Simple Ways to Make Christmas More Peaceful

Simple Ways to Make Christmas More PeacefulLet’s face it: Christmas is stressful. Of all the seasons of the year, this is the time of year when we feel the most powerless over the circumstances around us.

At Christmas, we’re not in the driver’s seat. After all, we must be patient while waiting in line to find a parking spot. We have much to do on our to-do list but not enough time or money to get everything done and buy all the presents. When spending time with extended family, we must be mindful of others’ schedules, feelings, and ideas. Often, the whole experience is uncomfortable and frightening. But during this stressful time of year, we can find hope and serenity in the promises of God.

Mary was in her early teens when destiny took her by the hand. (more…)

6 Obstacles to Overcome on the Slippery Slope of Relapse

6 Obstacles to Overcome on the Slippery Slope of RelapseThroughout life, there are obstacles to overcome. Addiction is certainly no exception. The journey to sobriety can be long, and obstacles will inevitably arise. Will you go over, under, or around them? Or will you stop and give up? It is all too easy to relapse and fall back into addiction. The good news is that life is full of choices. And Christ makes victory possible. “Despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us” (Romans 8:37, NLT).

To avoid relapse, be on the lookout for—and overcome-—the following six obstacles. (more…)

‘Tis The Season to Be With Toxic Family

Tis The Season to Be With Toxic Family The holidays are supposed to be the season to be jolly. But for anyone who comes from a toxic family, it can be painful. Is it possible to prevent the emotional pain of spending time with family members? Yes. Instead of fear or fighting, it can be a time of comfort and joy.

Begin by letting go of any unrealistic expectations. For example, it is unrealistic to think, “It would be wonderful to spend two weeks with my ex-spouse, kids, grandkids, and our pets all in one house. What could possibly go wrong?”

Everything!

It is more realistic to set boundaries by limiting time spent together, learning to say no when necessary, and discussing plans beforehand. Communicate boundaries in a way that is firm but respectful. (more…)

8 Ways to Get Through the Holidays After a Loss

8 Ways to Get Through the Holidays After a LossWhen you’ve lost a loved one, you may feel as if the world has come to a crashing halt. Some days are hard, while other days aren’t so bad. The holidays, however, can be an especially difficult time as you see family and friends celebrating together. You may feel more lost and alone than ever before.

Here are eight ways to help you get through the holidays. (more…)