Chaos or Christ? Avoiding the Holiday Shake-Up



I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. Psalm 16:8 (NLT)

The holidays can make us feel all shaken up from the inside out, but holiday stress does not have to be our fate! 

Whether you love the holiday season or dread it, stress tends to weave itself into our lives at one time or another.  Unfortunately, the period from Thanksgiving to Christmas can be a season of tension and anxiety regardless of our personal feelings about it. 

I love how David handled stress and anxiety in Psalm 16:8, which says, I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. David made a personal commitment to avoid letting the stressful situations of life shake him up – and you and I can do the same exact thing. 

Around the time this Psalm was written, David was still running from Saul who wanted to kill him. David ran and hid in the woods with his 400 soldiers, knowing that Saul and his army of 3000 were on the search for him. 

But David had confidence and joy in God’s promises and chose to keep his eyes focused on Him, not his circumstances. 

He decided to rejoice in the fact that God would always love and protect him and fill him with peace. It was this deliberate choice to stay focused on God that gave him the confidence to face any adversity and avoid letting stress shake him to the core.

Like David, when we keep our focus on Christ instead of chaos, our hearts will be better equipped to juggle the flurry of responsibilities and emotions that are part of this time of year. 

When we choose to make Jesus the center of our attention, rather than holiday chaos, we will be better equipped to let the holidays fuel our peace, instead of stealing it. 

The Psalmist also proves that his faith was stable by choosing to set God before him in all that he did and claim the joy and peace that was his inheritance.  In the same way, keeping our thoughts and actions intently captive to Christ will help us handle any type of stress or chaos that rages, whether that stress comes from parenting, work, finances, marriage, or the month of December.

Although we don’t have to run from physical enemies like David did, we do need to consciously run from any type of stress, as it is an arch enemy of our heart, our health, and our holiday. 

Stress threatens to steal, kill, and destroy our joy and peace of mind. 

The devil loves to see this happen anytime in our lives, but especially at Christmas--when we are focused on chaos, we are certainly not focused on the birth of Christ. 

The holidays can bring on a flurry of heightened emotions and can often result in an unhealthy level of stress.  Most people think holiday stress is just a byproduct of the season, but since stress in any form can be dangerous, it should never be overlooked. 

Being all shook up by the holidays is no fun. 

Make a conscious decision today to prevent that from happening by choosing to focus on Christ this Christmas, instead of the chaos of the season.  When our hearts are filled with peace, our holidays will be too!

© 2013 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

Tracie will be sharing more helpful holiday tips and advice throughout the holidays!  Click the links below to get connected with her: 

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Holiday Offer #1

Sign up today for Tracie’s Holiday Conference Call Series! Click here to join these inspirational and interactive calls. Both calls can be purchased through Proverbs 31 Ministries for $14.99, or one call of your choice can be purchased for $9.99. 



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Conference Call #1      
November 25, 2013
8:00 p.m. EST / 7:00 p.m. CST / 6:00 p.m. MST
Description:  After briefly reviewing why managing our holiday stress is so important, this call will focus on practical ways to help de-stress your holidays through organization, decorating, planning, and having realistic expectations in an effort to avoid the annual holiday stress trap.  
Budget-friendly gift ideas will be shared, in addition to ways to stay family centered, prevent the blues, avoid family conflicts, and make the most of the time you have together. You will be encouraged to keep Christmas sweet and simple, positive and pleasing, and glean helpful ideas for managing your stress and making this the best Christmas yet.
A question and answer session will take place at the end, time permitting. 
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Conference Call #2 
December 9, 2013
8:00 p.m. EST / 7:00 p.m. CST / 6:00 p.m. MST
Description: This call will offer inspiration for dealing with the chaos of the season and share multiple tips for staying faith-focused and Christ-centered. You will hear valuable advice on keeping your mental, emotional, and physical stress under control, allowing you to better juggle holiday responsibilities.
By intentionally setting our focus on Christ, not just Christmas, we can make the holidays an act of worship and embrace the gifts the holidays really bring – joy, love, and peace. And when our hearts are at peace, our holidays will be too. 
A question and answer session will take place at the end, time permitting.


Holiday Offer #2


Tracie’s book Stressed-Less Living: Finding God’s Peace In Your Chaotic World would make a great Christmas gift for a loved one who may be looking for an answer to their chronic stress and a way to kick off the new year with a fresh perspective on finding peace.  

Each copy purchased through Proverbs 31 before December 20th will be personally autographed by Tracie. Click here to order. 



Tracie Miles is a national conference speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries. She speaks God's truths to empower and motivate others to depend on Christ in their everyday lives, and lead them to a place of peace and purpose through learning to live intentionally for Christ. Tracie is a contributing writer for Encouragement for Today online devotions that currently touch over 500,000 lives each day around the world.  She is the author of Stressed-Less Living: Finding God’s Peace In Your Chaotic World, and Reinventing Your Rainbow, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and three children.

photo credit: TheeErin via photopin cc

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