Monday, December 5, 2022

Season of Respect


Yawn.  I am tired this morning.  Slept all night (unusual for me).  Dog STILL sleeping (also unusual).

Woke to alarm clock.  Up, stumbled to kitchen, poured a cup of ambition as Dolly would say, and then sat down to my desk and laptop.  Still have not made it through my readings, and it's about time for me to get up and go get ready for work.

I am already behind, and it's only 6:30 a.m.  How is the rest of my week going to go from here?  Doesn't look good.

As we enter into this season of hustle and bustle, I am being reminded (constantly) to slow down and take time to INHALE and EXHALE.  I wrote on it yesterday.  My Worship Leader (thank you Trace!) stopped and spoke on it.  My Preacher (thanks Brian!) preached on it.  I am being constantly poked by God to SLOW DOWN or as my Preacher said yesterday - PACE yourself.

This morning, when I finally made it to my first reading, I found this:

"Gracious Lord, please give [insert whatever name you want here ]and me the blessing of living in a [way] that is highlighted with both respect and honor.

Bless us with this gift from You in a way that comes naturally to us.

Pour out Your lovingkindness on each of us so that it overflows to the other. Where there has been disrespect, let the other respond with gentleness and grace. Where there has been dishonor, let the other respond with peace and patience.

May our responses to each other be punctuated with the spirit of love so that we habitually operate wholly and completely in an atmosphere that knows nothing other than respect and honor."

Wow.  That'll wake you up and hit you right between the eyes.

In this time of hustle and bustle, despite the Lord's prodding to me to slow down and in turn, show lovingkindness to that it OVERFLOWS to others, I failed yesterday.  I am succumbing to the pressure of December.

I should love December.  My first born was given to me in December.  Hallmark is on its best month in December.  Holiday music is out in December.  Baking and cooking are top-notch in December.

But also in December comes the pressure of getting all the lights up; the tree decorated; and the boxes brought out of the attic, sorted, and displayed.  It's a lot to get done for four short weeks of festivities, and each day in December that strolls on by and you haven't gotten any of those things done adds a little bit more pressure to your life.

Is it just me?  I feel like it isn't as I listen to my friends say things like, "I haven't even gotten my Christmas stuff out yet" or "My tree isn't decorated yet."  We all feel the need to say these things because there is some unspoken pressure as our social media feeds fill with beautiful homes fully decorated and lit up outside for everyone to see.

Yesterday, I had a few elves stop by to help me hang my porch lights, light the picket fence, and hang wreaths.  There were multiple questions, projects, and activities going on all at once.  It sent my calm, cool, and collected decorating of the past two days into a downward spiral on the inside.  I think I did okay on the outside - didn't snap too much; didn't bark orders (I don't think); and said thank you as they left to head on to their next task.  

But my "OCD" was a little frantic on the inside.  No Christmas music, smells, or movies playing in the background.  No organizing or cleaning as I went.  Multiple personalities and directions.  I felt like Charlie Brown leaning his back and screaming, "AARRGGHH!"  But, I survived and the outside got accomplished.  Someone said to me last night, "I know you are not done decorating, but you are closer to finishing than you were the day before."

Um, wow.  That one line just hit home with me.

Yes.  Yes, I am.  And I need to be more cognizant of those around me, the time they give, and the work they do for me.  So when I open up my devotion and read a prayer like the one above, I have to stop and say, "Yes Jesus.  Help me to pour our YOUR lovingkindness so that it OVERFLOWS to those around me.  When I disrespect others, let them show me GRACE and peace and patience.  And most importantly, let me operate wholly and completely where I know nothing but respect and honor."

That is a tall order and HUGE prayer.  But I am so thankful that Jesus gave it to me this morning.  I was supposed to read that devotion yesterday, but I didn't have the time to read yesterday.  Too much busy-ness.  I guess Jesus said, "Well, I guess I will use this as a lesson then."

I hear you Jesus.  Slow down.  Pace yourself.  And show respect and honor to those in your pathway and inner circles.

Today, I'm asking you to take time to read back over the prayer above multiple times.  Copy and paste it where you can find it easily.  It's going to be a LONG week and a long month filled with lots of car rides, drives, meetings, parties, family, and friends.  But it's also going to be the fastest month of the year.

Don't arrive at January with brokenness surrounding you or trailing behind you.  Use December to remember why it's our favorite Season - HOPE and GRACE and MERCY were given to us in December.  It's the month we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and He wants so much for us than a trail of brokenness.  He wants us to be successful and happy and JOYFUL.

I haven't read any of my other readings this morning.  I got stuck on this one.  I needed this prayer.  I failed miserably (if only on the inside and known to me and God) yesterday.  But once again, God shows up.  If you really look and listen, God is with you every step of the way - He is speaking to you.  You just have to listen.

Have a great Monday. I know it's Monday, and I know it's a hard month.  But we can do this.  Jesus just told us we could...

Here's a song to leave you with from my favorite Southern Gospel singers - Jeff & Sheri Easter.  Enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment