If you are joining us for the 30-Day Devotional, you know that I feel strongly that holiday breaks are important, even vital, to our full thriving and wellbeing. Each has its own unique purpose. I believe that Thanksgiving is for gratitude; for pausing to take stock of what went well last year and to be at least a little in awe of the blessings that are heaped upon our lives.
December is for pausing - as we wait for the Advent of what is to come, we rest and we let that rest bring renewal. That doesn’t mean that we do nothing in this season, but that we pour into ourselves that best kind of self-care we know how, filling ourselves full to overflowing with good things. We stop to notice what didn’t work well in the last year and to set intentions about how we want to move through the world in 2019.
In the New Year we pour all those good things we’ve stocked in our hearts out into our world. We get on our mark and run hard after the goals we have thoughtfully set. We are ready to run because we rested well.
What I’m saying is that unless each of these holiday breaks in our schedules are handled well, we won’t get the most from any of them. They rely upon one another.
As we approach the Christmas Season, it’s time for some rest. And not only rest, but renewal. Renewal of the mind, heart, body, and spirit. What follows are the best ways I know to intentionally care for all four parts of ourselves and to ready ourselves for a hard run come January.
Caring for our head means stimulating your mind with what matters. For me, that means two things: reading and goal setting. I’ll be talking much more about goal setting in the coming weeks, and you can check out last year’s blog post about it here. But for now, take some time to think about what didn’t work well for you last year and one critical next step you could take to improve your experience in that area of your life. For me, one thing that didn’t work well last year was how busy my mornings end up getting and how, consequently, things I love about my morning routine end up getting rushed. I’m mulling over whether I need to commit to an earlier wake up time or if something should be cut from the routine.
Also, I am pouring myself into good books this season. I’m choosing to read, with a mug of coffee and a warm blanket under the lights of the Christmas tree rather than watch mindless television. I always wish I had more time for reading during the year, so as tempted as I may sometimes be, I’m not going to waste it.
Do not miss the chance this Christmas season to deepen relationships with your people. When everyone is leaning in, don’t waste those precious moments on cell phones or television, but create a space - in your living room or at the kitchen counter or wherever your family gathers - for connection. Ask deep questions and listen well. Look one another in the eyes and laugh a lot. Connection is what makes us human. We need it to be well and this season is perfect for it. Here’s a place to start: “What is one role you have (mother, boss, sister, etc.) that you feel is often misunderstood or mishandled by others in your life? Why?”
Caring for spirit often looks the most challenging. But really, in this season, you can find God around every corner if you’re looking. I believe deeply that God is faithful to meet us when we go looking, so as you seek to renew yourself spiritually, add some intention and He’ll meet your halfway. If you don’t have a quiet time practice, what better time to start one? If you have always wanted to try some meditation, do it now. If you want to journal, look up some journal prompts, buy a Moleskin, and get started right now.
Caring for the body might just take the most intention this time of the year. I don't know how many years I have spent December literally just sitting and eating. I mean, there's nothing really wrong with that, but as with most everything else, moderation is key. No one likes to realize that it's January and you need to start a Whole30 immediately to feel anything like yourself. So let's decide now to care of our bodies by moving for 30 minutes at least five times a week. That can be a walk, a jog, or jumping jacks on your living room floor. Let's stay in motion so we don't have to be grumpy about it in January.
1. Download a interval timer to your phone and use it to try some Hiit workouts. You never have to leave your house and they get you sweating in 15 minutes.
2. Bundle up and take a walk with a family member. Kill two birds with one stone by investing in relationships and caring for your body.
Take care this holiday friends. Get the renewal that you need and let's get ready for the best year yet in 2019.
Welcome! I'm a wife, mama-to-be, foster mom, fourth year music teacher, and Jesus follower, and am chronically curious about just about everything. Join me as I explore the calling God has for my family's story.
"I am the Vine, you are the Branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."