My Advent Prayers for You
We all have fond memories of Christmases when we were little, don’t we? I remember this time of year as being full of happy memories — the lighted candles on the Advent wreath, decorating our live Christmas tree with my favorite ornaments.
My Mother supervising the placement of each ornament, light, and tinsel; and we would always sing “O Christmas Tree” while enjoying hot chocolate and homemade cookies once we were finished.
Our Advent wreath consisted of pine branches and five candles — three purple, one pink and the white one right in the middle that symbolized Jesus.
It was fun as a little girl to light the Advent candles before dinner and to live in expectation of Christmas. Stories of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem, then having no room at the Inn; the Angels appearing to the lowly shepherds, while Herod plotted to save his throne and to destroy the baby Jesus by slaughtering every boy under two years of age. So much danger and yet God’s plan was executed perfectly.
I was thinking about the deeper meaning of what these candles represent to us. Hope, Faith, Joy, Peace, and Jesus, the Light of the World. Here are my Christmas wishes and advent prayer for you based on the themes of Advent.
Christmas Blessings for Hope
Some people are struggling to hold on to their hope this season because their lives are really tough right now. May you always be filled with God’s hope.
Romans 15:13 ESV, it says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
An Advent Prayer of Faith
Faith may be a much more powerful word than we realize. May you ask and receive from God this Christmas.
In Mark 11:24 ESV, it says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
An Advent Prayer About Joy
May the joy of Christ be yours this Christmas and never leave you.
“And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” says Luke 2:10-11 ESV.
My Advent Prayer for Your Peace
May God’s peace be yours and guide every decision you make.
Philippians 4:7 ESV says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Jesus, the Light of the World
Each one of us has experienced this in different ways. In my life, His light has flooded my soul giving me a new identity.
All things have truly been made new for me and although I’m very grateful, I know God isn’t finished with me yet. In John 8:12 ESV, it is written, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
May you abound in hope; believe and receive; have peace and joy; and may Jesus be the light that glows from your eyes this Christmas season.
As we finished November and celebrated Thanksgiving moving on to Christmas, I am reminded that there is a whole lot of crazy stress during the holidays.
Crazy Holiday Stress is Not the Goal
Crazy shopping, crazy busyness, and sometimes crazy kinfolk. (What? I’m from the south now and that is what we call them here!)
Are you worried about the holidays and how you will handle everything including certain people for even a few hours? If you are like most people, you may have at least a little concern nestled inside your heart.
6 Tips to Handle Christmas Crazy Stress
Here are a few tips to help you turn your crazy holidaze into a meaningful and memorable holiday!
Make a Plan
Have a plan of action ~ If you know Christmas is a busy time, plan it out, scream a big “no” to a few things that you don’t “have” to do. Why, because your body and mind will get stressed with all the hubbub around you if you don’t. Invite God into the plan…better yet, ask him to add you to His plan!
Snooze Away Holiday Stress
Sleep and Rest ~ We often get run down during the holidays because of added stress so add in extra sleep and rest and even reflection. Why? Because it will fill your soul and you need that at this time of the year!
Limitations are Healthy
Set your boundaries and decide how you will handle that testy relative ~ How will you respond and what will you do or say if they push the envelope? Planning means we “respond” and don’t “react.” Head out to visit the neighborhood coffee shop if things get uncomfortable or stressful, or take a walk. Your pre-plan will help diffuse the situation.
Additionally, expect some family stress. It is normal as we are all imperfect people connecting once again for a holiday.
Lose Some Holiday Stress thru Delegation
Share the Love ~ As women, we try to do it all (the cause of crazy holiday stress), when in fact, we need to ‘share the love’ or delegate. Go ahead and make your list but then ask who will complete which tasks. This creates fun and ownership and lightens your load. As the saying goes, “Many hands make light work!”
Relieve Stress with Fun
Enjoy ~ Relax and enjoy the holiday. It need not be a holidaze where you don’t remember a thing. It should be a wonderful memory of everything you enjoy so make memories, have fun, enjoy family and friends, eat cookies (ok, not if you are on a diet), sing carols, or visit a neighbor. Do what you enjoy and what relaxes you!
Jesus is the Holiday Stress Antidote
Remember the true meaning ~ Remind yourself of the meaning of the Holiday. We aren’t on this earth to overwork, overthink and overstress by trying to do it all.
Reflection and Gratitude
These end-of-the-year holidays are times of reflection and focus on the true meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Gratefulness that a Savior came to change our lives.
An appreciation that Jesus taught us to love others because people are valuable treasures. And thankfulness that Jesus died for us so we may have eternal life.
So as Christmas preparation begins with festivities galore, give yourself permission to take a step back and rest, reflect, respond, and remember! And when the gravy gets passed, remember to pass on the CrAzY and instead, pass out gratitude to our Lord and Savior for all He has done!
Productive Planner Tips
Productive Planner Tips: Use a Planner with Intention
Do you need some productive planner tips? Using a planner with intention can make a huge difference in what you accomplish. It’s not about checking things off the list. It’s a tool and visual reminder of what happens next, a place marker in the line of events that need to occur in order to implement something new or complete any given task.
After leaving the corporate world I entered entrepreneurship with an arsenal of knowledge, things I still use to this day. One of the most valuable nuggets was learning to use a planner. Write things down on a regular basis and watch what happens.
