Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Aline's Gift

Dear Ladies:

I posted this on our church's blog for our Women's Ministries at my home church. I hope you are working on reaching your goals this year for Aline's Gift. Remember you only have a few weeks to get your monies in for credit this year. Hoping you have a wonderful Christmas!

LaDonna Jones
Section 13 Rep.

Hi Ladies!
Merry Christmas! Hope you are staying warm! It is SO COLD for us Floridians! I covered my plants last night hoping that they don't freeze and die!

My mother-in-law who lives in Virginia said they just don't bother with that up there! Normally, I wouldn't either, but I had just planted some new plants in my flower garden in October when the weather was in the 80's and I sure don't want to lose them already!

I just wanted to report to you that we've done really well between the Silent Basket Auction and Bake Sale. With these two fund-raisers our final total is $1825.20! We are so close to making our goal of $2000.00 this year!

Miss Sue is working on a little project and will probably send more monies in to help towards our goal! Yay!!!!

If God speaks to your heart, would you make a donation towards this before the end of the year? We must send our monies in before the year ends.

Thank you so much for your help and with us working together I know we can do it!

To God Be the Glory!

Love & Hugs,
LaDonna Jones
Women of Worth Director
Gulf Coast Assembly of God

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Seven Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress

This is an excellent article from the Assemblies of God National Women's Ministries Department. I hope you'll read these suggestions and apply them to your lives during this busy Christmas season.



Release unrealistic expectations and rediscover what you really love about Christmas.

How many different kinds of cookies and candies must we make? Does every room have to be decorated? Must we attend every holiday function? What if we did less and enjoyed what we chose to do more? Rediscover what you love about Christmas and release the rest.

Evaluate current resources (time, money and energy) and establish limits.

Everyone has a limited supply of time, money, and energy, all of which vary from year to year. Our schedules must be realistic and sane. Is it wise to go in debt for Christmas? What do we want to model for our children? Crazed spending and an irrational flurry of unending activities will leave us empty, exhausted, disappointed and perhaps even depressed.

Enjoy the simple things—the small, often overlooked ordinary moments.

Some of the most wonderful holiday blessings are not written on our calendars or wrapped under the tree. Many joys are found in the unexpected, unplanned moments: a phone call to a family member we haven’t seen in a long time, popping corn and playing games on the floor with the kids, or a cup of coffee with a friend. If we are alert, many ordinary moments and small blessings can fill our hearts with joy.

Observe and honor your own personal need for rest and renewal.

Frayed nerves and short fuses are sure signs we aren’t honoring our own needs. When holidays leave us exhausted, something is wrong. You know best what you need most to renew your body and soul, so seek out small doses of healthy self-care.

Initiate change purposefully and prayerfully.

Think through areas of possible change in advance, and ask for the input of other immediate family members. Avoid knee-jerk reactions. God reminds us in Scripture to ask Him for wisdom. Sift and sort with divine assistance.

Consider your options for handling difficult people and situations; then act instead of reacting.

Christmas has a way of bringing up unresolved issues with family members. Stressed relationships don’t magically disappear just because the calendar says December 25. How will we respond to hurtful, immature or difficult people in our families? We may need to address an issue with someone before the holidays. We may need to set a boundary around a particular situation. Remember, we cannot change others but we can change ourselves and how we handle situations.

Embrace only meaningful traditions and eliminate burdensome customs.

Family traditions have the potential to give continuity and stability to our lives if they are indeed meaningful. Other traditions no longer important to us need to be eliminated. For many, changing holiday customs can be painful and guilt-inducing. It’s okay to allow traditions to change over time. If we persist in making wise choices for our families and ourselves, our choices have the potential for healing and freedom.

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