The calendar tells me I’ve entered the second week of November already. Time flies when we are having fun. And life is a blast, this I know.
With the final session of a ten-week Bible study completed this week, something that consumed much of my thoughts, I am setting myself a goal to go gently into the remainder of 2018. We’ll see how that goes.
Endings always bookend with beginnings. I anticipate God has something else in store. I can’t wait to see what it is.
As I consider the last two months of this year, I hear the siren song to enter into a season of frantic activity. It’s grasping fingers began reaching out as school supplies were replaced with Christmas decorations on store shelves, and my eyes wandered to the embellishments of the holiday, stirring desire.
But do I really need another ornament?
I recall the years I was crazy with activity. Not this year. This year will be different. I will be different.
Sweet William and I have already talked about celebrating with less stress, less of an agenda, less on the To-Do-List. Contrary to popular opinion, Thanksgiving and Christmas are founded in faith. They are deeply spiritual times for me.
In my effort to stay focused on the important thing, I’ve renewed my daily discipline to list gifts in my Joy Journal. The more I focus on the goodness of God, the more I see His presence all over my existence. His blessings abound. Thankfulness and contentment permeate the atmosphere.
I’m committed to keep the fall russets and burgundies, along with the mantel arrangement, through Thanksgiving. It deserves its on ceremony. I won’t rush it out the door, only to replace it with glittery reds and greens. I take the challenge to give thanks in all circumstances.
I want to be aware that these year-end holidays can be the most difficult for some who will deal with an empty place at the table. Loss and grief cannot be stored in the closet with old decorations. It will be hard, remembering past years and wondering how to make new traditions with a loved one missing. While bliss may be filling some hearts, may I be sensitive to those whose eyes fill with tears.
Weighing how I can honor the year-end holidays, I evaluate what I can let go, what I want to keep. I desire to focus on what is truly important. To fret less, to love more.
One suggestion I intend to honor is rest. “Schedule a rest day each week during the busy holidays.” This is not an option. When every day includes appointments and activities, with no down time for family to relax and refresh, stress levels rise and the enjoyment of said activities decreases. This year, I will choose carefully when to say “yes” and when to politely say “no.”
I will choose my people over my scheduled projects. How easily I can lose sight of those around me when I have lots to do. When all is said and done, what I want to remember, and what I want others to remember of me, is that we had time for each other. That we looked at faces when we talked. That we listened with the heart. That love was the main thing.
Go gently into the days and weeks ahead. Mark what is eternally valuable. Then do that.