It’s Christmas time!!! One of my favorite times of the year! I love to enjoy the beauty of our Savior’s birth and spending time with those that I love most. #NoSpendNovember was an incredible month of fasting from spending money on myself and focusing on “spending” my time, effort, and love on others. I enjoyed every minute of just showing love such as baking pumpkin bread and taking it to my neighbors. The joy in their eyes was life-changing as we just sat there and spent time with them. Taking the time to just invest in the lives of others, gave me so much joy and fulfillment. If I can just invest in ONE, love ONE, and show the love of Christ to ONE, that is enough.
This past month I finished the book “gods at war.” Powerful book on dethroning the idols in your life. Our lives are naturally designed to hope but we misplace that hope in other things. It was eye opening to see how many idols we hold onto in our lives, those we don’t even realize. Definitely a must read!!
I’m excited about the theme for this month of #presentdecember inspired by Lara Casey and her blog! As Jim Elliot says, “Wherever you are, be all there.” This month I really want to focus my time and attention on being ALL there. With the holidays, stress rises and busyness settles in as we constantly search for that perfect Christmas gift; our minds tend to stray away from the things that matter the most and we forget the reason for the season. I want my heart to be open to see and hear the needs of others while meeting those needs that God has placed before me. I never want to be too busy where I fail to see the needs around me, where I fail to see the needy, the lonely, the hurting, and those that just need a friend or someone to listen. The greatest gift that we can give is our time (our presence). When you are at the mall standing in long lines that come with Christmas shopping, focus this month on constantly being aware of those around you. Take a minute to smile at someone in line who is having a rough day, have a conversation or just give a compliment. When it’s midday and you are running through that Starbucks line, buy the persons behind you. You never know the lives you can change by just being present and loving those around you.
With the holiday “lists” of things to do, commit with me this month to slow down and just be “present.” Your list will eventually get done and the holiday planning will all come together. But lets join together and make this holiday season less about the “details” and more about being present.
“Mary sat at the Lords feet listening to what He taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing…The Lord said to Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it and it will not be taken away from her.” -Luke 10:38-42
We can learn so much from this passage of scripture. Martha was distracted by all the “details” that she failed to give her “presence.” Christ said that Mary had found what really mattered, the gift of giving her time and presence at the feet of Jesus. As she sat at the Lord’s feet (took the humble position) and listened, she was able to take the eyes off of herself and invest them in her relationship with Christ. While she was giving the gift of her “presence,” she began to discover the power of a healed, restored, and fulfilled life.
Lord, this holiday season I pray you help me take the eyes off of myself and be present in every area of my life. Let me not get distracted by all the “details” but to remember what this season is truly about.
– Love deeper and listen more
– Read Grace for the Good Girl
– Enjoy time with my best friends sitting by the fire and watching our favorite Christmas movie
– Be intentional about my quiet time with the Lord.
– Drive around town looking at Christmas lights
– Go to dinner and spend time with my Empty Bucket Ministries Board enjoying and reflecting on all that God did through us this year and write our God-sized dreams down for 2014!!
– Prepare for our EBM Nigeria/Ethiopia trip in March! So excited to see where God takes us next!
– Celebrate a new life! My cousin is having her baby this month!! Can’t wait to meet you sweet baby girl Carsyn.
– Go ice-skating outside under the stars
– Run my marathon on December 8th! It has been a journey training for this big day! I am so excited to finish my first marathon!!! :)
– Make and decorate Christmas cookies
– Try a new recipe for Christmas
– Finish my journal and start a fresh new one for 2014
December brings a close to 2013. I’m ready for a new year of exciting things and a fresh new start. Lets finish out 2013 strong!!!