Monday, December 10, 2018

Slow Down

Everyone hustles and bustles around me this time of year.  I watch as if from a distance. So many people, always so much to do.  Rather than increase my speed to keep up with the masses, I tend to slow down. I wouldn't have it any other way.  People race to stores for the best deals, stay up late into the night researching the best deals and ordering online.  They commit to way too many dinner parties, cookie exchanges and Christmas events.  Kids events such as concerts and plays seem to occur about every other night. The mayhem often affects peoples overall mood and sometimes behavior. People tend to be emotional, overtired and overwhelmed.  Rather than enjoying this season that should be filled with Love and Hope and Peace, they race forward at warp speed to accomplish it all and somehow be the first one to enter and to conquer the New Year.

This is not me.  It can not be me.  Rushing and Racing and Raging. No, it isn't for me.

I found in recent years, this time of year is exactly what I wish it would always be like.  Extra time with family and friends. Baking with children each time they ask if we can do it again.  Reading the book of Luke with my kids in December.  Reaching out to those that I meant to touch base with all year long but never quite got around to it. I enjoy the dinners and laughter and games that are played sometimes late into the evening. Scrumptious food and excellent conversation.  The giggles of children playing together.  The Christmas lights and decorated homes. The Menorah's lit on beautiful mantles. Christmas trees adorned with ornaments passed down from each generation.  Poinsettias so rich and red and the smell of evergreen trees wafting through the air. Nativities focusing on the birth of Jesus, and not presents piled to the ceiling for children who already have more than they could ever want.

This is the time of year that I slow down. I reflect on the joy's, the challenges of the past year and how thankful I am for a Savior who sees me through each day.  I am thankful for who He is, what He did dying on the Cross for my sins and the Salvation that is promised to me. I share my joy of the birth of a baby who was sent to this earth for each one of us.  His name is Jesus, and without Him, there is no Christmas for me.

Slow down this Christmas season. Take it all in. Reflect and practice being thankful. If you find that stress is creeping in to each day, explore what causes it and adjust your expectations.  Decline a few invitations. Skip writing a Christmas letter. Order pre-printed cards. Take that time that you have reclaimed and practice gratitude.  Be grateful for Christmas.  Be grateful for family and friends. For great food and soul quenching conversation. Be grateful that you have a New Year right around the corner. A New Year presents a wonderful opportunity to start over from scratch. To do the things you wish you had done, and stop doing those things which serve no purpose or do not bring joy.  Prepare to embrace this New Year.

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