Sharing My Heart: Longing for a Peaceful Advent and Christmas

Monday, December 17, 2012

I'm home...finally done with finals. With the impending pressure to do well, to spend every minute revising papers, underlining passages, memorizing dates, and cramming knowledge into my brain. Done with sleepless nights and days that blurred together, done with surviving on coffee and the occasional snatches of food. I no longer live in the library or in my dorm's study room...

And oh, it feels so nice.

To sleep, to eat, to not have to. do. anything.

And yet, as soon as I arrived home - after sleeping for 11 hours straight - a new kind of pressure and impending "To-Dos" threatened to settle in: the things that need to be done for Christmas.

After two days of being home, I slightly began to panic, I admit. There's so much to do - gifts to be gotten, treats to be made, packages to be mailed, gatherings and parties to plan...the fact that Advent quietly crept by and yesterday was the third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete or Rose Sunday) only added to the sense of time slipping by too quickly. So much to do and so little time!

And then I caught myself thinking wistfully of how I would rather spend this holy season, this time of joy and family and dwelling in hard-earned rest after such a busy, demanding fall semester.

I'd rather be reading, you see.

Curled up blissfully in an armchair or on a couch, enthralled and lost in a book that is decidedly un-school related.

Taking naps. Just because I can  - because, oh happy day, I actually have the time.

Spending time with my dear characters and reacquainting myself with the plot twists and turns of my novel, and writing again.

Going on walks, enjoying the silence of my surroundings, the calm of my own thoughts, and the stillness of the Advent season.

Praying and thinking about the sacred Gift we will soon receive...slowing down and contemplating the readiness or un-readiness of my heart.

Drinking deep of His word through #SheReadsTruth, which I've missed greatly.

Baking scrumptious fall and winter dishes and holiday treats - not  because it's something to be done quickly so I can check it off of my list, but because I love it.

Savoring each rich, magical sip in a mug of hot chocolate.

Eating delicious, homemade, nourishing and healthy food that I love.

Working on and wrapping gifts with intention and mindfulness - not in a busy flurry.

Rooting myself in blessed, hushed quiet and letting God work His balm of grace on my cynical, weary soul.

Experiencing the everyday, little moments of beauty, whether in the clear, soft, pure notes of music, a line of poetry that dances across the page, a description of another world found in a wardrobe, the cold crisp air of a winter's day, or the noisy laughter-and-shriek-filled sounds of little siblings in the house.

And sharing my heart on here.

I'm going to try. Because that's what really matters - that's what I really want to remember when I look back at this break. That is was a break. A rest, a time of rejuvenating and breathing, of recharging. That's what matters  - not checking everything off the list perfectly, not getting the best deal, or shopping until I drop, or spending money on extraneous things.

 I'm going to try at any rate. :)  May you find the same.


Wishing you a peace-filled and meaningful last week of Advent during this holiday season. 


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Clare Ryan said...

That sounds like a great plan. I'll be doing something similar. After a difficult finals week, I want nothing more than rest and calm with my family. God bless you, dearie!

Rosalind said...

Grace, you expressed my feelings exactly! It's supposed to be a break and a time for preparing our hearts for God...but there is so much to do! It's a balancing act, to be sure. Wishing you a chance for rest and joy admid the craziness!

Raewyn said...

Hope you have a wonderful holiday filled with all the rest and loveliness you could hope for, sweet sister mine. And a blissfully happy Christmas to you as a newly-engaged woman. :) Love and miss you!

Raewyn said...

Glad to hear you feel the same, Rosalind! It's definitely hard not to buy into the "I-have-to-rush-everywhere-and-do-all-these-things-so-it's-a-perfect-holiday" attitude that commercialize promotes. Thank you - hope you have a calm Christmas also!