Mantras & Mistletoe

The Stone Family

Merry Christmas Eve!  I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas weekend!  Today, I’m overjoyed to feature Mary Elizabeth Stone.  We’ve been fortunate to have her guest post with us before and it’s always a delight.  Mary Elizabeth is so gifted with words and I’m always blown away with how her heart and her faith pour through her writing.  Today’s post is perfect to carry us into Christmas and 2012!  Mary Elizabeth is most certainly one of my heroes and I’m so grateful to call her a friend.  Here’s Mary Elizabeth!

It is my prayer that the Lord will use what He is teaching me in this hectic holiday season to also serve as an encouragement to you.
Here is my advice that I am attempting to flesh out even as I type: Get a MANTRA!
Stick with me; I know this sounds cheesy. Or on the other hand, it could sound like I am telling you to put on your big girl panties while you pull yourself up by those proverbial boot straps and Bible verse your way through stress, difficult family dynamics, endless to do lists, unfulfilled hopes, or whatever else you face this Christmas. 
This is NOT what I am recommending. We need the Lord and we certainly cannot navigate this holiday season without His grace and provision.  After all, He is strongest when we are at our weakest (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Thankfully, the Lord provides us with tools to make the burdens we face lighter.  The tool I currently am employing is a mantra.  I wanted something short that I could easily recall and quickly say to myself and whisper to Jesus.  I wanted something that calmed my anxious heart while reminding me of the purpose and renewal Jesus has for my life and for my family.
Here is the mantra I chose:
“Be still; Restore.”
I chose this mantra, because I am prone to stress and carrying heavy burdens, especially those associated with the pain of the past, the unknowns of the future, feeling spread too thin, and longing for my son John’s full healing on earth. 
The first part, “Be still,” stops me in my tracks. I see this as my part. I have to slow down, stop, and give myself permission to simply be still.  The second part, “Restore,” is God’s. He is the only One who can restore and make things new.  I love how rest is part of the word restore. Only He brings true rest. Also the word, restore, reminds me that God has a plan for my life… that He hasn’t forgotten my past and that He is working to restore hope, joy, and abundant life to me in my present and future.
I will continue to pray for you as you create your own mantra or decide to adopt this one. Mostly, I pray Christ will give you peace, joy, and hope as He reminds you of His unfailing presence throughout this sacred time of year.  With these mantras under our belts, it is my hope and belief that the Holy Spirit will enable us to switch our Christmas focus from chaos to anticipation… anticipation of what Christ did 2,000 years ago when he was born AND anticipation of what Christ is doing today in each of our lives.
“ ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’

The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Psalm 46:10a,11
John & Daniel
Hear more from Mary Elizabeth at her Caring Bridge site

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