Simply Christmas: A Free Journal Prompt For Less Worry, More Wonder

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It’s the last week of November, we can officially listen to Christmas music! We can deck the halls and put up the tree and bake the cookies and shop for the gifts and plan Christmas cards and ALL THE CHRISTMAS THINGS.

Do you ever get that sinking feeling in your stomach, just thinking about all that there is to do this month? 

We look forward to Christmas, the music, the food, the decor, and the family time. But do you ever get that little nagging feeling that maybe you’re not doing enough? Or there’s not enough time to do all the things you want to, or enough money. You already know your schedule will be packed with activities and travel, and you’ll start off the new year frazzled and burnt out.

The holidays aren’t all jolly: all the expectations, especially our own, weigh heavily on us.

There’s the weight of expectations for a “perfect” holiday, there’s family illnesses, and sometimes family strife that seems to surface this time of year, plus the never ending list of things that must be done.

As Thanksgiving came closer, my struggle accepting help and letting things be imperfect grew. Yet, I didn’t have time or energy to do it all myself; I struggled managing the day to day. with all the holiday activity possibilities – cookie swaps, Christmas parade, cutting a tree, travel plans, snow days – piling on top of my already full to-do list, I’m overwhelmed.

Maybe you can relate?

More than another day in the week, or the ability to stay awake 24/7, or a full-time maid … What I really need is to let go.

“For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)

Think about it – how did Mary respond when the angel announced she was going to have a baby, the Messiah? “I am the Lord’s servant; let it be done to me as you have said.”

Surrender. 

When we open our hands and release the expectations, schedules, responsibilities, people and situations we’re striving to control, God not only takes the burden – He takes our hand.

It’s like He’s saying, “Not only can I take care of all this, but I’ll also take care of you.”

It brings to mind picking up Edison from preschool. He tells me his backpack is “too heavy” even though I know it only contains his artwork of the day. But I shoulder the burden and take his hand.

I picture my Heavenly Father doing the same. The things stressing me out today are a light backpack to him. But he shoulders it anyway, and takes my hand.

To help us focus on what really matters this year, I created a little journal prompt. I’m hopeful that spending some time setting our intentions for Christmas will help us keep from getting swept up in the hustle and bustle. It goes well with a cup of hot chocolate and a weekend afternoon.

Reflect on what you really want this Christmas to look like. What do you need to say ‘no’ to this year? Overspending? Over-scheduling? Expectations of how you ‘should’ be doing it? What would actually lead to the most joy?

This holiday season, may we not let worry steal our wonder.

Pop in your email below to download the journal prompt.



If you like resources like this, you’ll like my new monthly emails! I’m calling them the Beauty Seeker’s monthly guides, and they’re a combination of my monthly favorites, a personal note from me, and helpful things like this journaling prompt. Click here to join our Beauty Seekers Community!

 

Free Printable and Mid-Year Goal Reflection

It’s JUNE. I know we say “time is going by so fast” often, but seriously, what happened to the first half of this year?!

I made myself a little sign for motivation, then I figured that you might like it too.

 To download the 8×10 size, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Since the year is half gone, it’s time to take a look at my New Year’s Resolutions. One of the reasons I think many people fail to keep their resolutions is that they make them and then forget them until December rolls around. Also, I’m a believer in flexible resolutions, because you never know what road blocks can come up in a year!  Instead of getting discouraged and throwing out all resolutions, I’m resolved to revise as needed to keep stretching myself while being realistic. 

This is what I resolved in January, soon after my aunt passed way from cancer:

Others Goals:

  • Eat out less, have people over more. We have had people over more often than last year, but we still eat out too much. Trying to get down to once a week.
  • Reach out the the community regularly with the youth group (hopefully once a month). Brian and I finally sat down and made a schedule, so for the summer, we will have monthly outreaches. If we have another planning session for the fall, I think we’ll be able to keep it up.
  • Go to Mexico on the church mission trip (taking place in March)Did it!
  • Take time to celebrate my friendships and let people know how much I appreciate them. I’m still not doing well at sending cards and calling people, although in the last month I actually sent Mother’s Day cards (though late), two birthday cards, and letters to my brothers just because. This one definitely needs to stay on my resolutions list to keep working on.

