Good morning friends. As I made time for my savior this morning, I couldn’t help but feel the heavy push to share it with all of you. This devotion is taken from:
Written by: Shauna Niequist
This 365 daily devotional was given to me by a dear friend, and I highly recommend it.
Present over Perfect
“He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.”
During Christmastime we find ourselves tempted to abandon Christlikeness in favor of overdoing. The season that centers around the silent, holy night, the simple baby, and the star quickly becomes the season in which we over-everything — overspend, overeat, overindulge, overcommit.
I fall into it every year, and one year, I was falling even a little bit deeper than usual. The stress and chaos were on the rise, and something had to change or I’d miss the loveliness of the season entirely. I stopped myself in the middle of it all–the trips, the wrapping, the cookies, the expectations–and I asked for help. I prayed for new eyes to see, for a way outside myself and my tense, swirling chaos. As I slowed down and listened, three words laid themselves on my worn-out spirit like a blanket: present over perfect.
I can show up with my perfectly wrapped gift and my perfectly baked cookies… and my perfectly resentful and frazzled self, ready to snap at the first person who looks at me wrong. Or I can rest my body and nourish my spirit, knowing that taking a grounded, present self to each holiday gathering is more important than the gifts I bring.
*God designed us to need rest and nourishment. When we receive them, we are better able to be wholly present. What do you need to cut out this season, in order to be fully present?
It’s December 8th, 2016, and we have approximately 15 more days (16 is pushing it) to have our shopping done, cookies baked, photos taken, cards made, house cleaned…. Kind of takes the fun out of it doesn’t it? On one hand, I breathe a sigh of relief. 15 more days, I got this. On the other hand, a panic begins it’s slow smolder preparing to go BOOM! I am definitely guilty of putting the hustle and bustle before the Reason for the Season.
As I move forward into more commitments as a blogger, I find myself putting a lot of pressure on myself. I want to already know everything I need to know in order to be successful. I want to jump ahead, instead of taking small steps in this gigantic learning pool. Just when I think I have firm grasp, it is painfully obvious that I don’t. I get stopped in my tracks often when I scroll through social media channels, realizing I have NOTHING to offer when comparing myself to all of the amazing talent out there. I ask myself, “What are you even doing? What is your purpose? Have you lost sight of what you thought your purpose was?”
This Christmas season is about family. It’s about LOVE. Sure, I will bake the cookies, I will wrap my gifts, I will attend holiday gatherings. But I want to be present in all of the above. I want to bake cookies with my girls, my mom, and my sister. It’s been over 5 years since we have been able to share that tradition, and now since my sister has moved back, it should be a top priority. I don’t want to just make the mess and photograph it for the soul purpose of posting to social media. I want there to be purpose in posting. I get pleasure out of wrapping gifts. My love language is gifts, so wrapping something special for someone I love, fills my love bucket as well. I LOVE hosting and attending festivities during the holidays. What better time to gather and fellowship with the most important people in your lives. The ones that build you up and encourage you in everyday life.
I have always loved pictures, they are memories and should be taken often. So, becoming a blogger, and being able to capture the changes we create together, has been greatly fulfilling. Thank you for joining me on a never ending journey as I learn, create, and share to inspire. Being present in the world of creativity is important. Allowing God to work through me in order to use my gifts in order to inspire you fills me with joy. I will be here to build you up, just as you build me up.
So, as I type this with tears burning my eyes, I am making the commitment to slow down a bit. I will get my shopping done, and I even tried to put together a few shopping guides for you all, but I may not get another created, I need to shop for MY people!! I love sharing ideas, and I have found being spontaneous is easier than planning the next blog post, which TOTALLY goes against EVERYTHING I am!!!
I.. AM.. A..PLANNER!!
Ok…. I do have Part 2 of my Cozy Christmas Home Blog Hop coming early next week. THAT I planned for 😉 Here’s a little sneak peek.
Anyway, I just wanted to share what was on my heart this morning, in case anyone out there is feeling a bit frazzled as well. Typing this out has actually helped a lot!! I feel better already. I vow to be present in all that lays on my plate between now and Dec. 25th. I realize I may have rambled a bit, and may have even gotten off track a little, but this was 100% authentic. Thanks for listening <3
If you are interested, Shauna Niequest has also written a book titled,
This may be the perfect Christmas gift just for you.
Author – Martha Knake
Chief Editor – Emily Schunke
Daily Devotional – Savor, Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are
Author – Shauna Niequest