If you are too busy to pray, you are busier than God ever intended you to be. // Wanda Brunstetter
I assume that if you have ever lived through a December before, you know it gets insanely busy. There are so many things you have to do to get ready for Christmas. You have to get Holiday cards ready, if you have kids or pets then it's off to the mall to get Santa pictures to add to the cards. You need to get the ingredients together for cookie exchanges, then you need to find the time to bake them, then you are obligated to find cute ways of packing them. If you have a job, beware of theme days and potlucks. Again, shopping for and preparing food, then editing your closet for things that are appropriate for holiday functions. Then kids have concerts, so thats at least an additional evening. Of course you need to book off all the weekends in December to attend all the holiday gatherings. Of ones you actually want to go to and ones you seem obligated to attend. You can't forget to grab a gift for the host or hostess of the party, along with any meal item or treat you were supposed to bring. Of course present shopping, along with the stress of having to get the best gifts for your love ones. You have to get something you know they will love, without the problematic January debt you know you'll have. Then you have to wrap your gifts. Oh, did I forget to mention to decorate your house, getting your lights up and the ongoing debate about a live tree or a plastic one...
So far it is simple enough to say December is winning the battle. I am more tired than I can remember being, I feel like my stress level is coming out of my eye balls
So here I am, one month into 25 and dealing with all of the above holiday stressors. To top it off I am two shifts in to my third week of night shifts. Having to get your body to understand what day, or even what time it is, is additionally stressful. In fact I was a day late for my Gramp's Birthday this year because I thought it would be in the morning when I got off work, as opposed to the night before when I was starting. Now, couple that with the fact that over a month ago my little (and only) Brother had moved to the United States, and the new and exciting road of a fresh realtionship with a new Boy Friend. So far it is simple enough to say December is winning the battle. I am more tired than I can remember being, I feel like my stress level is coming out of my eye balls and standing in my store in the middle of the quiet night I realized it. I couldn't remember if I had prayed or had any kind of conversation with God in more than three days. Three entire days. That has never happened to me before. I am normally in constant thought or open prayer. Either with a Bible or Devontonial or just by myself.
So there I am. Holiday music playing in the back ground, looking at gift giving items at 3 o'clock in the morning and not only feeling absolutely no Christmas spirit, but always further away from God than I had been in a long while. I had let the season get to me. Somewhere between work and home and my cadets and church I had gotten so busy that I forgot about one of my most important relationships. The one between God and myself.
I let myself get lost in the hustle of the season this year, when what I needed to do was take a breath and remember what the season is actually about.
Have you seen those Billboards around, the ones that say "keep Christ in Christmas"? How is it possible that as an active Christian I was actually feeling like I was losing Christ at Christmas? This time and Easter are the two big times that people joke that the "twice a year" Christians come out to Church. Everyone seems to find him in December and April. How did I let this happen? I had a shocking moment of sadness. I had let my busy life style get in the way. I hadn't gotten into my Christmas spirit yet because I had let retail at Christmas time stress me out. I have spent more time worrying about the right cards to get people and how to fit in all the Holiday invitations that I was losing sleep. (which is hard to do on night shifts to begin with!) I had forgotten John 14:27 - He gives me peace. When I am stressed out and overwhelmed I need to remember that God isn't bringing me through anything I can't handle and he is who I should be looking to in those times.
With God all things are possible. // Mathew 19:26
That is what I need to concentrate on to get through this season. That and Hebrews 13:8: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever".
I let myself get lost in the hustle of the season this year, when what I needed to do was take a breath and remember what the season is actually about. It is about being thankful that Jesus was born. It's about spending time with friends and loved ones. It is about slowing down and reminding myself that I am one person and can only do what I can do, but with God on my side, the weight of it all seems a little lighter.
I hope you all are finding a little Christmas Cheer!
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