Sunday, December 20, 2015

Pause

I've been facing the possibility of surgery for quite awhile. Recently I was forced to admit that I could put it off no longer, so despite all the hustle and bustle and demands of the season, last Wednesday I underwent surgery instead and hit an instant "pause" on all of the season's activities. What this means for me this year is no Christmas baking, no Christmas cleaning, and no flurry of activities. What this means for me is rest, rest, and more rest.

At first I was frustrated and upset about it, truth be told. I love all the rush of the season. Decorating the house, listening to Christmas music, baking special treats, giving gifts, and spending time with friends are true delights of mine. In the end, though, I learned that my agenda didn't matter as much as my health. In the clearing of all the activities, I've rediscovered time for personal bible studying, napping, knitting, and reading.

Advent has always been a favorite liturgical season of mine. The season of waiting, which is so out of fashion these days, is filled with silence, worship, and anticipation. Reflective not only of the baby Christ's expected arrival in Bethlehem, but also of His second coming in power and might, Advent reminds me to stay vigilant. It reminds me that God is always in control, and it reminds me that the best is yet to come. Typically our family celebrates Advent by lighting candles in our Advent wreath and reading passages from the bible, but this year I've streamlined it to simply reading sections of scripture for personal reflection. I did pick up some German Advent calendars for the kids that have pieces of chocolate behind the windows. From their earliest days I used the chocolate as a tangible reminder that God's words are sweet on the tongue. It's a wonderful tradition I look forward to continuing.

In addition to Advent study, I have rediscovered a love for napping. I haven't enjoyed a nap in years, but lately (I blame all the pain medicines) I can't seem to make it more than three hours without having one. Normally this would make me feel guilty, but not this year! As I rest, I know my body is working on healing itself. It's a gift I'm giving to myself that in turn is a gift to my family in that it will help me return to full health much more quickly.

Last year during this time I participated in a mystery knit-along put on by Laura Aylor. This year she's repeating the fun, and I've had such a delightful time taking part. It's a Christmas gift to myself as I set apart approximately one hour a day to work on her clue.
These are a few of my favorite things:  Kringler (as made by my son), Miss Babs K2 yarn, the third clue in the mystery knit, and a savory cup of cinnamon tea.
The knit-along will culminate in the final clue distributed on Christmas Eve. Normally I would wear whatever I create to the Christmas Eve church services, but I don't know if I'll be able to attend them yet. I'm not going to stress over it now. If all else fails, I'll be able to live stream the services, although I love celebrating Christ's arrival with the body of believers. It is such an intimate, special time. As it stands, I'm choosing to enjoy each day, each clue, and each challenge as it presents itself, with no worries for tomorrow.
Day two of the clues!
When I'm not studying, napping, or knitting, I'm reading. It's been forever since I've indulged in a book just for fun. I think it's just how things are when you teach literature to others. There's just no time. This year I'm making time and enjoying every bit of it! Uncle Tom's Cabin and The Scarlet Pimpernel will still be there when I'm done with my fun book, and I'll pick the threads up and continue on. In the meantime, I shall enjoy a divergence.

This season is certainly different. It is still a blessing and a gift. I give thanks to God, the creator and definer of Sabbath rest for this gift to me. I pray I learn to hit the pause button a little more frequently in the future. Merry Christmas. May peace and grace be your gifts this year!

P.S. If, while reading this entry, you encounter any spelling or grammar errors, I blame the Percoset. ;-D

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