardless of the reasons we might dread the approaching holidays, I want to help you see this time of year as an extra special time of making memories with your Maker.

Over the next four weeks, I want to help you plan for a stress-free Christmas. I want to help you refocus your heart and mind so that you will anticipate the holidays with a quiet heart, and get through them feeling recharged, refreshed and refueled.

The first step to a stress-free Christmas is to refocus on rest.

Rather than thinking of all you have to do this season, can you consciously slow down long enough to remember why (if there is a reason) everything needs to get done? Christmas was never meant to be a time of busyness, stress, long lines, packed to-do lists and running around like crazy trying to get it all done. Rather, it is a time to slow down and reflect on the greatest gift that we have received — the gift of a Savior, to a world that was previously without hope.

The Bible instructs us in Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.” That verse, in context, was a reminder to God’s people that in the true knowledge of God and His deliverance there is peace, in contrast to the troubled nations that didn’t know God or His deliverance. If you and I know God — and His deliverance through His Son, Jesus — we can know peace in a way that the rest of the world can’t imagine. And that peace is a quiet confidence that whether or not things get done, God is in control. Whether or not a situation turns out the way I want, God is in control.

In the New American Standard Bible, that verse reads “Cease striving and know that I am God.”

Can you and I “cease striving” to do all we think we must do and remember that simply knowing God (and the fact that He has delivered us from the punishment of our sin) amounts to peace and rest? To rest is to trust Him in all things. And to trust Him in all things is to rest.

You can live differently this holiday season if you truly know the Source of Peace.

Enter the month of December with a quiet heart that slows down to remember what matters the most. And in doing so, you will be showing others what it means to trust — and to rest.

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