Maybe it's just me.
But this time of year it feels almost completely and totally impossible to keep my head above water...much less to peacefully dwell in the peace and joy of the manger, like I always envision doing.
I am burning the candle of best-intention at both ends. Drowning in an ocean of good tidings. Scurrying in rat races of pursuing peace and joy.
And this seems to be a dark dark time for so many, from dear friends here and dear friends there.
Let me tell you the one and only thing I'm telling myself today.
I have so many papers to grade and parties to finalize and clothes to wash and emails to send that it feels almost totally irresponsible.
And don't get me wrong, it's still going to be a busy season.
But I just REFUSE to let these days go by without sweet time of seeking Him, without dwelling in His mighty presence.
Today, tomorrow, the next day...spend an hour in the Word...Christmas stories or not. Spend an hour praying and listening and drawing near. Put on some music, light a candle, get a cup of coffee, sit in the middle of what may-well-LOOK like a stable of papers and dishes and children and to-dos and STOP.
I am committing with you that no matter what, an hour a day will be spent at His feet...even if it feels like it's going to make everything else worse.
Because you know what?
He gives us our days, He gives us our times, and WE TRUST HIM.
So don't we trust Him to help us do and be what He truly desires we do and be? Don't we trust Him enough that if we prioritize seeking Him each day, laying down our precious time, that He will bless that, grow that, sustain? Be enough?
We do! We trust Him. We just forget.
We WANT Him, this season, today. We just forget.
So let me remind us. An hour might feel like a lot...but it might just be enough to transform this entire season.
Don't know where to start?
It doesn't have to be perfect. It's not always going to feel natural. But I can testify to you that when I seek Him, when I lay down all the rest and pursue Him, whatever that looks like, HE. MEETS. ME.
I personally spend about five minutes praying, asking God to calm my heart and spirit and help me to dwell at His feet. Then I read through "My Utmost for His Highest" for the day, then spend about 30 minutes reading the corresponding Scripture and today's advent reading (this year I'm using THIS), and then I spend the rest of my time lifting up the people and needs God brings to my mind and heart, and finish with listening. Asking God to move, to speak. Resting for that still small voice. Asking for His voice, asking Him to show me Himself, His truth, what to do, how to believe, how to dwell, how He loves and is leading.
That's just me...what do YOU do? How do you love to spend your time with Him?
If you want a reading plan this Christmas, here are a few of my favorites....
This is a great daily advent reading plan, 90% scripture, 10% insight: http://shereadstruth.com/plan/advent-2016-christ-was-born-for-this/
Here is a printable daily advent reading plan, great for you AND family : http://www.notconsumed.com/printable-advent-reading-plan/
Here is Bible Gateway's daily reading plan: https://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/voice-advent/next
If you have the Jesus Storybook Bible (and LOVE it, like we do) here's an Advent Reading Plan using it: http://i0.wp.com/adrielbooker.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Jesus-Storybook-Bible-An-Advent-reading-plan.png
This year with the girls, I'm using the same reading plan I'm reading, reading them the Scriptures out loud while they act it out with their Little People Nativity Set. I have been lacking the everything to do daily ornaments or crafts this year, but they are LOVING this, and I keep catching them acting out all the prophecies and stories on their own throughout the day, even letting Nora play along with her favorite wise-woman, whom she relentlessly calls "Gertha".
I love you. God loves you. Put Him to the test this season, committing your time and heart and days to Him, and let's see how He meets us. I'm promising He will.