Last week was weird. It was our first week off of school and I scheduled to visit a list of friends we hadn’t seen in awhile. Two of them have new babies, which made it extra exciting to visit! But by Tuesday, my daughter was suffering from a sinus cold and by Wednesday, my stomach felt knives were digesting my food. Neither of which is appropriate to take among newborns!
So instead of hustling merrily around spreading Christmas joy, we were all stuck in the house. The cold, dreary weather outside merely mimicked my feelings and offered no motivation to do otherwise.
I easily said yes to my children’s petition to watch TV shows and movies. We may or may not have watched The Parent Trap and Fiddler on the Roof both in one day. Even after the kids went to bed, Adam and I perused Netflix and watched more Longmire episodes than I care to admit.
By Friday, I felt guilty for all my slothful indulgence, thinking about all the tasks gone undone.
There’s so much I feel like I should be doing. I should be baking bread for the neighbors and people at the office. Or wrapping presents – make that buying presents, or planning for next school semester, writing or editing, planning my next book, organizing or ironing (OK, not really!). That list is just for my house.
Add to that the Christmas season and I feel like I should be praying more for all the needs of those around me, visiting shut-ins, singing carols at the nursing home, serving at the soup kitchen or volunteering to ring the Salvation Army bell.
In a world where I see play-by-play pictures of what everyone’s doing, thinking or eating it’s so easy to compare myself and think Ugh, I should be doing that!
I find myself thinking –
I should be crocheting her some boot cuffs instead of buying this bag of chocolate.
I should be folding the laundry instead of reading this last chapter.
I should be making my kids clean up their mess instead of scrolling along on Facebook.
I should have bought my kids a gift like that.
I should like non-stop Christmas music more.
I should put up 3 trees like her.
I should get up before 8:00
I should go to bed before midnight.
I should have more energy than I do.
And just wrestling with the thought makes me feel guilty for not doing more.
I’ve found though, when I’m pushed to do-do-do and go-go-go, I don’t have time to just BE. To be still and know that He is God. To admire the small things and take joy in the simple conversation with my kids. To see Christmas and all its excitement and magic through their eyes. I don’t have time because I’ve filled it to the brim with a million activities and chores. Their want for conversation and simple marvel is preventing us from getting to the next thing on time!
I think to make me sit down and soak a little bit, God allowed my daughter and I to be sick enough that we couldn’t visit friends, yet not so sick that we were miserable.
For a whole week, our family rested. Yes, by Saturday we wanted to get out of the house and do something, but for the most part we needed that rest. And it reminded me how important that time of rest is.
I realized that above all the gifts I’ve bought, God wants a personal relationship with me, and not because of all I’ve done – or all I plan to do. But because He loves me and there’s nothing more I should be doing to earn that love.
Today is the last day to download my Ebook for $.99!! And don’t forget that you can enter to win this beautiful, hand crafted necklace by helping me share the news.
To enter, simply leave a review about the book, share this post, or buy the book! After today, the Ebook goes back to its original price of $5.99.