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The Prince of Peace

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Today I want to focus on the Prince of Peace as Christmas is just around the corner. With all the hustle and bustle of Christmas everyone running around to do their best to make sure all the trees are decorated, decorations hung, going to the grocery store several times because you always forget that one item you need for your Christmas dinner. Everything needs to be perfect doesn't it?

The holidays can be stressful but we bring most of this on ourselves. People spend too much time looking for that perfect gift going store to store until they find it. All the gifts your buying can be stressful and most people go into debt this time of year which often results in depression. This all seems to start on black Friday and some people are down right rude. All the pushing and shoving sometimes fights even occur just to get that one gift. Road rage occurs and especially when you are looking for those close parking spaces.

With all the shopping you are doing there is no time to cook so you grab some fast food instead. Let's face it while you are trying to rush around now you are even more tired because fast food literally weighs you down. Losing sleep is another factor that will slow you down. You spend most of the night thinking about what you need to accomplish the next day and become overwhelmed by it all. When your mind is racing and your body is worn out all of a sudden you realize it is going to be a long night.

This holiday rush also includes the reminders that maybe a loved one is no longer here to celebrate with us. Maybe the loss of a job which resulted in financial difficulty. Some people are depressed because the events in the past are haunting them, and they haven't been able to move on yet. There are others who have high levels of anxiety and can't seem to function correctly. While others may feel like a burden because they are unable to contribute in the way they would like to. Then there are those who still feel lonely when they are surrounded by others.

What is a person to do? Well if you are anything like me I need to begin again throughout my day. Let's call it a do-over. Wherever you are right now simply begin again. Sometimes I find myself running out of the house and I haven't even thought about the Prince of Peace. God has many names and I believe this is the name I call on the most during this season. Whatever you need God to be I believe calling Him by that name makes it more personal.

Here are a few suggestions that I think will help you through this season:

Take some time to slow down and renew your spirit with the Prince of Peace. Sit down in His Presence and take a few moments to ask Him for peace. Cast all of your anxieties on Him and lay all your burdens at His feet. Now that you have taken the time cast all your cares on Him I also know a breathing exercise that helps me. Take several deep breathes as you breathe in His peace and exhale anxiety, breathe in His peace and exhale your stress, breathe in His peace and exhale all the chaos. At the point of receiving the peace just relax and bask in it; enjoy this moment everything else can wait.

There will be days you have a schedule to keep but before leaving the house it only takes a minute to find a Bible verse to meditate on throughout your day. If you are working all day and shopping, preparing dinner, taking care of the children, and whatever else needs to be done every evening I suggest this verse. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest - Matthew 11:28. Taking time to rest in the Lord is allowing the Prince of Peace to calm our racing minds and anxieties to a place where we can slow down or stop momentarily while feeling at peace.

Take some time to listen to your favorite Christmas songs and rejoice. Rejoicing always makes you feel better (especially when you don't feel like it). Music causes the dopamine in your brain to increase. (The hormone that causes us to feel good). Music also reduces cortisol which is the stress hormone. When the demands are high and your attention is needed in several places let the music and rejoicing take you to a place of tranquility. Remain in the present moment and enjoy the ride.

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus - Philippians 4:6-7.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

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