Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.
With Christmas just one week away I take in the beauty of my surroundings. I notice how my body feels as I gaze out my window. The treetops glisten with the ice crystals formed in the last storm. Taking in the tranquility of the scene calms my anxious mind.
Why is it we’re often filled with anxiety this time of year? Do we wonder if we will accomplish all the daunting tasks, we committed to do? Do we fear inadequacy? Are we falling short as the big day races towards us?
The older I get and as our boys grow I am aware they need my presence more than what I can do for them. They need safety not what I can buy. They need the security of knowing things are peaceful at home.
We all long to sit and enjoy being together, a guitar to play, a deck of card to connect us, laughter heard and smiling faces. We long to know someone delights in our presence.
I’m not referring to the presents bought but rather the presence provided by being with someone and having time to connect, to listen, to pray, and to love. Sometimes this is what our loved ones truly want.
Knowing this I have resolved to take inventory of what I long to give and what my present capacity is.
The word recognize, caught my attention. How many of us take time to recognize how our bodies are feeling, how they are responding to the demands we have put on them? Do we recognize how the people around us are feeling?
Problems we may face:
- Our relational capacity is low due to a lack of people/activities put IN
- Our capacity has holes because of past trauma causing us to “leak”.
- The people in our lives drain us.
As we continue to pay attention to how we and others around us are doing we can provide some protection to ourselves and others during this season.
Noticing I’m empty:
- Spend time alone with God
- Make time for good, healthy friends
- Exercise, get outside and enjoy nature
Our capacity has holes causing us to leak:
- Talk to God acknowledging the holidays can be tough as they bring up old wounds.
- Recognize as we grow in our relationship with God, He heals trauma from our past.
- We become aware of His presence in our old trauma as He gives them meaning.
- Make sure we have safe people around us
People drain us:
- Plan your holiday
- Recognize the people who drain you and plan time with people who fill you up
- “Plan some time away from the people who drain you”: create boundaries
- Recognize our desire to self-medicate, overeat, numb out, etc. in order to handle stress. “Have a plan- someone to call, a place to go, etc.”
Luke 10:41-42 Jesus said, Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.
In this story, we read that Martha was distracted by many things while Mary took the time to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His words.
Are we listening to Jesus? How can we slow down today? Who needs our presence and not our presents?
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