1 am found me tossing and turning. As the clock ticked, I wrestled with sleep. As it always goes, the more I tossed and tried to will myself back to dreamland, the more elusive sleep became. My mind wouldn’t shut off. This weekend finds us busy and I knew this morning would be packed with all-the-things. We have out of town guests arriving, parties to host, projects near finishing (and last minute details to be covered), decor to hang (this year, Christmas decorating has been a progressive thing), cards to address and send, gifts to buy, gifts to wrap, food to prepare, on and on….
This morning, equipped with caffeine in my mug, I sat for a quick read and prayer time before tackling the to-do’s. Rather than the few minutes I had planned for, I still find myself in my favorite chair by the warmth of the fire an hour later processing. Jesus stopped my swirling thoughts and met me here.
Assuming I’m not the only one who needs these words today, I had to share this brief-yet-poignant thought from IF: Emmauel Advent Study:
If the second week of December has you feeling frantic, a little behind, and weighed down, be spurred on by the words Moses had for the Israelites when they too felt truly overwhelmed: “Do not be afraid…the Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:13-14 NIV). The words Jesus spoke to His disciples hours before his death were, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). Peace won’t magically wrap the presents, it’s true, but it will set the tone for the encounters others have with Jesus through you, which is the very best gift you can give.”
Filled with fresh perspective (it really doesn’t matter if the garland is lying in a pile on the porch rather than draped over the door frame and my guests don’t care if the dryer is full of laundry yet to be refluffed – always refluffed – and folded), I am ready to tackle the necessary tasks before me. Yes, there are things that must be done today, but rather than frantically trying to do it all with a resentful heart, I can rest in the peace He gives abundantly. I can view the list of to-do’s from an eternal perspective and determine which items can fall to the wayside.
I recently read this quote and it resonates so deeply with my desire for our home this holiday season (and always):
“Hospitality is when someone leaves your home feeling better about themselves, not better about you.”
May this second week of December find us all worrying less about perfection and more about creating a warm and safe place for others to feel loved.