This morning my mind was racing with all the tasks that I needed to accomplish today. Already, I could feel the anxiety of the "to do lists" that I needed to create and what should be crossed off by the end of the day when I heard the still small voice, "be still."
Don't you know it's December first? The thoughts screamed in my head and yet, the gentle reassurance of "be still" came again. Isn't that how it comes? How does one of the most joyous seasons of the year demand the most energy, time, flurry of activity and afterwards we are worn out, restless and feel emotionally beaten.
Why do we do this to ourselves? We cram way to much into spaces, where it simply does not belong.
If you know me, stillness is like MAJOR suffering. I don't know how to be still, let alone be quiet. So, this morning as I was pondering stillness, I threw out the "to do list."
Instead, I decided how to make a game plan for how to be still and quiet during this season of advent. How could I put the brakes on one of the most busiest times of the year? Maybe you struggle with this too? In the season where we need to hear that still small quiet voice, where the Holiday season drowns out the quiet, let us not become so weary in the urgent that we get distracted from the important, from the still small voice that calls us to rest. Find ways to drown out the distractions, the flurry of running from store to store, checking off "to do lists", cooking the big meals or the emotional energy that family drama might bring. Instead, look for opportunities to minimize the distractions.
Quietness can be found in gazing at the stars, stillness can be found in a child sleeping, rest for the weary can be found in the Saviors' arms. Peace can be found in saying "no." Beauty is a family laughing together. Grace is letting go of past mistakes and moving forward.
Every year I vow for a different Christmas season, but this year it will be different because I am being intentional. In the past, I have been so guilty of saying, "I will enjoy Christmas this year" and then another year goes by where I did not fulfill that promise. This year, that will not happen. You can keep me accountable.
My Advent Game Plan:
* The electronics will be silenced more.
* You won't find me answering my texts or emails as fast.
*I will hit deadlines, but the rest of my book reviews will wait.
* I will make my trips to the grocery store count.
* "No" is my new motto.
* I will not feel guilty for saying "No."
* Responsibilities can wait.
* We will have more traditions and memories.
* I will not succumb to lies that more is better.
* Giving is better. We will give more, spend less.
* I will spend 1 hour daily in stillness.
How will you find the stillness in your day? Is it driving through your neighborhood looking at Christmas lights? Is it reading a story to your kids at night? It is sitting by the fire place reading a book. It is a moment alone watching the Christmas lights twinkle on your tree? Maybe it's eating dinner as a family together for the first time in a long time. Just you and your children. Where will you find that moment of stillness that will invite you back to peace, the quietness and the tenderness of a Savior ? He invites each of us to participate, his invitation is always extended, we just need to accept it and be willing to remove the distractions to find it. My prayer is that you find still, quiet moments this Christmas season!