Let’s face it – this time of year can get a bit frenzied. Going here and there, trying to find the best deals, and often times buying gifts for those who really don’t need anything with money we cannot afford to spend. The holidays can also bring stress when there is pressure to visit with family and extended family as well as business dinners, church programs, and various Christmas parties. I can remember when my children were small. By the time Christmas night rolled around I was frazzled, my kids were frazzled and suffering from sugar and sensory overload which left us all ready for a break (mentally, emotionally, and physically).
For others this time of the year is extremely difficult because the loss of a loved one is intensified. No amount of decorations or gifts seems to soften the pain of the loss. It feels like it would be easier to isolate and hibernate until the holidays are over.
Whether we need to reconnect with the spiritual aspect of Christmas and the holidays or whether we are in the healing process of reconciling the loss of a loved one, giving back can be that missing element that “hits the spot” so to speak. The beauty about giving back is it can be done with no expectations and no strings attached. We can do it in the line at the drive thru, in the aisle at the grocery store, by volunteering in the community, or visiting a senior life care center. Giving back has no price tag and can look so many different ways. However, the by-product and outcome in the heart and spirit of the giver tends to be the same. When we give back it does something in us at the spirit level. Ministering to others can often minster to us; touching and healing something in us that nothing else can.
Why does this phenomenon occur? Because we were created to operate this way. Because in giving back we are operating in the nature of God. Christ’s birth is one of the most beautiful examples of giving. Take a moment during this holiday season and find a way to give back. It does not have to be big, time consuming, or expensive. It is about the heart of giving. Try it and see what happens. I dare you!
Written by Jessica Owen, MSMFCT
Covenant Counseling Center