Month: December 2020

5 Ways To Get Your Joy Back

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Difficult situations in life can deplete us of joy, thus draining us of the strength we need to live. If you’ve lived much of life, it’s likely that you’ve been through something or a number of things that caused you to question. “Why?”

As children, the most simple things can bring us joy. A book read to us by an enthusiastic parent, teacher, or librarian. A toy gifted to you on your birthday that you hold close for the next few years. A snowman made with your siblings on the first snowfall of Winter. The simplest things fill a child with joy.

As we age, we take on responsibilities that sap us of the joy of the simple things. We learn lessons that make life real, and hard. We grow into an understanding that has us realizing that we have to take care of ourselves. Life can be hard!

We as humans have resiliency. We’ve all got the ability to recover from any broken situation. We have our own will to live, we’ve got physical resources around us to draw purpose from, we’ve got a community to draw strength from.

No matter who you are and what your background is, I’m pretty sure you’ve got someone praying for you. It may even be someone who doesn’t know you.

I want to go back to the fact that you have your own will to live. Each of us has inside of us, the will to live and survive whatever situation we’re in. I want to give you some help with that. Maybe you haven’t been taught how to take care of yourself first, or you’re so confused or distraught that you don’t even know where to start. Take baby steps. Create habits that will last the length of your life and help you to get your joy back now.

 

Create a quiet time.

A quiet time is a time out from daily routine. Time to spend with yourself, reflect, and do something that will connect you with your creator. Some get up early to have quiet time, some stay up late, some carve out time in the middle of the day. Whatever works for you is best. Take this time to plan your schedule, pray, write, read your Bible. The Lord will guide you in this and speak to you as you seek His face. Intimacy with the Lord is created in quiet time. Clarity of mind is created in quiet time.

Here are a couple of devotionals that can help you create intimacy with the Lord and give you direction during your quiet time:

 

Listen to music. And worship!

Sometimes we focus too much on ourselves. When you go through things, it’s hard not to think about what’s happening around us and some have the tendency to internalize pain or stress. Taking the focus off yourself and focusing on the One who has everything in control will relieve stress and bring joy back into your heart. Choose some good Christian worship music and sing the lyrics in your car. Or at your desk. Or in the bath! Or even gather your kids and dance and sing songs to the Lord in the living room! Praise the Lord for who He is and for how good He is. It’s nice to have headphones when you want to worship in private, or don’t want to disturb someone else.

Here are a couple of good options for headphones:

 
Keep a journal.

This can also be a part of your quiet time. Or it can be something that you do right before bed, at lunchtime at work, or whenever is best for you. It’s not necessary to write in a journal every day. You can make a point of doing it every few days, once per week, or even just once per month. Write any thoughts or feelings. Write out prayers and Bible verses. Write poetry. Or write out what you’re grateful for. Keeping a journal is great for reflection, dumping negative thoughts, or just for expressing yourself. It’s also great for writing prayers if you’d rather not pray out loud at times.

Here are a couple of great choices for journals:

 

Develop a talent.

Some of us know what we’re good at all of our life. You may be a singer, a writer, a track star. a musician, a basketballer or a painter. Sometimes we don’t develop a talent ’til later in life when we try something new. If you are not sure what you’re good at, take a class or buy some materials that will help you develop a talent you want to develop. If you want to paint or draw, go to the arts and crafts section at a store, pick out some supplies, and experiment. Do it a lot! The more you draw, or play your instrument, or dance; whatever skill or talent you choose, the better you will get and the more joy you will receive from that outlet.

Do something helpful for someone in need.

There’s always someone who needs attention and love or help and isn’t getting it. This is also about getting the attention off of yourself. Helping someone in need will bring joy to your heart because we were created for community, and we all need love. Knowing that you did something for someone else who can’t repay you, or maybe someone who just didn’t know how to ask will make you feel better about your own life.

These are just five simple, but vital ways to get joy back into your heart. Joy doesn’t;t have to be external. True, lasting joy comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. No matter what goes o in your life, having the Lod by your side through it all will sustain you. Also, healthy habits based on Biblical principles can create stability. If you have any habits that have kept joy in your heart through hard times, let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

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Tips for New Moms During Baby’s First Christmas

Tips for New Moms During Baby’s First Christmas

This is a guest post from Rachel Burns at

https://top-mom.com/

Author’s bio:

Rachel Burns is an experienced copywriter and photographer with a design diploma. She works with startups, entrepreneurs, bloggers and companies from around the world. In addition to writing articles and promotional materials, she enjoys hiking, reading, cooking and spending time with her family.

Description: As holidays are getting closer, you find yourself panicking a bit about organizing your first Christmas with your bundle of joy?! Don’t worry – this is something that happens to all new parents! There are plenty of tips for the best first baby Christmas that can help you get some ideas on how to survive the holiday season!

 

Before we have kids, many of us imagine that holidays with children will be perfectly splendid. Take Christmas, for example, – we usually have these movie type images in our minds of us and our partner, baby, one or two dogs, and a cat, gathered around the tree and presents. Or, enjoying a scrumptious homemade Christmas breakfast, all dressed in the same pajamas or sweaters.

But, in reality, when you do become a parent, you understand that things are not all that simple. Planning holidays with a baby has its challenges in general, and this year even more because of COVID – 19

 

For example, it is likely that because of the travel restrictions your parents still didn’t meet their grandchild. They can be thus very persistent in the idea that you visit them with your 5 months old but you might feel that it is not the safest moment for something like that. Or you want to go, but then you feel that you need extra precautions and preparation so everybody can enjoy the holidays in the best and safest way. Of course, these are just some of the plethora of potential scenarios. However, we don’t want to say that a baby’s first Christmas cannot be magical in its way. But, you need to adjust your expectations and advise your loved ones to do the same.

