Can I Get a Do Over?

     I was lamenting recently with some friends in our Glory Writer’s Facebook group about my good intentions not exactly panning out for observing Advent….I SO wanted to light the candles each Sunday and do the readings. I even have a daily devotional “2016 A Book of Grace-Filled Days” with selections to read. Little selections–just a nugget for the day to contemplate. But each entry had four Scripture references. No way I had time to read all those passages in The Word. Every day. 

     I think what finally did me in was the pink and then purple candles.  The colors just didn’t seem right for Christmas. I just couldn’t put them in my Advent candle-holding table wreath.

But I wanted to.

     It’s my want-to that gets the better of me sometimes. On the DISC Personality assessment, I’m a High “I”–Impulsive and Impressionable–I want to please people and I think a lot of ideas are Great Ideas and I Should Do This.

Silly me.

     My dear writer friends Amy Young and Tresta Payne (of said Glory Writers group) also wrote of the tension–the balance of wanting to remember without getting buried in the ‘shoulds.’ And over at The Mudroom-you’ve read at that place, yes?–Velynn Brown shares her thoughts–can she still be a good Christian without all the reciting? (Links to their posts are below).

All of this brought a comforting smile–I’m not the only one.

Instead, I’m going back to the word God gave me for the year–‘Surrender’ and camping there. I have to ‘camp’ there–no matter where I am, it keeps coming up.

In the worship songs we sing at church, in our Small Group Bible Study, and in my own reading.

Andrew Murray, Abiding in Christ, has this to say:

“Whatever the present moment may hold, however unprepared the message finds you, however sad the divided and hopeless state of your life may be, do come and surrender–this very moment. I know it will take time for the Lord to assert His power and arrange all within you according to His will, time to conquer your enemies and train all your powers for His service. 
This not the work of a moment.”

The words “unprepared” and “divided” really resonated with me–and a little sadness, too. The sadness is because I’m not always feeling the love and joy and peace I should. And when I don’t ‘feel’ something, I think it’s not there.  That’s the problem with the other “I” that I am–intuitive–much of what I focus on comes via my sense about some things, and I’m not sensing the joy. Or peace. Or love.
Doesn’t matter, it’s still there–’cause God is bigger than all that. That’s why you walk by Faith. End of Story.

Also? I have 5 grandchildren arriving next week (their parents are coming, too) and they’ll be here for one week. (and I couldn’t be more thrilled ’cause I love them to the moon and back).

But still…. They’ll be headquartered downstairs in our finished apartment during their stay, but of course there will be all kinds of traipsing and traversing upstairs, downstairs in and out.

Getting my house ready for Christmas–my stove sized-boxes are stacked in the living room waiting to be unpacked–plus getting their space prepared….oh, and the grocery shopping and well, the planning. And vacuuming the pine needles off the trampoline. 

‘Cause people gotta jump–rain or shine.

It’s all been a bit much.  

     Do you know how many moving parts there are when you add seven people to seven days and two cities and throw in Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and the ‘Event Day’ which of course is going to see some movie everyone wants to go see (the one with the word ‘Star’ in it)?  Well, we had to make a chart to organize it all.

Well, I had to make a chart. For my sanity.

I think I’ll adopt the word ‘Surrender’ for next year, too. But for now it is a moment by moment life, as Murray reminds me.

A daily, “Yes, Lord, Abide with me now.  I’m not waiting for you to come–you’re already here. And I need you.”

I think I’ll get a do over in 2016….It takes a long time to surrender.


You can read Tresta’s post “Failing at Advent” here
Amy’s  “Out of the Mouth of a UPS Worker” is here
and Velynn’s “Coloring in Christmas With my Favorite Things” is here.
The 2016 Book of Grace-Filled days is by Jessica Mesman Griffith. You can find it here.
2016: A Book of Grace-Filled Days

12 thoughts on “Can I Get a Do Over?

  1. When DID your children turn into company, Nancy….I guess our standards change over time–I'll bet you can relax 'cause they're coming to visit YOU not your spic and span house.
    Thanks for reading and your kind encouragement, friend.


  2. Jody, I love your sweet spirit, your honesty and humility, and your desire to be your very best God-enhanced self. And I'm sure God is smiling upon you for these very same qualities. And every step of surrender brings him pleasure. I pray you're able to tick off those boxes on your chart–all in good time, and then relax and enjoy your family to the max! P.S. I asked my younger son at Thanksgiving, “When do our children turn into company?” For years they lived with us in a house that was never really spic and span–except when company came. Now I feel the necessity to present a spic and span house for those same kids, except now they're adults! (Did someone mention OCD?)


  3. Ooo, Amy, that's GOOD! Thanks for sharing. For too long I focused on speed and efficiency to accomplish as much as I could in a day. It's NOT what God intended for us! I failed to take to heart Psalm 23:1-3 about restful green pastures, quiet waters, and restoration, and Jesus' teaching about his yoke that is easy and light (Matthew 11:28-30). I still need frequent reminders; old habits die hard!


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