Happy Thanksgiving. Merry Christmas. It is the beginning of the holidays.
We start this festive season remembering all that we are grateful for, followed by celebrating the birth of Christ. It is a season filled with festivities, friends and families.
All of us on the Safe Haven team, would like to thank you for being part of the Safe Haven Center Community. Many of you have attended an intensive, come to a seminar or been part of the counselor training. And we pray that this Christmas season will be a time to enjoy, and a time to grow.
Christmas is my most favorite holiday of the year. It is a time to sing a lot, eat yummy food, remember that God is with us, and have a reason to feel festive everyday. But it can also be a stressful season, a reminder of our disappointments, failures and broken relationships.
To make the most of the season, I have 4 suggestions:
1. Write out what hurts this holiday season. It is good to be aware of the disappointments and brokenness lurking in your heart so they don’t catch you by surprise. Often naming your pain brings it to light and removes the sting. Maybe this is your first Christmas without a loved one, or your marriage is broken, your children live far away, or finances are tight.
2. Grieve what you can’t change. Choose to face and deal with one thing you can impact. If you live far from family, feel sad, but then pick yourself up and find a way to stay connected through the holidays. If you are dreading your son bringing home the girl you disapprove of, yes feel the disappointment, then get on your knees and pray for an attitude adjustment and a kind heart.
3. Forgive. Don’t carry into Christmas your resentment. You know who has hurt you, maybe your spouse, your closes friend, choose to begin unraveling the accumulated hurts.
4. Be grateful. The holidays often show us what we don’t have, want to have, wish we could have. Slow down and choose to be grateful for what you have. Wake up each morning choosing joy, to be glad you are alive! Christmas is our remembering that ‘God is with us’ and God came to make a difference, to give hope, courage and His peace.
If you are tired of the hurts or disconnection in your marriage or family, then I invite you to come to a Safe Haven Intensive. Come as a couple, a family, or on your own. Emotional health and emotional connection are the best gift you can give yourself and marriage. Remember, we all long for the gift of loving well, and being loved well.