I don't know how your Monday has started off, but mine started off like this:
Rainy, quiet, still... enjoying a bit of Silence with cozy socks, a homemade eggnog latte in my favorite Santa mug (circa 2001ish!), and time spent with baby Jesus, slowing the busy and making room for the waiting of Advent... Once again, unwrapping the Greatest Gift!
Mostly... that just means it was spent gaining perspective. And who doesn't need a fresh dose of that on any given Monday, am I right?
If you are like me... any day is a good day to spend a bit of quiet and contemplation, getting His perspective in the day before it begins to unwind (or unravel) too quickly!
My days are full this week, overflowing with work that I love that most often feels more fun than forced. I get to edit portraits from a recent wedding and a recent family session, and pray and write in this space here, as well as work on a guest post or two. There is a speaking engagement in January to prep for and of course, Christmas parties and goodies and crossing off the rest of the bossy lists in time to slow and sit and truly enjoy the season.
If you've been around here for any length of time over the holidays, you may remember my own self-imposed 'deadline' of December 10th... I wrote about it here and it has saved my sanity as well as our Christmas more times than I can count.
So with all the full on my calendar, I can tend to open my eyes already mid-thought of what needs to get done. (You, too?)
Well let's just be honest here... I don't do life well when I live in the midst of rush. I need a bit of calm... I need that peace on earth that is promised but often times is elusive this time of year!
So instead of hitting the ground running... I position to pause... I sip and I savor and I force all the bossy to just take a backseat already... all of that hustle can wait.
I breathe in deep and close my eyes. I whisper pray the heavy burdens back over to His shoulders. I relax and unwind and I listen for His heart... for His plans for my day... my week... my life.
And as my shoulders lighten, the tension loosens, and the stress pulls out like the tide... I reflect back over the season that I desire most in December... one of Sabbath and Advent and Christ-our-Savior-is-born... one of Hanukkah lights and Christmas lights and the Light of the World shining bright in the midst of a weary world rejoicing.
That is the season that I am longing for.
I remember Emily Freemans' practice of making lists to help herself stay present, so let's do that! In the middle of all the lists of the season, let's make a list of what is happening, right here and right now, that won't stir up our hurry - but will stir up some Holy instead!
Let's give the gift of being Present... with family, with friends, with God.
So before I scurry off to scratch off busy things from my list, let's list off the blessed things by sharing what these days are made of! (I'll go first!)
These Are The Days Of...
These are the days of chilly, frosty mornings, snuggled in close, like life long lovers... of waking to the sound of the heat kicking on as the cat wants under covers.
Of coffee flavored with egg nog or peppermint... of wish lists and snowmen and twinkling lights on the tree... of baking and party planning and wrapping the gifts and of longing for a bit of how it used to be.
Of Empty Nest and decorating on my own... of less stress and less mess and a little less 'home'... Of Christmas Carols and Advent, of silently waiting... of lighting Hanakkuh lights and of wonder awakening...
These are the days of arranging schedules, sharing time and letting some traditions go while holding on tight to others... of giving and sowing, of sharing and loving, of remembering we are all family... we are sisters and brothers.
These are the days of celebrating, of reflecting, of singing O Come Let Us Adore Him and of Peace on Earth... of Thank You's, You Shouldn't Have's, and I love You's... of Unto You a Child is Born, of the long awaited Saviors' birth.
These are the days of Christmas... of accepting and receiving gifts - both of big and of small... of giving and forgiving and of inviting in all kinds of friends - come one and come all!
Of family recipes passed down through the years, of singing and laughing, of being of good cheer... of sleighbells ringing and Santa bringing...of loud and of calm... of grace and of psalm.
These are the days of Deck the Halls and Tis the Season... of Joy to the World and of Jesus is the Reason...
These are the days of O Holy Night... and of shepherds quaking at the sight...
And these days... they are good, and full, and right!
The Community over at #SmallWonders
Laura Boggess over at #ChasingTheBlueFlower
Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday