2020 has been tough. COVID-19, riots, the election, possible voter fraud…I could go on and on.
No doubt about it – things have been insane. Frankly, everything going on has made me stress, and I’m sure most of you feel the same way!
So, I have a challenge for you this holiday season:Focus on the beautiful things of life that God has given us. Click To Tweet
I believe this is particularly important to do once in a while so we may thank God for those lovely things we’ve been given.
Now it is still essential to look at everything going on around us so we may be in prayer for our country, but this is something I’m sure we’ve been doing every day.
How do we take our focus off the bad and onto the beautiful?
Step 1: Get offline and away from your phone or laptop.
Things are always popping up online that continuously point to what’s going on around us. News stations are forever sending us notifications of the latest news on the election. YouTube wants us to watch video after video of conspiracy theories and whatever you’re addicted to.
Viewing news all the time is not healthy. Sometimes, we must get away from it to get a glimpse of the beautiful things in our lives.
Step 2: Pull out your Bible.
Separate yourself from your phone and connect with your Bible. I find that spending time in the Word of God fills me with more peace than my phone ever could.
Read a few of your favorite verses or a whole passage! Spending time in God’s Word can be such a relief and a beautiful thing.
A few great verses and passages to think on could include Jeremiah 29:11, Ecclesiastes 3:11, the book of Esther, Isaiah 60:1, Psalm 139:13-14, the book of Ruth, 1 Samuel 16:7, and 2 Corinthians 4:16.
Step 3: Write a list of things you find beautiful and ponder on them.
I cannot repeat enough how important this step is. When we take the time to think of things we find beautiful, I can guarantee that a smile will light your face!
Here is an example of a list you might write:
-Meadows on a sunny day
-The smell and the faint glow of a scented candle
-Music that makes you want to run, dance, and sing at the same time
-An act of compassion that moves you to tears
-A curious look in a child’s eyes
-The subtle realization that all around you is silent
-The feeling of complete and utter rest
-Quotes that must be read twice
-The magical feeling of fall and winter
-The sense of a deep peace only God can give you
-The smile on the face of one playing with a dog
Step 4: Thank God for everything on your list.
We can never thank God enough. There are so many things that he has given us!
Spend a few minutes in prayer to praise the one who created the universe and made all things beautiful.
“Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord, or declare all his praise?” (Psalm 106:1-2)
Step 5: Listen to some music.
Music is a beautiful thing that never fails to bring a smile to the face of those who take the time to hearken to its sounds.
Many different kinds of music bring joy into the hearts of many. I think the best place to begin would be Christmas music because it reminds us of when God sent his only son down to us.
Another great place to begin would be praise and worship!
“Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!” (Psalm 105:2)
Step 6: Take a walk.
Sometimes, going for a stroll can help you calm your mind, especially when surrounded by nature. Getting fresh air always helps whenever you’re stressed or overwhelmed.
On your walk, look around and thank God for every beautiful thing you see!
Step 7: Do something you love.
This can include so many different things, and that’s why this step can be so exciting. You can draw, paint, sing, bake, read, write, play a game, and so much more!
Step 8: Watch a movie!
Watching a movie can be a lot of fun! Especially if it’s a family favorite.
Preferably, pick a movie where good prevails in the end; nothing depressing. Or better yet, a comedy! Another great pick would be a Pixar movie.
God has given us so many beautiful things in this life. If only we would sit down and enjoy them more often, we would feel so much more rested and ready to tackle head-on those horrible things that are going on around us every day.
Follow the above steps! If you want you can do it by yourself, but I would suggest that you pull in available family members to join you this holiday season to enjoy everything God has given us.