Revive Your Heart this Season with Christmas C.P.R. Part 1 – Contentment.
This is the first of a three part series. Please visit part two and part three as well to help you Revive Your Heart this Christmas.
Does your Christmas spirit need to be revived? Are you in a rut? Are you consumed with stuff? Maybe you are simply overwhelmed?
You need a little Christmas C.P.R. – Contentment, Planning and Reflection!
Contentment, whew!! Sometimes, tackling this word is tough. Stuff is king, right? I know my kids struggle with this right now and to be honest, I struggle with this too.
Christmas is a complicated holiday. Wouldn’t you agree?
Deep down we really want to serve our Lord and thank him for gift that He has given us. But we fight with the commercialization of the holiday.
Christmas time highlights our need for something in our lives and our desire to fill it. Unfortunately, marketers know exactly how to get us to buy.
Everyone wants you to buy their stuff. You will have a Merry Christmas if you buy this item or that item. Why not both? How about this, your kids will be happier if they have this toy or you take them to this event or you ‘fill in the blank’. They may not say this explicitly but isn’t that the message you hear. If you want a Merry Christmas, spend your money at this place to achieve it.
Stuff, hectic schedules, and to do lists do not make us happy. It makes us frazzled at best.
Sure, there is excitement Christmas morning when there are toys everywhere and you can swim in an ocean of wrapping paper but what about the day after or the week after? Do you go back to work in January only to find that you still have an empty hole that now needs to be filled with something else? And now you look for the big white sale in January because Christmas didn’t cover it?
This is a vicious cycle. The only way to break the cycle is to stop and embrace contentment. Contentment is a gift from the Father and it’s free for us! And guess what, it actually will help you have a Merrier Christmas than any previous years.
Ok, so I’m not saying we shouldn’t buy our kids a Christmas present. My kids will have Christmas gifts. The cool thing about contentment is that we don’t have to be consumed with what our kids will have, will they have enough, or will this Christmas be the one they always remember. I want my kids to remember the love we share in our home and the traditions we have not how much they receive or how many dollars that was spent.
When our goal is gifts (possessions), our response is spending and and insatiable desire for more. When our goal is peace or joy, our response is contentment where we are with what we have.
Christmas this year will be a time of peace and contentment. I choose peace and contentment for my home, for my husband, my kids, and most importantly, myself.
The way to readjust our goals for Christmas is to readjust our focus.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21
Simply put, contentment is a heart issue. Think about what you are trying to do with stuff – fill a hole, impress others, or maybe prove to yourself that you can make others (or maybe yourself) happy? You may not know exactly what it is at first. Pray that God will show a light on the issue in your heart. Find that deep root that allows discontentment in your life then realize that whatever it is, it can only be filled through Christ. You must first be honest with yourself before true contentment can be realized.
He is the ultimate answer for discontentment. Christ = Contentment. If you have a hole to be filled, Christ can fill it till it’s overflowing.
When you are trying to impress others, remember the only eternal treasures you have are ones that are stored in heaven and not on earth. If you are trying to prove something to yourself, you can’t accomplish anything without Him.
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13
Here are seven tips to help you have a Contented Christmas this year.
Be thankful for what we have. Gratitude turns what we have into enough!
Take time each day between now and Christmas to think about what we have. Find one thing to be thankful for each day. Start a thankful journal or add a gratitude page to your prayer journal. Either way enter the season with your heart and mind set toward gratitude.
Adjust your attitude.
Adjusting your attitude comes from scripture reflection and prayer. Find scriptures that speak to where you are and post on your bathroom mirror, in your car or even your wallet. It is powerful to have a Bible verse where your money is so when reach for some dollars you’ll be reminded to think of the purpose of this purchase. Adjusting your attitude takes practice especially in the moment of temptation.
Adopt a mantra for your weak days or moments.
We need to be prepared for the weak moments this season. I love having a mantra in addition to Bible verses to repeat to myself whenever the weak times come. Come up with a mantra to use whenever you feel weak. Personally, I love ‘Spending is not Saving’. I repeat this to myself a lot this time of year.
The only way to save money is to not spend it. If you need an item, find the best deal and buy it otherwise don’t be fooled by the deal. ‘There is always a deal out there.’ That is another mantra I use because I’m always tempted when the price is slashed.
One thing to help fill my love for the hunt of a good bargain is to help others find good deals. I find out what the hot item is for family members and I find the best deal possible for them. That way I still get to find a good deal but I don’t have to buy it. I definitely don’t need to buy everything on sale and it’s liberating when that habit is broken.
Comparison is a disease.
Stop comparing yourself to others. People can drain every ounce of worth from you without even trying. We give people power to do this when we look at them through comparison glasses.
Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. 2 Corinthians 10:12
We often spend money we don’t have to impact other’s opinions of us but that leads to a cycle of looking for more. Only look at yourself. If you need change in your own life, then change because of that. Don’t change because of someone else. Trust me, it’s not healthy.
Give – time and money
One surefire way to find contentment is to give of yourself – sacrificially. When you see the needs of the people around you, fill those needs. You will receive an amazing peace about limiting the amount of stuff in your own world to help others around you.
My kids want nothing more than to be with Mommy and Daddy. Stuff can get in the way of this valuable gift.
What is your priority this Christmas? Think about what you actually want; peace, joy, contentment, a happy home, time with family. Discuss this with your spouse. Use this opportunity to develop a family mission statement that reflects the goals of your family. I like “Love God, Give Joy.”
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1-10
Are you looking for favor from people or God? What is your priority?
Trust God and break away from fear.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
Contentment, contrary to popular opinion, does not mean being satisfied with where you are. You may have some heart work that needs to be done but contentment comes from God and not where we are in life. It is knowing God’s plan for your life, having a conviction to live it, and believing that God’s peace is greater than the world’s (or your) problems.
Regular people spend too much money, have too much stuff, and still feel empty. I don’t want that this Christmas.
Contentment, true contentment, is a gift waiting for you to open.
If there were no gifts this Christmas, what would you do to make the day special? Perhaps you would visit someone struggling, cook a meal with your grand kids, or sit on the couch and sip some hot cocoa!!
Sometimes change is day by day or moment by moment.
Only true contentment comes from Him. Find it and enjoy it this Christmas.