Sunday, December 22, 2013

Decompressing Christmas

Sander in hand and safety glasses on.
It's decompression time!
Yesterday was just one of those days where all the miscellaneous stress and busyness of the season (and life in general) finally caught up with me. I felt emotionally frazzled. Anything and everything was getting on my nerves and I really needed to take some time to decompress and channel it all into something. I had just bought an old chest of some sort (probably a toy box) and I felt like it was the perfect time to redo it. I needed to be "giving new life to old things", as Chris puts it. It's very freeing when you have a soulmate who understands and encourages you to have some "you" time. He said, "Okie dokie, my beautiful artist. You take all the art therapy you need. I totally understand the need for decompression time." So, that's what I did!

As I mentioned, the busyness of life is stressful enough; and then you add the holidays on top of all of that. While there is usually much to enjoy about it all, it can be overwhelming. It's really important to take a timeout to just "be" and reflect. Taking a small break to breathe and decompress is vital.

It's very timely that today's sermon was about that very thing that I was doing last night. Pastor Larry Sprinkle was saying that no matter what is going on during Christmas, the four words that it all boils down to is "God is with us." Jesus, Emmanuel, was sent to us (and for us). We are not alone and God is always with us. In our busyness and in our downtime, He is there. He gives us strength and energy to endure as well as the peace and comfort to rest. He is everything we need. That is an amazing truth to take in; and something I value greatly when I have that "decompression time" because I know that God is always there to help me process things.

"After" :) 
Taking in the sermon, I thought about how true Larry's words were regarding how the Bible often says that Mary treasured and pondered all the wondrous things about Jesus in her heart. That's what we need to be doing; meditating and pondering the amazing things of Jesus in our heart and allowing it to sink in. Sometimes, you have to find fresh ways of making the "familiar" fresh again. We can easily become callused to the life-altering power of the true meaning of Christmas because we have heard the story, sung the hymns, and participated in the same traditions for so long. Therefore, we really do need to realize when we need to just hit pause on everything and take a timeout to refocus. Just like that old chest, we can find a way to give new life to old things.

Grace and peace to you, my friends! Don't miss the wonder of it all because of all the distractions. Decompress Christmas and get to the heart of it. Stop. Ponder. Listen. Ask Jesus to make His story new and fresh for you! He will do it! New life is what He's all about! Ponder the miracle of what Christmas is: a precious baby, the Son of God, resting humbly in a manger; a baby, destined to die for you. His perfect features would one day be marred by thorns, nails, and a spear. All of it was for you. If you're a parent, you can imagine how Mary must have felt; her mind totally blown away at not only the miracle of her first-born, but the fact that her son was the Son of God. Treasure and ponder that! Be infused! God bless you!

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