Preparing, Planning, Worrying, and Praying

By Noli

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It’s the first week of Advent when we start preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ! Oh, the excitement, the anticipation, the joy...the STRESS!

Let me just tell you...I AM NOT A PLANNER! I have become one because my husband and I have three children and our lives aren’t always conducive to spontaneous living. Like, it helps to know what we plan to feed the children and where we should vacation each year. Planning and preparation should remove a lot of the stress from things, but for me, it adds stress, because… ahem...I AM NOT A PLANNER! 

During the Christmas season, that stress seems to rear its ugly head even more. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, celebrating Jesus’ birth, the festiveness of life, the Christmas hymns and carols, the gift-giving, etc. But, I simultaneously find myself dreading the season, because I have to PLAN so much — when to put the tree up, how to decorate that year when to shop, who to shop for, what to make for Christmas dinner, and the list never ends!

Every year, I say I won’t be overwhelmed with stress, that Jesus is the reason for the season. Yet, by mid-December, I usually find myself on an emotional rollercoaster due to pressure that’s been mostly self-imposed.

Philippians 4:6-7 says, 

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

The One we celebrate at Christmas is the very same One who can allay our anxiety during this season. We can exchange our worry for communion with the King. We can submit our plans to Him and receive His peace He is the Prince of it (check out Isaiah 9:6)!

Jesus wants us to pray about EVERYTHING, even when it comes to His birthday. Most of all, His peace will enable us to focus on the real reason for all our planning and celebrating. 

Will you join me this Christmas in praying about ALL of our plans, preparations, and worries? I believe that as we lay those at the feet of Jesus, He will be faithful to provide peace, wisdom, and direction. He will show us how to prioritize as we seek Him first.

Shani McKenzie is a True Girl Lead Teacher! She loves to share Jesus and make people laugh. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three splendiferous children. You may find her co-hosting True Girl Bible Studies! Check it out at:

True Girl theme verse:

"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31,32

Mom, the best way to teach your daughter to live like an authentic True Girl is to live like an authentic True Woman. And to do that, you've got to get your life lined up with the Truth of the Bible. Listen to Dannah Gresh every weekday on Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth's Revive Our Hearts podcast. The program features biblical teaching, interviews that offer godly advice, and other opportunities to abide in God's Word.




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