CSS Christmas Series | Holiday Pressure? Watch Your Words! | POPPY SMITH


2013-csslogo-square-300-CHRISTMASA few years ago I was asked by a women’s group to come and share some thoughts about how to watch our tongues during this hectic holiday season. They had been studying Speaking Wisely and wanted to do just that!

I totally understood their desire because most of us need extra help when the pressure is on!

I don’t know about you but when I’m under pressure, (think endless searching for a parking spot at the local mall, long lines at the check-out stand, and shopping till your feet ache) I can get a bit irritable and my words aren’t necessarily sweet and kind. All my good intentions and deeply sincere prayers to be like Jesus throughout the day can quickly evaporate under too much stress.

In addition to the above, add in our unrealistic expectations to get everyone the perfect present, decorate a stunning tree, bake enough cookies to feed the five thousand, and throw a fabulous party for everyone we know—PLUS stir in tired, cranky kids and a husband groaning at the cost of it all…. Before you know it, the greatest season of the year can easily become one you’d rather forget as tempers flare, children bicker, and you have an emotional breakdown!

SO WHAT CAN BE DONE? Read on for some of the points I shared with those Christ-centered, women who wanted to speak wisely even under pressure!

NURTURE YOUR CHILDREN:

In addition to the games and toys you’re getting for your kids:

  • Decide to nurture them by what you say throughout this season (and the year).
  • Be intentional. Put reminders to speak positively on your prayer list or daily calendar.
  • Make a list of encouraging words and phrases you can use with them.
  • Learn to be the master of your day—think about your plans and your kids’ energy. Can they really handle just one more store or are they going to have a melt-down?
  • Train yourself to pay attention to the first tug, the first cry of “Mommy”. Determine not to ignore them until they are screaming “MOMMY” and everyone is staring at you!

NURTURE YOUR SPOUSE OR OTHERS:

What about speaking nurturing words to your husband (or other significant people in your life)? Wouldn’t they love to receive words of appreciation, or admiration, or affection—as well as that sweater or gizmo you plan to give them?

  • Make a list of words that show support and use them.
  • How about: “What can I do today that would help you?” (Will he keel over at hearing this?)
  • Or words of respect: “What do YOU think about this? How do YOU want me to handle this?”
  • And here’s a big mark of respect: “Do you think I’m spending too much?” Then discuss ways to compromise.

NURTURE YOURSELF

What would nurture and fill your heart with joy? Here are some suggestions:

  • Choose to speak kindly to yourself.
  • Catch and stomp on lies you feed yourself or incessantself-criticism and fault-finding. Remind yourself that you would never dream of saying those things to anyone else—and it is NOT how God views you!
  • Refuse to ignore your positive traits. In fact, make a list of them! This isn’t pride—it’s a way to marvel at God’s goodness in sending Jesus whose Spirit changes us all year round! Celebrate and thank God for what He has produced in you! They are His gifts, worth far more than jewels!

Never forget that your WORDS ARE POWERFUL!

Use THEM to nurture others, and yourself, with GOD’S love.

A merry, blessed Christmas to you!

_____________________

As a nationally and internationally recognized speaker, Poppy Smith helps audiences across the country and around the world to cultivate a more dynamic walk with God. She is a former Bible Study Fellowship teaching leader and has a Master’s degree in Spiritual Formation and Direction. She has spoken across the United States, in Australia, New Zealand and the U.K., as well as several countries in Africa and Asia.

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