Finding Peace in Christmas
The prophet Isaiah told us that the coming Messiah would be given several titles. Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, and The Prince of Peace. All people long for peace. We sing about it (“Let There Be Peace On Earth”, “Give Peace a Chance”, ”Peace Train”, “Peaceful, Easy Feeling”), and the idea is central to Christmas. Remember that the multitude of heavenly hosts that suddenly appeared to the shepherds were praising God and saying “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth, peace to those on whom His Favor Rests”.
So how is it that Christmas sometimes seems to chaotic and so far from being peaceful? The holiday season is downright frenetic in nature, and because of that Christmas can leave anyone feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. If you add on the stress of being a family caregiver, this is especially true!
So often, family caregivers have to manage many other areas of responsibility besides their loved one’s care. Children have programs, there are extra parties and events, and most jobs get more stressful as companies are pressing for end of year goals. And then, on top of all of these things, what do you do when your aging loved one adds one more demand or experiences an unexpected event like a fall or other health-related episode that requires your time and presence? It’s easy and understandable to feel completely out of control. Tempers can get short, and you can feel anything but peaceful.
Having your priorities in place before the tidal wave of bright lights and pretty wrapping paper engulfs you is critical. And maintaining balance may require you to say “No” to some things. Try making the list of activities and then separate them into the columns of “Must Do”, “Ought to Do”, and “Want to Do”. Its always best to prioritize ahead to time, but sometimes family caregivers have to triage the schedule in the midst of the storm. Just remember that one of your “Must Do” items is spending daily time with the Prince of Peace Himself. When you make him the absolute priority, everything always seems to fall into place, and His Peace that passes all understanding fills your soul. May you experience that peace in your life this Christmas!