Advent, Uncategorized

25 Days of Advent: Time

Where does the time go? It flits and melts away like the snowflakes. If only it could be frozen and preserved!

What if we could gift wrap time? I’m not talking about a watch or a clock. I’m talking about actual seconds, minutes, hours, and even days.

Maybe it is possible.

What if I offered my time?

Couldn’t I expand my reach outside my daily routine, my cozy home, my inner circles? Wouldn’t that give warmth to another’s landscape encrusted in ice crystals because I enter into it? Couldn’t expelling even a puff of exertion prove there is more to life than my own comfort?

Isn’t that a preservation of time–that mere moment’s snapshot?

That memory shared with another?

Advent, Uncategorized

25 Days of Advent: The Second Sunday of Advent

The second Sunday of Advent traditionally symbolizes peace. Yet, when I think about how I spent Sunday, peace isn’t what comes to mind right away. It was a good day. Just not restful.

Sunday was our volunteering Sunday. I love this Sunday once a month because we are helping others. But, it is busy. We take two cars to church. I have to be there early to care for two special needs children. My husband counts offertory, so he has to stay late. This week my youngest and I stayed for the second service in order to worship. But, I admit it was hard to keep my eyes open.

I didn’t get much rest once I got home. My middle son expressed frustration about the Vikings loss. I took our oldest son to get packing boxes. He is moving home for a month before his study-abroad experience. Then I took my youngest son back to church to help with serving for the children’s Christmas program. I briefly dozed off, but not enough to feel rejuvenated.

Yet, I felt a piece of peace. Something about caring for others does that for me. It gives peace to them by easing their burdens. Perhaps that is one of the best gifts we can give: a piece of ourselves to bring others peace.

Advent, Uncategorized

25 Days of Advent: The Third Sunday of Advent

My theme for 2017 matches the traditional theme for Advent’s third Sunday: joy. How did I do with reflecting joy this year?

With Philippians 4:4 as my key verse, I practiced rejoicing…over and over again. I did this when I didn’t feel like it. I did it when I did feel more like it, yet seemed to forget joy in my moments of happiness.

I read books about happiness. I learned through Randy Alcorn’s study titled Happiness that happiness and joy are more akin to one another than I had been taught in church. It’s not unspiritual to be happy. There are many ways to seek out happiness, according to Gretchen Rubin’s books. But, through scripture, I learned that true joy is found in acknowledging happiness while enjoying all God has given me.

I am reminded, too, of a trick I learned years ago. In order to correctly sing the word rejoice, it is pronounced as re-choice. Some of my most joyous moments happened when applying an attitudinal choice. I could choose joy as we condsidered a move out-of-state. I could also choose joy when the move didn’t happen. I had to readjust my thinking about many things. I continue readjusting my thinking by applying Philippians 4:8. That’s my continued goal for 2018.

What is your re-choice to rejoice this Christmas season?

Advent, Uncategorized

25 Days of Advent: Declutter

One of the seemingly hopeless aspects of Christmas is decluttering. Not only is there the routine cleaning, but the additional decor sometimes gets in the way. For example, my new Deebot keeps getting stuck in the tree skirt.

As an assortment of gifts multiply under the tree, I wish I could ignore the stacks of boxes going unsorted in my basement. What treasures must be buried there? Maybe there is something I could re-gift. If only I was as good at labeling those boxes.

Time during the Christmas season becomes cluttered, too. There are gifts to be made and purchased. Events require attendance.

The only thing decluttering is my diminishing bank account.

Yet, everything gets done–eventually. Time must be made for the most important things. People require attending as well. There are gifts to give and receive. Something happens when we take the time to give acts of service, words of encouragement, and hugs. Maybe the best thing we can do is spend quality time listening over coffee and cookies.

After all, those boxes in the basement aren’t going anywhere. They can wait until January.

Advent, Uncategorized

25 Days of Advent: First Snow

December 5 is a bit late for the first accumulating snow. But, then, Minnesota weather is rarely predictable. A week ago, I could go outside without a jacket. I think that won’t be the case until at least April. Maybe May.

Yet, there is comfort in the predictable unpredictability of weather. Bleak days are often followed by brilliant ones. Sometimes both happen in the same twenty-four hours–the clouds barely outlined with a hidden glimmer until they can no longer hold back the streaming gleam. On those days, hope becomes visible with glinting snow and gently melting ice. On those days, I ignore the weather report and simply gaze in amazement.