Guest Post–Surviving the Holidays

Guest Post by Janine Ridings

I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble  (Psalm 142:1-2).

Many of us with MCS struggle during the holiday season as we try and cope with all the losses that MCS has brought to our lives.  Many of us are no longer able to attend Christmas concerts, family parties, go shopping at the mall, and participate in other things we enjoyed prior to having MCS.  We are often left to wonder how we are going to cope during this time of the year.  I want to mention a few tips that help me during this potentially lonely and difficult time of year.

First, be honest about your feelings to yourself and to God. Allow yourself permission to grieve your losses. Throughout the Psalms, David shows us by example how to pour out our hearts to God.  In Psalm 144, David tells God all about his trials, and cries out to God for help.  In verse 7, David says:

Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters.

During the holidays we may experience times of feeling desperate or depressed.  If so, we need to call out to God to help us through.  Psalm 146:8b says:

…the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.

Another thing we can do is to try and change our expectations of the holiday season.  As our lives and circumstances change, we need to readjust our priorities and where we are looking for pleasure during the holiday season.  Try and figure out new ways to enjoy the season.  It may be going out for a special lunch with a friend, cooking yourself a special meal at home, or enjoying Christmas concerts on TV.  Think of some creative ways to enjoy the season.

If you have the energy, try and do something special for someone else.  It could be sending a Christmas card to someone you know who is lonely, or calling a hospital and finding out if there are cancer patients you could send a card to.  It could be sharing a bag of groceries or a box of tangerines with a needy family.  Getting our eyes off ourselves and onto others is a great way to avoid the holiday blues.

Above all, spend time alone with God, worshipping Him and thanking Him for the gift of His special son, Jesus.  He really is what the season is all about, and those of us who have been stripped of many of the holiday activities are fortunate in the sense that we have more time than some to focus on Jesus and all He means to us.  We can find peace in God as we focus on glorifying Him.  In Luke 2:13, the heavenly host of angels who were announcing Christ’s birth to the shepherds said:

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.

May the peace of Christ rule and reign in our hearts during the holiday season.

from Christa:  Thank you, Janine, for allowing me to post your devotional, and thank you for the comfort and help it brings!!!


Christa Upton       Black Hills Picture Books        PO Box 293     Custer, SD 57730


About Christa Upton

I am a wife and mother of three children ages 11, 14, and 18. I used to be a stay-at-home mom (teaching piano & dance, volunteering, etc). From 2007 to 2010, I suffered accidental Toxic Injury (also called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or MCS). MCS has had major impact on our family, but the forced time in bed has given me time to write. So far, I have published 4 children's books (2 in e-book format on Kindle, one in Print-on-Demand at CreateSpace, and one printed by a local printer). Sometimes I miss my old life, but I love writing for children!
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