This is an awesome time of year. But it also drives people crazy.

On one hand, you have cooler weather, football season (Go Gamecocks!), and colorful leaves. And on the other hand, you’ve got busy school schedules, extra activities, and holiday planning. Halloween to Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year.

The holiday to remind us to be thankful turns into family drama. Celebrating the birth of Jesus is the time we shop for people we don’t really like. Houseguests, credit card bills, school plays, and needing to be in two places at one time!

(As I’m writing this I’m imagining that piano music from Charlie Brown and people running around in double time.)

So what do you do when you feel overwhelmed? What happens when you’ve got too much going on and you’re not sure how much more you can take?

I confess I don’t have it all figured out. But I do want to offer a few pastoral suggestions if that’s okay. Here it goes…

#1. You don’t have to do it all.

Your children are not going to be scarred for life if they don’t get what the neighbor’s kids get. You’re not going to get fired if you don’t attend the office party. When the new year rolls around, it’s more important to have your sanity than to have attended every single thing.

#2. Take some time for yourself.

It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. After all, there’s a reason they tell you to put the oxygen mask over your own face first. If you’re out of control, you won’t be in any position to help anyone. So don’t be afraid to take an afternoon, a weekend or a night for yourself. Go ahead and put it on the calendar and don’t apologize for it.

#3. Remember the point.

Let Thanksgiving be a time for giving thanks, not for getting the recipe just right. And take time to read the Christmas story and reflect on God’s grace at Christmas. When you find yourself stressed because of the schedule, hit the pause button and think about why you’re doing it all in the first place.

Here’s a link to the Christmas Story from the book of Luke. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, maybe this will give you a spiritual perspective.

I hope this email encourages you during this busy season!

Pastor Robbie