It's the week before the week of Christmas. I'm in that mode of 'all things Christmas', sewing and cooking and wrapping gifts and shipping packages, writing Christmas cards, making catch-up phone calls. Doing this, I've learned, tends to put me in a weird stage come January 1. That stage of being so used to being busy all the time that I forget what real life feels like.
Can anyone relate?
Is there anyone else out there who has hopes of hand-writing a personal note in every single card, being calm in traffic, choosing thoughtful gifts for everyone on the list, rather than grabbing stuff at random off the tables at Kohls and TJ Maxx? Deciding whether you really want to put out all those decorations just because you have them? Not going to the cookie exchange?
Yeah, me too.
So this morning we got up, after not enough sleep, to get ready for church. Stumbled out to the coffee pot, hit the switch, let the dog out, grabbed the paper, and sat down on the couch for a bit of devotions before jumping back on the hamster wheel of it all. And I decided to just say 'no' for one day, even to church. To stay home in my pajamas, drink coffee, make homemade donuts, and not hurry anywhere.
And then I read this:
"Rest in me, my child, forgetting about the worries of the world. Focus on me - Immanuel (isn't that the name given for Jesus at his birth?) - and let my living presence envelop you in peace. ..... If you live on the surface of life by focusing on ever-changing phenomena, you will find yourself echoing the words of Solomon: "Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!" *Then we stayed home. Cub Sweetheart might have mentioned that it would have been helpful for me to feel this way before we went to sleep last night; we could have slept in rather than getting up with not enough sleep, but alas I don't have it that together right now.
So for one day, just one day in the middle of all the stuff of December and Christmas, I chose to wear pajamas, graduating to yoga pants and a ratty t-shirt, eating warmed up macaroni and cheese, sitting on the sofa to read a book for a solid hour, and putting on a pot of soup for supper later this evening.
So what can you say no to? Cross off the list? Not do? Where can you not go? And what can you do instead?
I don't want to feel like Solomon, having it all and feeling like none of it means much; to wake up January 1 feeling like I'm hung over on Christmas stuff. Maybe, just maybe, less is more. Is there anyone else out there who thinks maybe Jesus never intended us to spend an entire month getting ready for a birthday party, but being too busy to take time with the guest of honor.
* Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young