One of the things I love most about blogging (aside from all the amazing people I get to interact with) is the opportunity it provides for stepping back to appreciate all of the ordinary moments that make up the everyday and to encourage the restoration of proper perspective in the midst of a too-full schedule.
So here’s 10 days (yikes!) worth of all-over-the-place random, photos from my phone, and stepping back…
Around this time each year, I look at my December calendar in the name of preparing for what’s ahead and tend to have a minor freak out moment until I settle into being just plain overwhelmed by the number of parties, rehearsals, and commitments that inevitably characterize this month. Without fail, that moment has come and gone. But after realizing that I had foolishly scheduled almost 10 days in a row of being out of the house every day (for pretty much all day), I did have the foresight to make some adjustments to the schedule where possible. I hate saying “no” to good things that I know will be fun and meaningful, but I find that I’m much less overwhelmed when I slow down enough to have at least a couple of nights each week with no commitments (I call this scheduling “margin” into life…time to be still and recharge…am I the only one who needs this?), so I can at least stay on top of cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming the carpet, and washing the dishes. All things that help me stay sane. At least relatively.
This helped with restoring perspective, too:
“The second coming of Christ will soon be here…Rest in the hope of that day. Work, watch, and look forward – one thing, at any rate, that day will make abundantly clear. It will show that there was never an hour in our lives in which we had our hearts too thoroughly focused on Christ.”
– J.C. Ryle (emphasis added)
I rode with my parents to my grandparents house in Northern Virginia for Thanksgiving. It was a quick trip (we left on Thursday and came back on Saturday), but since I wasn’t driving, I managed to read two books during the travel time. (“Radical” by David Platt and “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo…just in case anyone’s interested.) We had a great time visiting with family, and on Friday, while everyone else was out shopping (which is just not my idea of a good time!), we helped my grandparents clean out old Christmas decorations from their attic, which is where I found these amazing vintage ornaments. I fell in LOVE with them, but no one else seemed to want them, so my Uncle and I divided them up between us and later found out they were my grandfather’s from when he was little. Even better!
Decorating the house for Christmas this year has been a process (and is still in progress), but my roommate, B (who happens to be blogging lots of fun and tasty homemade treats for 25 days of Christmas here) made these awesome stockings since we decided to change up the mantel theme this year. Aren’t they just the cutest???
Speaking of decorating, I know I left you hanging with the whole office re-do. I still haven’t really finished, but I did finally organize the bookshelf, and I really like it!
On Friday morning, I walked outside my back door to find frost all over my car. I didn’t feel like scraping the windows, so after saying “good morning” to my neighbor who was throwing out his trash, I opted to just sit in the car for a few minutes, eat my waffle, and wait for the defroster to kick in. About 30 seconds later, though, my windows cleared instantly as my neighbor had gone into his own car (he wasn’t going anywhere, mind you), taken out his de-icer spray, and sprayed all my windows for me. Totally made my morning!
Of course, ’tis the season for my weeks to be filled with lots of choir rehearsals in preparation for the Christmas concert (which is next Sunday) and for other extra special seasonal services (the Advent / Tree Lighting service is tonight!). And yesterday afternoon, I attended the women’s Christmas tea at church for the first time thanks to an invite from a sweet friend who hosted/decorated a table again this year. There were 81 tables all beautifully decorated by their respective hosts and a message of the hope and peace we have in the gift of Christ. So much fun!
And now, I’m planning to sit on my couch in my favorite fleece pants and enjoy an hour of stillness. I hope you experience some peace and stillness in the midst of this season as well!