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- 10 Ways to Un-hurry the Holidays This Year
Unhurry Hack: Joyful activities can quickly go overboard when distraction & hurry are at the center of celebrating. Does this season find you groaning or grinning? Holidays are meant to be celebrated, but sometimes the bustle of preparation and festivity can leave us wishing to take a pass instead. What if there was a way to enjoy the merriment without the hurt of hurry? Whether we are celebrating thanksgiving, Christ's birth, or ushering in a new year, there is much to remember and reflect upon during these cooler months. There are many special days worth enjoying! The basic definition of celebrate means "to engage in a joyful activity in appreciation of an event" (Word Hippo). However, if you are like me, engaging and appreciating can quickly go overboard. What if there was a way to enjoy the merriment without the hurt of hurry? To guard my heart this season, I have come up with a list of 10 ways to unhurry the holidays this year and I invite you to join me in with me: 1. LOOK UP & LOOK OUT - When you feel tension to beat the clock, try physically lifting your head. Close the phone, take a deep breath, and notice what is around you. Just this week while scrubbing dishes, I tried this, and my eyes landed on a soft ray of sunshine piercing through my kitchen window. It boosted my spirit and revived me to finish the task at hand. What a wonderful gift God allowed me to enjoy through His creation, and I would have missed it had I stayed intent on rushing to clean up the kitchen. 2. ENJOY THE PROCESS - Here is where chores can become gifts. Repetitive actions found in activities like cooking or crafting, even exercising can be cathartic. So this season when you find yourself chopping, stirring, wrapping, or even addressing a stack of envelopes, try to avoid multitasking and rest in the rhythm of repetition instead. 3. TAKE IN ALL 5 SENSES - In my book Permission to Walk, A 40-Day Journey to Unhurried Peace, I challenge readers to take a "60 second challenge" : Go outside if you can, or at least to a window. Then, for 60 seconds just be still and look at God's creation in nature. What do you see, hear, taste, feel, or even smell? Take note of things like the intricate veins of a leaf or the variety of notes in a bird's song. A minute feels long in our hurried culture today, but slowing down helps us shift our priorities to keep Jesus first. 4. LET GOD'S WORD BE THE FIRST WORD - It is tempting for me to grab my phone first thing in the morning and let the world wake me up, but I find it challenging to fully circle back to God's Word once the daily rush begins. Can you relate? However, when scripture is the first message we allow into our hearts and minds, we get to experience His joy and peace first thing and God's Truth becomes a filter for all other daily input. In the holiday rush, keep a bookmark in your Bible, post-it note with verse written, or keep a devotional book handy for the first few moments of the morning. This leads us to #5 ... 5. SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS - What do you need to have ready in order to make spending time with God possible during the holidays? Are you traveling? Try keeping scripture cards in your suitcase or make-up bag. Showering or getting ready in the morning may be the only quiet moments you have in a houseful of guests. Jesus stepped away from the crowd to be alone with His Father--we can too! 6. PAUSE TO THANK GOD - We are quick to say thank you as we unwrap and admire our gifts. God is such a Good Father and Good Provider. His grace, mercy, and lavish love are often why we celebrate, but can easily get pushed to the background in a festive flurry. Who/What are you thankful for in your life? What would you say to thank God for who He is and what He has done? Will you join me in an extra challenge to Praise God and thank Him for the hard things in our lives and the many ways He draws us close and reveals His character and promises? God is good! 7. BLESS SOMEONE - Have you noticed that serving others lifts our spirits as well as slowing us down? Try something unexpected like taking a neighbor a loaf of yummy bread, or sending an encouraging note to a friend you haven't seen in a while. Shop for an angel tree or send an extra monetary gift to a missionary. Grab a few friends and sponsor a family in need--some of my favorite memories are volunteering with family and friends. With winter weather approaching, look for opportunities to check on shut-ins and others who may not drive in severe weather. Adding one of their needed items from the store is a great way to pause the rush as well as delivering a smile. Above all, serving allows us to be the hands and feet of Jesus. 8. SAVOR - Whether it is food, music, people, or landscape, pause to intentionally enjoy it. Be present and soak it all in--your gift of presence may be the very thing a friend or family member needs this year. 9. KNOW WHEN TO SAY WHEN - okay, okay the obvious here is our waistline, but in terms of holiday bustle we have permission to say "enough." Sometimes we need to turn down the invitation, buy the store bought version, ask for help. I love the Pinterest version of Thanksgiving and all things Christmas, but I have learned the hard way that our family version is way better--wouldn't you agree? Spills, goofs, and simplicity have a way of making fun-filled memories. 10. BE INTENTIONAL - Reflect on the "why" behind traditions and preparations. Are they necessary or needed? Do they distract from the meaning of day and/or the people we celebrate it with? Or do they glorify God and keep hearts present, joyful, and focused? Make time to pray over distraction and focus this season. Moments of worship scattered throughout our day can help us keep Jesus at the heart of our holiday worship this year. For further reading, check out: INTENTIONAL ADVENT: Enjoying the Better Portion of Christmas and download the free printable advent cards to help you pause & pray this season:
- Prayer Calendar
Let this free resource help grow your prayer life. As I read and study the Bible, I find that noting traits and names of God teaches me to lean on His character and promises throughout the month. What a difference it makes to see God at work in our daily lives! Print out a copy and try it out today!