Personal Goals:

  • Make my wedding scrapbook, preferably before our two year anniversary in June. I started working on it on Memorial Day, and put together two pages. I’m not too confident I’ll finish it by June 19th, but maybe by the end of the year. 
  • Make more art and crafts (this will happen this semester since I’m taking a drawing class) Finished drawing class, and still drawing in my free time.
  • Keep blogging 🙂 I slowed down quite a bit from my usual schedule for a few months, but I’ve picked it back up now. 
  • Grow as a writer and designer by learning new skills in school and seeking to get published. I have grown in my skills, and I have specific plans to continue growing.
  • Get published in something. Hasn’t happened yet.
  • Graduate college (this will happen in May!) Yep!

Physical Goals:

  • Do Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred (time to be determined, probably Jan-Feb.)
  • Exercising all year, keeping the goal of 3 times a week. I’ve been doing really well with exercise this year, although Brian being unemployed made it tons easier to find motivation since I had someone to work out with. I’ve been slacking off since he want back to work, and I’ve got to find a new way to stay motivated!
  • Take care of my health by seeking to eat balanced meals and going to the doctor/dentist/dermatologist regularly (and get Brian to go too). When Brian lost his job, we didn’t have health insurance. Our new insurance won’t start for a couple months, so this will have to wait. 

New Goals

I’ve expanded my goals and made the existing goals more specific. Here’s what I have now:

Spiritual

  • Read new devotional books regularly
  • Work on discovering my passions and purpose
  • Journal at least once a week
  • Have daily devotions
  • Serve at church

Self

  • Graduate from college
  • Grow as a designer
  • Grow as a writer
    • Send 2 or more queries a month
    • Write two or more articles per month
    • Get published 😀
  • Make arts and crafts
    • Wedding Scrapbook
    • Personal scrapbook
    • Drawing class
    • Make curtains for my office
    • Headboard for our bedroom
    • Pillow cases for our bedroom
  • Grow my blogs
    • Set up Newlywed’s Bliss contributor system
      • Email possible contributors
      • Set up accounts and schedules
    • Write and submit guest posts
    • Blog 3 times a week on Scribbles From Emily
    • Blog once a week on Newlywed’s Bliss
    • Grow Scribbles followers to 300
    • Grow NB followers to 100
  • Read
  • Physical
    • Keep working out three times a week
    • Eat balanced meals, restricting processed foods
    • Visit the doctor, dentist, dermatologist

Others

  • Celebrate my friendships and let people know I appreciate them
    • Write Edward (my brother)
    • Write Eric (my brother)
    • Write Bessi (our sponsored child)
    • Talk to Evi, Elissa, mom and dad regularly
  • Go on weekly dates with Brian
  • Eat out less, have people over once a month
  • Go to Mexico
  • Help with VBS
    • Teaching or assistant teaching the pre-primaries
    • Movie and photography highlights from the summer
  • Volunteer at church
    • Update and manage the website 
    • Design brochures
    • Design visitor packet
  • Youth Group
    • Plan monthly activities
    • Help promote activities
    • Girl’s Bible Study?
    • Youth Group Blog

Wow… it looks a little ambitious. But I have a plan – at the beginning of each month I’ll pick certain objectives from each category to focus on. At the beginning of each week, I’ll pick some of those objectives to tackle. I can break bigger tasks into week long chunks, and then into pieces small enough to get done in a day.

So, it’s going to be vital that I seize the day!

Download the PDF here. 
Download the image file here.

If you’d like to just make the most of your summer, you might like this printable from Passion And Purpose:

Check it out here: Summer Planning Sheet.

Are you re-evaluating or checking up on your New Year’s resolutions? What’s on your bucket list for summer? 

Linking up here today:

My Christmas Present to You!

Remember a few weeks back when I said on facebook that if you answered the question “What’s your favorite Christmas song?” you’d get a Christmas present from me?

Well, here it is! How about some Christmas decor that will have you humming your favorite Christmas tunes every time you see it? Enjoy this Christmas song printable, made just for you by me. Just go to the Free Stuff page, follow the links, download your choice of color schemes, and print. I printed mine on 8×10 cardstock, but you could send it to Walmart or Costco for inexpensive printing too.

Merry Christmas!
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