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.
- 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."
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.
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!