Do you lean on God or yourself in choosing
your holiday traditions, travels, and attitudes?
The plans were set. My heart was full. and then there was change. Suddenly, all I had planned was set aside. In that moment, there was a choice. I could sit in my disappointment and allow the change to ruin a day that was intended to be full of “thanks.” Or, I could “be confident” in my God – lean in to Him, let Him direct the path of my day.
Thankfully, I chose the second option “after” a bit of crying. And, I am so grateful that I did. The day was Thanksgiving. The original plan was to have extended family gathered at “my home” for the first time in many years to celebrate and enjoy a traditional meal together. But in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, my plans began to unravel. In a moment of sadness, I looked at my husband and said, “Let’s just do pizza and enjoy the day.” I wasn’t entirely serious when I first spoke the words, but as we began to talk about the idea and share it with our kids – they were ALL IN.
So, on Thanksgiving day this year, we enjoyed many giggles, homemade pizzas, games, books, naps in the swing, basketball in the driveway, silly relays and more. It truly was perfect. It was “nothing” like my plan. It was so much more.
The holidays tend to be full of opportunities for disappointment, hurt feelings, and even sadness. I learned this year that the choice is mine. I can choose those things. Or I can choose love and laughter and joy – even if it “looks” a little different than my own plan.
Proverbs 3:1-6 (Amplified Bible)
1 My son, forget not my law or teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; 2 For length of days and years of a life [worth living] and tranquility [inward and outward and continuing through old age till death], these shall they add to you. 3 Let not mercy and kindness [shutting out all hatred and selfishness] and truth [shutting out all deliberate hypocrisy or falsehood] forsake you; bind them about your neck, write them upon the tablet of your heart. 4 So shall you find favor, good understanding, and high esteem in the sight [or judgment] of God and man. 5 Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. 6 In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.
Proverbs 3:1-6 (The Voice)
1 My son, always remember what I have taught you; keep my instructions dear to your heart. 2 If you do, they will be your guide to a long, healthy, prosperous life. 3 Stay focused; do not lose sight of mercy and truth; engrave them on a pendant, and hang it around your neck; meditate on them so they are written upon your heart. 4 In this way, you will win the favor of God and others, and they will think well of you. 5 Place your trust in the Eternal; rely on Him completely; never depend upon your own ideas and inventions. 6 Give Him the credit for everything you accomplish, and He will smooth out and straighten the road that lies ahead.
Trusting my God or myself is always a choice
that is laid before me.
Proverbs 3 gives wonderful insight into how to choose a path of peace during the holidays.
- “Remember” my teaching. When our emotions rise, we tend to forget the faithful promises of our God. (Lord, please bring to mind the truth of Your Word when my emotions begin to pull to the front of any situation.)
- “Stay focused” on mercy. When mercy floods a situation, grace follows. (Lord, let my heart be rooted in mercy and grace this holiday season.)
- “Meditate” on truth. When we choose to seek His Truth daily, our hearts and souls will be ready for the twists and turns in our holiday path. (Lord, let Your Truth cover my heart and rest in my mind. )
- Find “good understanding.” The gift of understanding and favor of family and friends and God is priceless. (Lord, help me to direct my words and my thoughts by the light of Your Truth so that there will be understanding will surround me.)
- “Rely” on God. Emotions can lead us astray and confuse us. But a path marked with confidence in God will be “smoothed out.”
Will you let God direct your path this holiday season?
Even if it means laying down your own expectations?
Lord, help us to focus on Your Word daily as we enter into the season that is intended to celebrate You. As we read, let Your Truths sink deep into our hearts. Lord, guard us from the rocky path of emotions. Set our feet on a path that is marked by mercy and grace. Let understanding reign in our homes and in our hearts. Help us to fully rely on You – pushing aside expectations and simply settling into You.
In Your Steadfast Name,