Thursday, December 13, 2012

Getting Into A Christmas Frame of Mind

Tuesday: (12/11/12)

It still has not arrived.

I don't know why, but I have seemed to be as far away from Christmas spirit as a human can be. The Christmas music has been bothersome and Christmas movies have seemed stale.

I don't like when I get this way. I live very mechanical and cold- doing my ritual. I feel almost like I am just existing and not living.

The last few days, it has bothered me enough that at least I am voicing a prayer- "Lord, forgive my cold heart. Please help me in renewal and love".

I also know what is working against me. The weather has been a downer. My health is not great...not sick enough to miss work, but not well enough to feel good. My clothes feel tighter, a reminder that I have not done well in eating and exercise since Thanksgiving. A headache and stuffy nose has made my sleep a nightly fight.

The traffic and noise hides any feeling of excitement or joy for the holidays.

What do I need to do? I need to humble myself, confess my sins, and patiently wait on God for that renewal.

I am a few days into a plan.

  • Watched my eating and pushed hard in exercise.
  • Time in the Word.
  • Prayer.
  • A walk in the woods (it was good).

I also have a few projects planned. I tried to help my wife out more last night.

I have another fun project planned as well. And will start that today.

"Father, what good would it be for another Christmas to come and go and I just watch it pass by. Have I become old and jaded to the great gift and the season of childlike magic? I'm praying that you help me return to that Christmas Frame of Mind."

Wednesday (12/12/12)

Amazing what a prayer and plan can do.

Am I there yet?... not quite. But I did feel my heart at least wake up from the dull pounding of ritual and routine.

I shared on a prayer request from that I desired prayer- I said I was more scrooge then Christmas Christian... and I do fully believe I was prayed for.

Projects have helped.

Did some small maintenance type of things around the house- and I need to do more. I want to be active in doing some things as service to Lisa and my family.

Exercise helped. I particularly liked getting in the steam room after and taking time to pray.

I turned my radio to the station playing Christmas music and it was good to have on.

But the next project was major heart engagement. I took some equipment home to digitize our old VHS tapes, which are quickly fading with age. I spent most of last night, saving my oldest daughter's very first year of life. The video is pre-birth to 6 months.

Wow. I guess the picture is Chevy Chase, locked in the attic, reliving the old memories with a tear stained smile.

I can't wait to do it again tonight.

I got up this morning. I feel much better physically. I put on a Christmas tie. Enjoyed a morning devotional from Dr. Mosbacker and excited to engage some students today.

THURSDAY (12/13/12):

Well- the world didn't end yesterday...... been fitting for 12/12/12 but God's plan and patience reigns!

Typical of a week, had a step back at the end of yesterday with some discipline issues hitting my e-mail late in the day. Dealing with feelings, attitudes, and behavior this time of year is always fragile. It did have me praying a lot, asking God for wisdom in handing out consequences that support fully our policies and procedures, trying to be consistent with past precedent, and engaging these students in a way to help them- even though it sometimes means temporary pain.

But I am reminded that the Christmas story isn't necessarily easy, clean, or nice. Jesus came into hard circumstances, and a dark world. There was violence surrounding him and a war waged for the souls of men. There were horrific casualties and hard fought wins.

Yes, I am in a Christmas frame of mind- but it is a real one- not nostalgic. It is a reminder that I am a pilgrim and my longings will not be quenched in this life.

I am thankful for the joy of what God's gift meant for us.
I am humbled that He loves me regardless of my Ebenezer ways.
I desperately need His second return- to make this world right and free us from our curse of sin.

To be honest, I am too overcome with sweet and sorrow, gratitude and joy, anticipation and weariness to properly express the time with words.

The alarm clock went off early- 4:50- and we stayed there fighting the battle, cold vs. warmth- but my wife being the warrior faithfully hit the floor and I followed.

Sweat clothes....quiet Christmas music on the way to the Y. I rode the bike for a break and found Pandora's Praise and Worship station to be soothing and beautiful.

Easy 30 min.- barely a sweat- but was weary from 2 hard days of running.

On the way home- so thankful for all Christ has done for me. The family videos I have been digitizing have been incredible evidence of God's special blessings and protection.

In the office early, just sitting here at my desk, about to take on a big day with a lot to do.

Two more regular days, 3 days of exams, and I will have a special time. Julie will be home soon. And we will gather together again for Christmas.

Thank-you God for answering my prayers- I am so heart ready to enjoy each moment, drink in the music, and celebrate a special occasion- the inauguration of the Child King!

My prayer is that all of you find more joy than sorrow in special time of year!

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