But we don't have to stay on the hamster wheel of busyness, leading to increasing cycles of anxiety and stress.
We can be people who pause, those who slow down and breathe for their sanity and soul's sake.
In this pre-Christmas season it's all too easy to get sucked into numerous activities, fail to prioritise self-care, neglect to pause and protect our weary souls. I sense a tension in the air, hanging like a dark, palpable thing. And I long for light, relief and rest.
I hear consumerism's clarion call, ready to ensnare us in its tenacious thrall. Who knew there were so many things we couldn't possibly manage to celebrate without? Who realised how much it all depends on us? But it doesn't, my friend, it really doesn't. We can discern as we sift the wheat from the chaff, the important from the urgent, the needful from what can wait—and learn how to delegate.
My resources and energy are already low, easily depleted. Maybe yours are too? And I'm wondering if there's a way to do things differently in a season which takes everything out of us—except, of course, for the well organised few who have the whole caboodle stitched up long before the rush begins. Maybe there's a means of getting back to the heart of things?
My tendency is to become overwhelmed. I may start off fine, happily choosing presents on-line. Then they arrive, take up floor, as well as head space. I remember family birthdays are also approaching, and what gets bought must soon be wrapped—gulp! Panic begins to set in. It's only mid-November and there's still so much to think about..and...and...STOP!
I need to breathe...watch clouds skim serenely across the sky and remind myself to slow... down... I need to search out the small things which speak of God's grace, His immanence within these frantic days. Asking for help is advisable, as is advance planning and preparation.
Because making ourselves unwell by allowing pressure to pulverise us is unwise. I've spent far too many festive seasons flat-out with fatigue, unable to enjoy family gatherings to the full, simply too exhausted to participate. I don't want to repeat the experience. I'm sure you don't either.
These are the people I love, the ones I rarely get to spend enough quality time with, the very ones I am spending time, money and energy on. Though I know they'd rather happily eschew the gifts in exchange for a more rested mum and grandma being available to them.
Will you pause with me? Even taking a few moments to stretch will help us to feel less tense. Let's pause, ponder and pray, invite God to show us what matters most to Him and what our major focus needs to be.
Pause for breath
Earth slows and I too pause for breath, marking
the moment with honoured awareness, as time
slips toward twilight hour and thoughts cease
to collide. Now they simply coalesce like
November mist vanishing into vapour
stilled, at rest. And I rewind the day's
activities, seeking solace in surrender
while my mind sinks into somnolence
and quietude breeds deeper gratitude
Stress, worry, rush and haste become defused as we pause and pray. Seeds of serenity are sown best in the soil of calm quietude. From there, we can move forward with God's wisdom and discernment guiding our steps, ushering us into His peace. We can be people who habitually take a holy pause and live with deeper gratitude. Will you join me?
Joy Lenton is a grateful grace dweller, contemplative Christian writer, poet and blogger, author of 'Seeking Solace: Discovering grace in life's hard places'.
She enjoys encouraging others on their journey of life and faith at her blogs wordsofjoy.me and poetryjoy.com as she seeks to discover the poetic in the prosaic and the eternal in the temporal.