Productive Planner Tips: Scheduling Leads to Completion
For me, what gets scheduled, gets done. Write it down, make things happen is a premise (also the title of a book by Henriette Anne Klauser) that can help you get more things done.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing,” said Walt Disney. The thing is you need to know what do, where to start, so let’s break this down.
Productive Planner Tips: Get Rid of the Angst of the Never-ending List
Part of the reason the list goes on and on is because the task is on the list rather than an action step that helps you to make progress. By listing actionable steps for each task rather than the task itself breaks it down into small bite size pieces. This is how you eat an elephant!
Productive Planner Tips: Big Tasks Can Cause Overwhelm
If you already know what overwhelms you, you also need to know how you best deal with it. For example, when I am overwhelmed, I eat and procrastinate. Not always in that order but these are my warning signs.
If I catch myself mindlessly wanting to eat, I stop, pour myself a glass of water and drink it. Then I wait to see if the urge to eat is still there. Many times I am no longer hungry and by removing the distraction of eating I can then move on to an action step that needs to be done.
Procrastination is the real thief! If I look up and find I have wasted an hour or more surfing the web, doing online quizzes or playing games, this calls for a mindset shift. Am I avoiding doing what needs to be done because I don’t know what to do next or because I’ve bitten off too much to chew? It varies. But you too can start to recognize your own tell-tale signs with practice and self observation. Be honest with yourself and answer the hard question—“What’s holding me back?”
Productive Planner Tips: Break the Task Down
When you learn to break your task down into actionable steps, you will get more done. Writing blogs used to be a task that caused me overwhelm. The words would not come. I could stare at the blank screen fixated on the blinking cursor waiting for me to fire away forever. Part of my overwhelm came from not knowing what to write first, next, and so on. What helped me was creating a cheat sheet with steps. This helps me put my thoughts and words into order and keeps me from wandering off the path.
Productive Planner Tips: Grab Your Planner
If you want to get more things done, grab your planner and start breaking out your action steps by writing them down. It’s your planner, write in it, color, use pretty tape, whatever tickles your fancy.
Join the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs soon (in the 3rd quarter of 2018) and receive our 2018 Planner free!
Kim S. Hawkins, NACWE Team Member, Planner Creator/Designer
Here are a few messages from our members wishing NACWE a happy birthday!
HaPpY BiRtHdAy NACWE! I am new to NACWE as of a couple of months ago. Since then, I have committed to extending my coaching launch to form a community for adoptive parents. This month, Brenda Lee Coaching along with the Community of Parents of Reactive Attachment Disorder & Trauma will launch. I also have taken the plunge into fulfilling a dream of being a published writer. God has prepared me for such a time as this. It is not a coincidence that NACWE came into my life at this precise time. The network of amazing Christian women who truly love the Lord and serve Him by serving others is refreshing. We each come from our own niches, and even the women that have the same or similar callings are not in competition with each other, but instead lift each other up in prayer. We recognize our unique gifts and empower one another.
Happy Birthday NACWE! I’m only been a member since December but God brought this group into my life at just the right time. I had no idea when I joined that I the business I was just starting would be hit with a lawsuit a month later. I have no idea what will happen with this lawsuit or if we will even come out of it without losing everything we have. However, the ministry my husband and I have is still growing and God is giving me other ideas for my business and my ministry. I wouldn’t want to be traveling this road without NACWE. The friendships, support, encouragement, and prayers from those of you here have definitely held me up and continue to do so. Thank you to all of you and Diane Cunningham for bringing this amazing group of women together!
—Robin Moulfair EA
Happy Birthday, NACWE! I’ve only been here a few months but I’ve been blessed by the sisterhood and thankful for the great success tools that are available.
You really do rock, Diane Cunningham!
Diane Cunningham celebrating you and the NACWE group in 6 years of standing strong, supporting people toward their goals and celebrating ALL of the success of each member. I pray many more years of exciting times for you and NACWE! May the favor of God be seen in every area. Blessings to you!
Happy Birthday NACWE! So proud of all you have accomplished Diane Cunningham! You helped me bring my membership group to life and supported me in my first year. I truly appreciate you and all the gifts God has given you. I am also truly grateful for the NACWE women I have met along the way.
Happy Birthday NACWE! Thank you Diane for having the vision to give birth to NACWE and to bring together Christian Women Entrepreneurs. NACWE is a place where we can pray together, ask our sisters to pray with us and for us, brainstorm about our ministries, businesses, dreams, share our frustrations and disappointments along with our success. NACWE is a safe place to grow and to land! Can’t wait to see where NACWE will be in the next 6 years!!!!
Happy Birthday NACWE, I’m so blessed to be apart of such a great sisterhood. Thanks Diane Cunningham for being a great leader with a big vision to serve God’s women in a big way, and thanks for carrying and birthing the vision!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY #NACWE !!! Thank you Diane for birthing NACWE!!! Words can not express the blessings you produced! You have turned chaotic into calm as NACWE gives direction and clarity. Together we become stronger, all of us in different stages of our businesses. A group of women who put God first as we follow the desires of our hearts to serve others, desires that HE places in our hearts. Thanks to you Diane I am getting back to Gods plan for my life. Keep ROCK’N it SISTER.., we all LOVE YOU!!! heart emoticon