“Set Your Mind” This Holiday Season and Beyond

Holiday Season Set Your Mind AdobeStock_380531449We realize that some of you are thoroughly enjoying this Holiday Season. And for that we rejoice! But we also realize that some of you are thoroughly hurting during this Holiday Season. And that’s when it can be important to “set your mind” away from focusing on the hurt—at least for a majority of the time. There are many reasons for this.

Some of you have lost loved ones. As a result, the holidays are more painful. There is a big void in your life. You miss them so much. Please know that we grieve for you.

And some of you are having troubling times with relatives, children, work, physical problems, housing situation and many of you are even dealing with difficult marriage situations. Again, please know that our hearts go out to you as you walk this journey. This is so very difficult—especially when you see others enjoying this time of year.

I (Cindy) have been dealing with horrific pain issues. I’m continually looking to the Lord on this. But it has been so very hard to do this.

Dealing with Pain During this Holiday Season

None-the-less, I realize, and Steve realizes (because he also has health issues) that we can’t stay focused on our pain. We need to lean into the Lord’s plan and His joy. God even tells us to “count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds…” What? That makes no sense! But we need to trust Him in this. He is our Redeemer and He can work good out of it. But there’s no doubt that this is where our faith walk is especially challenged!

Yes, it’s difficult to be joyful when you’re experiencing this level of pain (whether it’s physical or otherwise). Time just inches on and on. Even so, we need to hang tight and trust God that He will help us. And in trusting, we gain hope and strength. We’re even told in the Bible that “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” And we sure do need His strength during these trying times!

If we focus on our pain, even though it relentlessly nags us, our strength is drained. But if we focus on the Lord, He empowers us to experience some type of joy. It’s kind of like the calm that can be found in the “eye of the storm.”

But we’ve found that it’s a “set your mind” situation. When you are hurting, it’s a constant set and reset. It’s a continual direct and redirect your focus so it goes in the right direction. Your mind will want to flee into all types of unhealthy directions. It’s easy to go there. But resist. Instead, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things on the earth.”  (Colossians 3:2)

Setting Your Mind

That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself here on earth. God created a very interesting world! But your main focus is on the Lord. No matter what you’re doing and what is happening you are to be mindful that you are His. So make sure you reflect His Light. Ask the Lord to show you how to love each other well, despite the storms that hit us.

“When life’s storms arise, loving like Jesus can see us through. And if you and your spouse are living through one of those storms right now, you can provide so much comfort and support simply by loving like Christ did.” (L&L Parrott)

That’s true! It’s also true that it’s important to look for ways to laugh. This is especially relevant right now. We’re told in the Bible that “Laughter is good medicine.” And it is! So, that’s the direction we’re going to turn in this Marriage Insight. Perhaps it will help.

We came across something written in John Ortberg’s book The Me I Want to Be that we thought you’d enjoy. We’re passing along some “good medicine” to you now, hoping it will help you. It has nothing to do with marriage.

But we’ve got to tell you that we hope you will share it with your spouse. Laughing together bonds you closer together. Someone once said, “Laughter helps you give trouble the back of your hand. Let it lighten your marriage.” And we agree!

And what we’re going to share has nothing to do with this holiday season; although it might brighten your spirit. It’s just a silly way of seeing the importance in how you look at things. Plus, it may make you laugh!

John Ortberg wrote:

“The following excerpts from a dog’s diary and a cat’s diary may make you smile. But hopefully they will also make you stop and think about the difference your attitude can make.

THE DOG’S DIARY: “8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing! 9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing! 9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing! 10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing! 12:00 pm – Milk bones! My favorite thing! 1:00 pm – Played in the yard! My favorite thing! 3:00 pm – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing! 5:00 pm – Dinner! My favorite thing! 7:00 pm – Got to play ball! My favorite thing! 8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing! 11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!”

THE CAT’S DIARY: “This is Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape…”

John goes on to write:

“Two critters … similar situations … and yet they had totally different experiences. What made the difference? One chose the right thoughts, and the other didn’t.”

The following scriptures come to mind where we’re told to focus on:

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.(Philippians 4:8-9)

This Holiday Season and Beyond

We encourage you, in the midst of your pain, to look for ways to laugh. Grab onto the healing gift of laughter. You may need to be relentless in your search. But that’s okay! God gives you permission to grab onto this “medicine.

“Today, as a gift to yourself and to your beloved, approach life with a smile on your lips and hope in your heart. And laugh every chance you get. After all, God created laughter for a reason…and Father indeed knows best. So, laugh often and, more importantly, laugh together!” (From the book, “Love Is Forever”)

Additionally, make sure you “set your mind” to give each other the grace God would have you.

“Maybe it’s the pressure of the holiday season, but for some reason, we’re more prone to argue and nitpick over the small things. This especially holds true with the ones we love the most. Whether it’s our favorite college football team, the way we cook the turkey, or when we open Christmas gifts, we can and will fight and argue over anything and everything.

“The writer of Proverbs 19:11b says, ‘It is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.‘ This means sometimes we can simply overlook our differences. This doesn’t mean we ignore sin or tolerate someone harming us, but it does mean we can choose to look the other way, especially if it’s something small or related to a preference.” (Scott Kedersha)

We hope and pray you will! That is our goal, and we hope you will make it yours.

Cindy and Steve Wright


To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:

7 Essentials - Marriage book


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