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. When I remember what’s most important in life — and at this time of year — it can keep me from stressing out.
Step No. 4 to a Stress-Free Christmas is “Remember Your Priority Relationships.”
You and I were made to love God and enjoy Him forever. And Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, and love others as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39). That means that all you think you have to do, and all the money you feel you have to spend, pale in comparison to the people right in front of you.
As you start to stress, ask yourself this question: What is most important: The project or the person I’m neglecting in order to get it done? The perfectly-decorated house or my children who want me to play with them? The amount of money I spend on someone, or the time I’m willing to spend with them?
These questions are specifically crucial in my life right now as I can’t wall myself off to write and just ignore my daughter — who is home from college on Christmas break — in order to write a book about how to inspire our daughters. I am having to live out what I am writing about in terms of giving her the gift of my time, building her up, and taking an interest in her world.
In our busyness this Christmas, we mustn’t neglect the One this season is all about. And we must not neglect the loved ones He has given us to share our lives with. As you — and I — prioritize people over productivity, we’ll find it’s easy to let some of the less important things go (like laundry, doing my hair, and getting this blog out on time!).
Having said that, it’s time to push the writing aside and take a Chick-fil-A lunch break with my daughter…and enjoy the holidays. The book will get done. But I won’t get another Christmas with her while she’s still in college!
Who is most important in your life? And how will you let them know this Christmas?