Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Even in all the cleaning & prep for Christmas, stress and anxiety still find their way into my heart. When I find myself stressing, I try to remember the line from Silent Night: all is calm.

Remember that part of the verse? All is calm, all is bright? Sleep in heavenly peace?
Sometimes it is hard to remember. It's even harder to put it into practice when the world around us is so insistent on chaos. 

I wrote a post over at Audacious about finding peace and calm during the Christmas season. It is still sometimes hard to remember, but when I feel myself stressing I remember what the angel said: 
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior -- yes, the Messiah, the Lord -- has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!"
Do you see it? First of all, you've got terrified shepherds. Terrified. But, as Pastor Tim would say, thank the Lord for the "comma but." They were terrified, but! they were reassured by an angel of the Lord! How great is that? To have an angel come to your workplace and say, "It's ok. I know you are scared. It will be okay. Guess why? Come on, guess why?! I have GREAT news! The best kind of news! The kind of news that won't stress you out but bring you cause for great celebration!! Are you ready?"

When I take time, I mean really take time, to read that passage, I get excited. Really excited. Can you just picture that angel? All giddy with the joy of fulfilled prophecy? 

Sleep in heavenly peace tonight. Rest in the joy of the good news of The Christ, The Messiah, The Savior of the World.

Get those party hats out. 

Joy has come!

It's time to celebrate! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

hello monday: christmas edition

Two days until Christmas…and I have no idea if I'm ready for it all! 

I'm still putting the finishing touches on presents…which also involves buying/making presents. Oops. 

I am starting to feel the pressure of the holidays. And when I say "starting," I mean it's starting to make me feel anxious and like I want to stay home forever. I've been working the last few weekends at Old Navy and we are hopping from open to close. It has nothing to do with my own shopping and schedule, but being in there for a few hours stresses me out like nothing else. 

I've been trying to keep the stress that can accompany the holiday really low. For me, it looks like not going crazy decorating the apartment, keeping gifts simple but thoughtful, not over-scheduling time off, making good time for good friends and trying to keep that shalom in abundance. 

I'm in cleaning mode today. Why? 

Why, hello monday!
  • My baby sister & her husband are coming to town! They will be visiting for the whole week and I am beyond excited to see them! 
  • FAMILY TIME. This will be the first time since September that all the girls (and the husbands) (AND my niece!) get to spend time together. In the same state. In the same house. I can't even contain the excitement! 
  • I have off for 13 days! Time to catch up on all the cleaning I didn't do over finals and study break…
  • Christmas! Parties! Company! No solid plans yet, but cleaning now means less stress later…
  • My best buddy in the whole world whom I haven't seen in FIVE WHOLE YEARS is coming to visit next week! (I'm just a tiny bit excited, can you tell?!?)
Individually, these things are pretty great. But together? In the same week? Well, that is my Christmas miracle! 

What are you looking forward to this week?? 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Still Thankful

It's not November any more (!) but I can still be thankful about stuff, right? 


Because today I am thankful. So thankful. 

Thankful for friends who hold your hand, give hugs and sit next to you because you are hurting. 

Friends who accept the tear stained face of a girl with very little sleep and very high emotions with z.e.r.o. judgment. 

Friends who look you in the eye and say, "Don't leave. I have to go take care of something, really quickly, but just don't leave, okay?" because they care about you. 

Thankful for people who see me. 

Thankful for my little community.

These next two weeks are going to be insane, just like the last two weeks of semester have always been. Late hours plus stressed out students equals crazy. But being a helping possibly calming voice in that sea of crazy for them is one of my favorite things about my job. Seriously. 

I heard somewhere (okay fine. It was a Gilmore Girl episode.) that sometimes it is helpful to view problems in life as challenges instead of a problem or setback. So here are some "challenges" I have to look forward to this week:

  • working a crazy finals schedule
  • finish organizing study break (food, drinks, games, etc.)
  • getting my car to the garage to (hopefully) fix what I think is a leaky radiator hose
  • laundry (or seriously, I'll be wearing all my fancy dresses to work for two weeks. And when the dresses run out, it's gonna be jeans and hoodies…)
Where's the fun in life if things aren't a little difficult, right? And if you see me sitting in a corner somewhere, rocking quietly or crying, just leave a huge cup of coffee with me and back away slowly. Trust me. It will end better for both of us.