Oppressive December:: Setting My Intention To NOT Be Harried This Season
I’m feeling rushed.
December always feels so… oppressive to me. Like all the world is pressing in towards me, doing its darnedest to choke the life out of me.
I’m super intentional about not joining the gift rat-race and not comparing my life or financial situation to the lives of others around me… and we don’t have tv so my kids aren’t begging me for anything they are seeing commercials about, etc… and I really do say no to a lot at this time of year in an effort to give myself some breathing room…
And yet— I still feel like something invisible and intangible is creeping up on me, seeking to keep my eyes cloudy, my ears stuffed up, my breathing labored.
I’m starting to think this is what “spiritual warfare” is. Like maybe all this yucky, hurried, distracted, indecisive, flustered feeling is Satan’s way of attempting to sidetrack me, to keep me blinded from the real true beauty that Advent and Christmas and Jesus really have to offer me at this time of year…?
Hmm… So what am I going to do about it? Well, I’ll tell you: I am going to set my intention. I am going to make up my mind about what I really value and what I really want to be doing to occupy my time and how I really want to use my mental and emotional energy— and then I am going to determine to walk in that path.
So here we go. This month, my intentions are to:
- Wake up before my kids and spend ample amount of time in God’s Word each morning. I will center myself on Him and His truth before anything else.
- Stay within the predetermined budget for gift giving, etc.— no matter how many other cool things I might find. (This one is sooo hard for me each year.)
- Keep a ton of white space on my calendar and dedicate that time to just breathing, settling myself down, and being present in my life. Writing (always a centering, fulfilling activity for me) will likely occupy much of that white space.
- Find creative ways— using media, music, and tangible activities— to help prepare myself and my children for the beauty of celebrating Jesus’ birth on Christmas morning. I will keep my antennae up for tools that might be particularly helpful for my middle school daughters in particular.
- Listen to great sermons (i.e. while I am cleaning house, folding laundry, running errands, etc.) that will help keep my mind focused in the proper place: Jesus and what His birth means for myself and the rest of the world.
- Reach out and ask friends to pray for me if/when I sense myself slipping into my old, anxiety-ridden habits.
- Have fun with my kids: we will have dance parties and do art and play games and be silly together.
- Allow my husband to be himself. I will not try to force him to be more social or more jovial or more anything than he naturally is and wants to be. I will practice empathy with him.
Nothing super complicated. No high and lofty goals for me. Just simplicity, empathy, and centeredness… That is my intention. What’s yours???
What about you?
What is December and Christmastime typically like for you? What will be different this year from your “usual”? What are your intentions this time around?
*Please share your insight and your journey with me in the comment section below.