Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Beyond the Craziness

18 more days left until Christmas.... Are you ready?

I am like most of you out there. This time of year is crazy busy. Christmas programs to go to, shopping to do, Christmas cards to send, baking to accomplish, piano concerts to attend......This week seems the busiest of all; plus with the snow, even more planning ahead has to occur.

I was so grateful for last night, when because of the bad weather, all evening activities were canceled. I savored the quiet time cooking dinner, eating slowly, laughing with the kids, doing spelling words at leisure, treasuring bed time stories and prayers. After the kids were tucked in, my husband went out to meet a friend and I got my jammies on and had some uninterrupted quiet time. Then I got to catch up with a friend on the phone and tackled those Christmas cards that have been sitting on my bedside table. I ate some peppermint ice cream. It was a needed reminder that we must stop and enjoy the moments God gives us every day.

My friend who I caught up with last night lamented about how busy her week was shaping up to be, and she went on and on about the commitments she had to fulfill, spending so much time in her car shuffling her three kids from activity to activity. My head was spinning just listening to her! To be honest I found myself thinking to myself, "I don't want that life." Am I traveling down that road already?

I gently asked her, "Could you say no to some of those birthday parties? It would make your life a bit less crazy...."

It is hard to say no, isn't it? Especially to fun things. Especially at Christmas. I am as guilty as anyone. I am a "yes" person who is trying to say "no" more often.

What comes first on our list of priorities? Time with our Lord? Family? Church commitments? Work? Fun? A certain t.v. show? Our to -do list?

I challenge you (and I challenge me!) to go beyond the craziness of Christmas to find the peace and calm that Christ can bring if we let him. Eliminate one thing from your schedule. Spend it doing something quiet- prayer, study, reading, quiet time with your husband or kids. Relish in the tranquility that God wants us to experience as we prepare our hearts for this season of joy.

"Be Still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

"After the earthquake came the fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire came a gentle whisper. " I Kings 19:12

"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business ...." 1 Thessalonians 4:11

"I urge, then, first of all, that requests,prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our savior." 1 Timothy 2:1-3

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