Plan to Celebrate the Holiday Season with a Joyful Heart


Bless the Lord, my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name
.
(Psalm 103: 1 NASB)

For a few days, I fed on news reports, set no boundaries on my Google searches, and paid no attention to the time I spent doing this. As this activity increased, so did the level of anger, anxiety, and depression in my soul.

Last night I went to bed. I tossed and turned for a long time. After sleeping for three hours, I woke up. The same negative feelings flooded my mind. ”

What could I do?

Help me, God!” I prayed.

Nothing happened. My feelings did not change. I repeated my prayer.
“Help me! Help me! Help me!”

I waited. Repeated my prayer. Waited.

After a while, these words from Psalm 103 popped into my mind–
“Bless the Lord, my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.”

I continued repeating and meditating on this verse, eventually fell asleep, and woke with a joyful melody in my heart. What relief!

In this season of isolation and uncertainty, it would easy for me to fall back into anger, anxiety, and depression. What can I do to increase and maintain joy in my heart so that when Thanksgiving arrives (in 12 days), when Christmas arrives (in 41 days), and when 2021 arrives (in 47 days), I can celebrate truly celebrate?

This is my plan to increase and maintain a joyful heart. I will change my focus to one of gratitude. Every day, for the next 47 days, I will

  • Read Psalm 103 (verses 1-5), reflect on God’s blessings, and thank him for them
  • Write down as many gratitude statements as I can think of
    • Read them aloud before I go to bed
    • Read all of them on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years’ day
  • Send a “Thank you” message or affirmation to at least one person

How joyful is your heart? Does it need a little encouragement? If so, I invite you to join me and adopt my action plan. Start as soon as you can.

Or make up a action plan of your own. Share it with me and/or someone else.





10 thoughts on “Plan to Celebrate the Holiday Season with a Joyful Heart

  1. My birthday falls in November and 20 years ago I decided to write down one thing I was grateful for each day until Christmas. The very first thing I wrote down was my salvation. I still have the list and read it on occasions when I feel disconnected from God or disappointed with my life. I repeated this exercise a few more times over the years but I was very inconsistent and left lots of blank spaces on the page. Jane, thank you for reminding us of the importance of gratitude and having a joyful spirit!

    • Thank you, Laurell! I feel greatly encouraged by your comment! It confirms to me that my plan to express gratitude is a good thing. Something from the Spirit. I, too, have done this exercise before, but I need a refresher. I love your joyful spirit!

  2. It is good to have this strong reminder of the benefit and need for gratitude always! I imagine that the psalmist saw great difficulties and dangers all around, just as we do. I bet he had to learn to say, Bless the Lord, O my soul, in the same way you learned it, by asking God for help. Thank you, dear Jane.

    • Thank you, Jean! Yes. David’s life was full of difficulties and uncertainties. Perhaps his psalms were reminders to himself to bless God. He certainly was inspired by the Spirit.
      You encourage me by your steadfast faithfulness and example of gratitude.

  3. Hi Jane,
    Thanks for your post. I do all you say,
    but feel uneasy. My plans to leave for California???? Looking more difficult.

  4. Dear Jane

    Thanks for sharing your heart & thoughts & ideas.
    I like your plan to increase & maintain a joyful heart.
    I like changing your/our focus to gratitude, by reflecting on God’s blessings.

    Love,
    Joyce

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