- When Your Heart Needs A New Song
Unhurry Hack: God lifts us out of the places we are stuck. Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. 3He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.” Every once in a while, God calls us to a new season in life. While sometimes exciting, a new season can be scary, inexperienced, or even undesired. But the starting place for any new season is to seek the Lord. Our key verse assures us that when we do, God hears our prayers. He lifts us up, steadies our feet, and gives us a new song to sing--a hymn of praise. These new songs are evidence of God’s constant work in our life and serve as important markers in our walk with God. But new songs take time. Regardless of the circumstances, God provides solid ground, steadies your feet, and gives you the words to sing. Wait patiently for the lyrics. What is your season? Maybe you are learning a new season with or without someone you love. Maybe you have started a new job or lost an old one. Maybe God has led you to a new ministry area or person to disciple. Perhaps you are in a new place of growth in your relationship with the Lord. Regardless of the circumstances, God provides solid ground, steadies your feet, and gives you the words to sing. Wait patiently for the lyrics. Then, one day in a beautiful lyrical crescendo, you will surprise yourself by doing or saying something that your old self would never have been capable of doing. God lifts us out of the places we are stuck. With daily tenderness, He provides our solid ground. He steadies our feet as we learn how to walk in these new places. Much like teaching a baby to walk, picture the tender nearness between you and your Heavenly Father as He encourages new steps and steadies your wobbling feet. Day-by-day talk and listen to God in prayer. Read His message to you in the Bible. Lean into Jesus for strength and direction. Then, one day in a beautiful lyrical crescendo, you will surprise yourself by doing or saying something that your old self would never have been capable of doing. It is at that moment you realize that you are singing a new song God has given you to sing in this season-and it becomes a hymn of praise. Sing it for all to hear! May others see your story and learn to trust in Jesus. Join me in prayer: Father, thank you for hearing my cry. Help me learn another word today to the new song you are teaching me this season. Lift me up and steady me. Help me be brave and try new things as I trust and follow you. May others see my life and hear my song, and may they be encouraged to put their trust in you too Jesus! In Jesus Name, Amen.
- articles, podcasts, books | Unhurry My Heart
As Seen In I love to tell others about the unhurried heart. Here are a few resources to encourage you today! Crosswalk Regular Contributor for "Crosswalk.com" and "Your Daily Prayer" Contributing Author Shepherd On Duty is a compilation of writings from over 20 authors. I am honored to be a part of this wonderful project. Each promis e is paired with a short devotional and encouraging scriptural references that highlight a promise of God. Proverbs 31 Ministries "Surrendering Isn't The Same As Giving Up" by Megan Evans Guest on Anchored in Always Podcast June 6, 2021 Episode NEW! Interactive Devotional Book Permission to Walk by Megan E vans will reset every heart trapped in the hustle and rush of today's busy world. This devotional offers practical solutions that you can immediately implement to re-hydrate areas of spiritual dehydration and re-focus your faith. Readers will embark on a journey that begins at the heart level, reveals why we struggle with hurry and distraction and offers teaching strategies and biblical truths to walk with Jesus during your busy day. Guest on Anchored on His Heartbeat Podcast May 12, 2022 Episode 39
- Free Resources | Unhurry My Heart
Resources Holy Week Reading Plan Prepare your heart for Easter by reading the Holy Week events. Download here: Monthly Prayer Calendar free resource available for prayer Resource Coming Soon free resource will be available to download 4 AREAS TO PRAY FOR YOUR CHILDREN Grow them to be disciples Resource Coming Soon free resource will be available to download Resource Coming Soon free resource will be available to download