Day 14 - Fix your eyes on Jesus
21 Day Challenge - Through the Holidays
Time with Jesus – Using Journaling and Thanksgiving
It is as important to stay close to God during the holiday season at any time of year. With all of the hustle and bustle, it can get difficult. So many things can get in the way. Your usual schedule may be busy, and when you add in buying gifts, making special foods, buying the last-minute gifts, going to the church program, the school program, the ladies' Christmas cookie exchange, buying some gifts for the unexpected guest. OH! And get those decorations out of storage and decorate the house. When will it ever get done?
Then there is travel. If they are not coming to your house then maybe you are going to theirs.
So, we know our schedule is going to be stretched and something has to give. Don’t let it be your time with God.
Now, I won’t say there were never times when I didn’t adjust a little, but I have had such a routine for so many years, that these things do not get ignored, just adjusted.
Judith's typical routine
Prayer & Coffee
My typical routine is to take my cup of coffee outside where I spend time with God. I thank him first thing for whatever is on my mind at the moment. Prayer time has begun. Praise, repentance, intercession, the current prayer requests, whatever is on my heart and mind.
When I am finished, I go back in and sit and journal, doing both my health journal and my personal daily journal. Again, it could be prayers, mind renewal on the current challenge in my life, or just what I am thinking about.
Next is my Bible reading. If I am inspired by something, I pick up my journal again and write about it. There’s also a lot of underlining in my Bible and notes in the margins. That is the norm, and it may take me an hour and a half.
So how does it adjust when the schedule gets pushed?
The coffee and prayer will still stay where it is. If I have to get up earlier, I get up earlier. If we are leaving to go somewhere early in the morning, I may then put it all on pause and immediately get ready to go.
I will take my journals and Bible with me in the car. As long as I am not the one driving this works because I can read and write and even pray while I am riding.
On a recent holiday, I was the one driving. I had my prayer time and a shortened journal time before leaving. Then I put the Bible on the audio Bible and listened as I drove. I have also used the audio Bible while doing my morning walk or run if my morning got crowded. I don’t like to do this because I don’t get the opportunity to underline or make notes when I do this.
If you are an emotional eater, making extra time to do some mind renewal may be needed because of the stress and busyness of the holidays. This could take the time of the usual journaling. It would be worth it. Use whatever works for you. Journaling out your feelings and using the IDAD book to explore why you want to break your boundaries is very helpful.
Being thankful for all the things that make us busy is a good way to put the cheer back into Holiday Cheer.
What do you have to be thankful for this holiday season? Often on Facebook, there will be someone who is posting each day what they are thankful for all the way through the month of November. I have done that before.
One of the ladies in my small group writes three things she is thankful for at the top of the page in her journal each day. When things get stressful, she adds three more. She testifies that this has been a big help in keeping her mind renewed.
Here is my favorite scripture that includes directions to be thankful. I am also thankful for the promise of peace that comes with it.
Philippians 4:6,7 “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
I am thankful for the sweet grandchildren I have.
I am thankful for my children and their spouses.
I am thankful for the visitors who are coming to visit us over the Christmas holidays.
I am thankful for all of the invitations to go places.
I know God will be with me and direct us in everything.
The gifts will get bought, the food will get cooked, the people will get visited.
God is still in charge.
In the comments share with us what you are journaling about. Are you able to be thankful for the things that are causing your stress? Share your Thanksgiving with us.