Thursday, December 22, 2011


My usual afternoon route takes me past the popular shopping grounds of the season. I was driving along with the traffic on my way to pick up my boys from their three different schools. Suddenly a gigantic sedan attempted to make a right turn in front of me—from the left lane! I lay on the horn and burnt rubber, bringing my van to a screeching halt. I barely missed the side of the intrusive sedan.
My ice water splashed over me, my purse flew across the van, and my heart raced with intensity. I was so grateful we did not collide, so grateful I did not hit the passengers, and so terribly irritated that driver was in la-la-land and risked our lives!
I have been grouchy about Christmas crowds the last couple of days. People are shoving carts in front of others, with rarely an “excuse me” or “thank you.” My irritation grows as I wonder how so many people are so terribly rude at the same time.
After a third person absent-mindlessly sneezed on me in line, I called my husband to vent.  Half-jokingly, he responded, “It sounds like you lost your Christmas spirit today.”
It’s true. I am irritated in part, with myself. I desire to enjoy the Christmas season with a relaxed spirit. I want to keep a reign on the emphasis on the material. I want my heart centered on my love for God, my love for my family, and my love for others. It’s not an easy task in our culture, and I feel the spiritual struggle within.
It occurred to me, we have Holiday Tunnel Vision. We are all on a mission to hunt down gifts, avoid long wait in lines, and get home as quickly as we can.  The stress of cash and bills occupy our thoughts. I have to believe we are not seeking to be rude, rather, we are trapped within our own pursuits. It isn’t a pleasant place to be.
My home remedy for Holiday Tunnel Vision:
Cut down on internal and external expectations.
Stop adding things to my list of purchases and activities.
Do things well, but don’t overdo it!
Make Do
This is my new pet phrase: make do.  We don’t need more stuff.
Learn to be content.
Get creative with the resources you already have.
Model to your kids how to “make do”.
Ask God to help you figure this out!
Nurture, who has time to nurture during the holiday seasons?
Slow down. Give your body rest.  Schedule it in your day.
Turn the television, ringtone and radio off.
Enjoy the silence. Read.
Listen to God’s Spirit.  Ask Him what He wants you to hear.
Pray for your loved ones.
Pray for those in need.
Cuddle up with your family and play a card game.
Light the fireplace and tell stories or look through old photos.
Center your faith. When we are occupied with other things, our faith is in danger of drifting away. Bring your thoughts and your holiday hoopla back to the center of your faith.
It is this season we remember and declare, that God, in His unfathomable love, came down in the form of man, to provide eternal life for all who believe in Jesus’ name.
As you simplify, make do, and sit down to nurture your soul; will you center your faith on these words with me this season?
Hebrews 2:14-18
“Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by His death.
By embracing death, taking it into Himself, He destroyed the Devil’s hold on death
and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death.
It’s obvious, of course, that He didn’t go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, children of Abraham.
That’s why He had to enter into every detail of human life.
Then, when He came before God as High Priest to get rid of the people’s sins, He would have already experienced it all Himself
—all the pain, all the testing—and would be able to help where help was needed.”
Thank you Jesus, for taking on flesh and blood in order to rescue me through your own death. You conquered death, you conquer fear, you relate to every detail of my human life. You cleanse me of all sin and make a way for me to know God.  Happy Birthday, Jesus.  My gift to you is a life centered on You.  I pray it is pleasing to You each day.


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