Now if you find yourself a bit anxious about planning your first holidays with the little one, we are here to tell you that you are not alone. Many parents went through the exact same stress, even without the pandemic. They have lots of advice about a myriad of things from what essential best baby items are, to baby Christmas ideas.

 

Tips for First Baby Christmas

Make a Plan

Even in these crazy times, it is possible to do it, believe it or not. Long before the holidays, you know that your little one will be there for Christmas and how old she or he will be. Therefore, plan whether you want to stay at home or go visit your or your partner’s parents or relatives. One recommendation that many parents have with us is to avoid traveling with a baby that is younger than 3 months. They are still fragile and can easily catch a cold or something and you would for sure rather enjoy and relax than deal with a sick newborn. Besides that, all the rush and crowds can be stressful for a young baby. On the other hand, if a child is a bit older, then you can plan a trip and even have a lot of fun.

Think About Gifts

But do keep in mind that babies don’t have wishes when it comes to gifts, because they are still too young to understand them. Therefore when you are shopping for baby Christmas gifts try to resist the temptation to buy every single toy or baby Christmas dress that you see. The thing with babies up to twelve months old is that they are more attracted by the wrapping paper than by the gift itself, so maybe put more thought into that. You can only buy one toy and wrap it up and that would be enough. It is also necessary to know that babies will be more curious about paper and boxes than opening more gifts. Even when they get older, it still doesn’t make much sense buying them a ton of things because they are more focused on playing than on anything else. That is why you need to think carefully about what kind and how many gifts you want for your child and send a list to parents, relatives, etc.

First Decoration

 

When it comes to baby Christmas photography ideas one thing that for sure can be memorable is to make a baby photo frame that you can use as an ornament for the tree. What is cool about this kind of photo/decoration is that you can keep it for years. If you are creative you can make a cute baby girl or baby boy Christmas outfit and take a photo while she or he is wearing it.

Create a New Tradition

You were probably hoping that this whole mess will be over by now and that it will be possible to spend holidays as you usually do, with the necessary adjustments for the baby. However, it seems that until we have the vaccine, things will be pretty stressful, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy holidays as much as possible. There isn’t a better time to start doing something different than the first baby Christmas. Indeed the baby is too young to participate in it, but you can still have a lot of fun. For example, you can make up your own baby Christmas songs, wear the same Christmas outfit, create baby Christmas games, etc.

 

Final Word

Here we are at the end of our text about how to spend your first baby Christmas. We believe that the most essential thing is to know that nothing needs to be perfect. There are a lot of challenges when you have a child in general, and this year in particular. Therefore there is no need to stress about trivial things – enjoy this time with your kid and have fun as much as possible! How are you planning to spend the holidays this year?

 

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Ways To Make The Most Of Christmas This Year

For many of us, Christmas may look different this year. A lot of families gather together and have large gatherings and dinner parties. This year, some may not. Some families are intentionally making changes to their Christmas celebrations in meaningful ways.

Because this year has been so challenging in different ways for all of us, I believe that those of who celebrate Christmas should make it special. By special, I don’t mean extravagant with a lot of toys for the kids and huge parties, but it is important now, more than ever to be intentional about the meaning of this holiday.

Here, I am going to share some ideas of how to make Christmas this year meaningful, and acknowledge that Jesus is the reason for this holiday.

  1. Incorporate prayer into Christmas day.

My husband and I have always made sure that we had family prayer time before opening gifts. We love the Lord, and He is the foundation of our home. Being that Jesus’ birth is the reason we celebrate Christmas, we make sure that we give thanks for salvation, family, and gifts before we even open anything.

2. Create a new tradition.

Something that we are doing differently this year is putting up a cross. My husband made a cross earlier this year to carry around town when he evangelizes. He ended up giving it to one of his friends but will make another one. We may still put up a tree, but we want an actual cross in our house to remind us of why Jesus came to earth. Another suggestion for a new family tradition you could incorporate is to pick a game that you all can play together after the gifts are opened and everyone has settled down. For some, you may all just go your own way after gifts are opened, but make sure you are all spending quality time with each other as well.

3. Send out Christmas cards.

This one is sort of obvious and something that a lot of people do anyway, but I have never done it and will be doing it this year. Just to acknowledge those who are in your life, but may not see all of the time is probably even more important this year because a lot of us have not been spending much time with family members this year anyway because of Covid.

4. Make a cake for Jesus.

I know a lot of families who do this every year. My family has only done it once, but if you want to honor the Lord in a new way this year that you never have, make a cake and sing happy birthday to acknowledge the actual reason why you are celebrating Christmas.

5. Volunteer at a soup kitchen before, on, or after Christmas.

Some people do this all of the time, but it is something you can choose to do during this time of the year. And even get your kids involved to teach them to be servants of the Lord and love people.

6. Make gift bags for the homeless or an orphanage.

This idea does not have to be expensive. Most of the essentials that homeless people need can be found at Dollar Tree. I’d include things like socks, hand sanitizer, and lotion, nail clippers, sanitary pads for women, toothbrushes, and toothpaste as well as facial tissues.

7.Do something to intentionally share Jesus with your unsaved family members.

This is something I want to do, but have not thought of what yet. I really want to send everyone a Bible, but am sure most would not even read them. Pray, and ask the Lord what to do!

There are so many ways to center Christmas around Jesus, spend time with your loved ones, and enjoy yourselves. These are just a few suggestions, but get creative and challenge yourself to do something you’ve never done before.

8. Have your kids pick a gift for each other.

That way, they are giving to each other, instead of all of the gifts coming from Mom and Dad.

God bless you all in the mighty name of Jesus, and I pray that you have a great end of the year 2020!

 

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