Early on this month I started having anxiety and feeling stress. It wasn’t just the Christmas season but that always has a lot to do with it. Its because loss lingers and when the loss occurs during one Christmas season it tends to want to return every year and overshadow everything about the season from that monumental Christmas forward.

Then life happens, children act like children and family members break your heart and well, life just starts to look like this looming shadow that threatens to engulf you. That it happens at Christmas-time makes it feel more raw and overwhelming.

I know I can’t be the only person who deals with this at Christmas. So I want to tell you how I deal with this and hopefully encourage you and show you that there is actually a lot of hope for you and a huge possibility that you can have a happy, peaceful Christmas.

First, I pray. I pour out my heart to the Lord. I ask for forgiveness where I need to and ask for the Lord to help me put Him first in my life. I guess you know by now that when Jesus is in His rightful place in your life, your life goes much better. Getting your mind wrapped around that takes time. It takes His divine intervention in your life. So don’t just pray once, keep praying.

Next, I start being intentionally thankful. I cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude. To cultivate means that you grow something, you make the conditions right for it to grow and you attend to what you’re growing.

Every day I thank the Lord for several things in my life. I intentionally look for things and people and situations to be thankful for. I look for something to be thankful for in just about every moment.

When I start to feel sad, I start counting my blessings. When I begin to feel myself getting down, I count more blessings. Believe me, my life and your life is filled with blessings. More than you recognize right now. And being intentionally thankful just opens up a whole world of Joy!

During December of this year I am going to count my blessings pretty frequently and you’re invited to join me. I’ll post my blessings here and maybe that will help you get started cultivating your own Attitude of Gratitude.

attitude-of-gratitude 2013