Want to live a more stress-free life? Enjoy more moments? Sleep peacefully at night and live peacefully during the day? Enjoy more passion and creativity?

I’m hear to tell you it’s possible and I’ve learned that through what’s been probably the toughest two years of my life to date. And I’ve had other really dark times for sure – but this has been different. The key has been about surrender which is very different from giving up.

Our family has experienced an extended time of challenges this past two years and they aren’t over. Yours probably has, too – I’m hearing about it from so many. But, by the grace of God, I’ve learned a few things that have changed my quality of life, the strength of my faith, and who I am as a human being. Peace has become my nearly-constant companion as I’ve learned so many things. For instance:

  • to let my family and friends know I need their thoughts and prayers. I don’t need to try and handle everything on my own
  • to stay focused (present) to each moment and what I’m seeing and feeling
  • to enjoy every opportunity to laugh, be it at myself or those crazy felines we share our home with
  • to stop and put my feet up with a cup of tea or cocoa and just enjoy the lights twinkling on the tree, or a rare moment of quiet
  • to start my day with quiet time (prayer, thoughtfulness, reading my Bible)
  • to smile a lot more, even when I’m all by myself
  • to surrender each and every moment of my day to the Lord

When did you enjoy a sunrise or sunset last? When did you really, really enjoy the aroma as well as the taste of that coffee or tea? When was the last time you closed your eyes and even noticed the smell and feel of a hug? When is the last time you smiled at someone at the checkout line just because you could?

For me, Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ whom I consider our savior. I believe He is with me as I have added Caretaker of my Spouse, Grieving Parent, and Employee to my other titles. And to handle any of those roles, surrender has been required. What a gift that has been. Stress-buster 101!

“Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything.”

How much joy is possible if I’m always concerned with what I’ve left undone or what is coming? Without joy our spirits cannot grow and thrive which is a necessary element of life.

Our creator does not expect perfection from us. He does not demand perfection from us. He asks us to love ourselves and our neighbors. He asks us to help one another when and where we can. He asks us to be quicker to forgive than we are to be offended and that includes ourselves. He asks us to just be our best selves at any given moment.

My Christmas wish for you is to have peace and joy in your everyday life. I pray you’ll come to enjoy each moment and each person you encounter. I pray that through the tapestry that is our journey you discover how truly loved and revered you are by your creator and how very reliable, trustworthy, and steadfast He is to keep his promises to walk with you if you’ll only ask Him to. Any time.


  1. Nancy, Merry Christmas to you. No one could have said this better. I really enjoyed your column this morning, and I also sent it along to my dearest friend. Stay well and I will include you and your family in my prayers.
    Suzanne Baginskie

  2. Thanks for sending this beautiful reminder, Nancy. Sending you and your whole family lots of love, prayers, and wishes for a healthy and peaceful Christmas and holiday season! carolyn ________________________________

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