Tagged Christmas

6 Ways to Catch Your Breath as the Year Ends

You probably feel like you don’t have time to read this post.

You really should be doing something else. Or a bunch of something elses.
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Maybe you’re wondering how you’ll make it to the end of the year without pulling out your last hair, spending your last cent or losing your last hint of joy.

A few reminders

Let me remind you of six simple ways to catch your breath. Most of us know what we need to do. We just find it tough to follow through. I, who wrote an entire series of Hurry Less Worry Less books, have to do a course correction every year at this time.

When I started preaching the Hurry Less Worry Less gospel, I hoped we were headed toward a calmer simpler world.

I was wrong. We continue to overschedule, overspend, overeat—and wind up overwhelmed.

But we can change. It takes ongoing effort–but it’s oh-so-worth-it.

By deciding to make a few changes now, we can enter the New Year with optimism and purpose:

1. Don’t try to do everything. Let some things go. Saying “no” to one thing is saying “yes” to another. Choose how you will spend your time, energy, emotions and money these next few days..and next year.

2. Set aside an hour and do as many of the little things on your to-do list as you can. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done and how good it makes you feel. Do this a few times, and you’ll breathe easier.

3. Don’t fret. Instead go with the flow. Don’t agonize over whether you must get this sweater or that candle, whether you’ve bought enough for the children or need to get something for your ex-cousin-in-law. Your house does not have to be perfect. Don’t worry over the dust under the sofa or the spider web that appears when the sun shines into the den.

4. Don’t try to take care of everything you’ve let slide all year. You’re not going to finish a novel, lose 20 pounds and paint the bedroom in the next few days. Give yourself a little grace. You can begin to set new goals for a new year.

5.Look for the good in each day. Focus on what is working and what’s right, instead of what’s messed up or what’s wrong. Have some fun!

6.As you head into the New Year, believe you can make needed changes. Decide what you want your life to look like next year; write down a few steps to make happy changes happen. Consider what gives you energy and what drains your energy. Do more of the former, far less of the latter. Enter the year with a positive attitude. It can change your life!

How about you? What steps help you slow down and enjoy each day more? Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of one of my novels. I’ll draw a winner from the comments at noon CST on December 26.
And congrats to reader Stephanie who won the great print (see below) from Louisiana artist Don Cobb.

Where Wreath lives!
Where Wreath lives!

Adobe Photoshop PDFP.S. If you’re looking for a book to give as a gift, hope you’ll take a look at the new edition of “Wreath, A Girl,” released earlier this month. It’s easy to wrap and inexpensive to mail. http://www.amazon.com/Wreath-A-Girl-Judy-Christie/dp/1502932326

Hurry Less Worry Less at Christmas

9781426742101One of the joys of my life is visiting. Whether I’m chatting in the porch swing, by handwritten letter, by phone, online or on the Kitchen Couch, I love to hear what is going on in people’s lives.

And I’m sorely in need of a Christmas visit with you.  I wonder how you’re doing during these days filled with so many blessings and so much sadness.

Are your thoughts jumbled with both the trivial and the tragic? Mine are.

Do you find yourself giving thanks for all the good and weeping at the bad? I do.

Years ago when I decided to slow my life down and enjoy each day more, I was reminded that Christmas is a particularly tough time to stay calm. This year it seems even more challenging. While the season brings many happy moments, it also can cause stress and heartache.

It’s a challenge to spend less, eat less, do less during the holidays, but I also find great joy in this season. I enjoy fun times with friends and family and savor worship services where we sing familiar hymns and celebrate the birth of Christ. This year I anticipate holding two brand-new grandbabies, special Christmas gifts indeed.

As I visit with you today, I vow to rejoice, to listen, to pray, to express gratitude – and I hope you’ll do the same. No matter how busy you are at this moment, you can slow down. No matter how tough life is, you don’t walk the path alone.

On my cluttered desk, next to my long pre-Christmas to-do list, sits a slate plaque. Etched on it are these words from Isaiah 45:2: “I will go before thee and make the crooked places straight.”

 I share that as a reminder that God goes before us, in the happiest of times and the saddest. In the most frenzied days and the quietest.

Hurry less and worry less during this next week – no matter what your circumstance. Slow down and give thanks. Don’t fret about small things. Focus on What Matters Most.  Remember that you can’t do everything. Say “no” to some things to say “yes” to others. Cut activities from your to-do list.

Sit here by me on the Kitchen Couch, friend, and take a deep breath. Let’s savor this holy season – reaching out to those who hurt and rejoicing at the Good News of Christmas.

What is your Christmas prayer? Please leave a comment. After the first of the year, I’ll draw from those comments and send you a Happy New present.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2013 to each of you.

P.S. If you’re having a tough time, I hope you’ll consider attending a special “Blue Christmas” service at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, December 23, at Grace Community United Methodist Church in Shreveport, La. Perhaps you’ve had a great loss this year – a death or divorce, an illness or a financial crisis or maybe you’re just not in the “Christmas spirit.”   Attend in person or watch live via the Internet at www.gracehappens.org.