Monday, December 29, 2008

Resting in the New Year

Usually during this time of year I do a lot of eating and listening to Christmas music. I gorge myself so that I feel better about making resolutions to lose weight and I don't feel the need to listen to Christmas music again until around the end of September when choirs everywhere crank up the rehearsals for the Christmas program. I usually start working out and work out pretty regularly until Fat Tuesday. Then I give up working out for Lent as I'm focusing my energy on something else more spiritual. Then I pick up working out again with a vengeance so that I am swimsuit ready by Memorial weekend when pools everywhere open for summer. Although I am never completely happy with the results, it's been my M.O. for about oh, 15 years or so.
I don't know what I'll do this year, my gym membership has expired. I wasn't motivated to renew it, as I'm not trying to lose baby weight this year. Sure I'm still gorging myself on what's left of the Christmas goodies--mostly bread, chocolate, red wine, and various other carbs. Workouts take on a whole new meaning with two kids. I'm very busy chasing my son on his new bike and trying to teach the baby to go forward instead of backward in his Cozy Coup (you know the big red car you move with your feet, Flinstone style). And I'm also breaking my arms and back doing laundry and dishes, so that has to count for something doesn't it? You should see my reflexes, I can wipe a nose and catch boogers from across the room. With two very congested boys for Christmas (second year in a row now) I get a lot of practice. And do you lose any calories emailing while you wait for the plumber to come fix your clogged sink and broken garbage disposal?
Christmas has been a whirlwind this year, but we're finally done. My father and his friend came for a few days. My mom was here Christmas Day (when we broke the garbage disposal). We just returned from a week in Steamboat with my husband's family and on the way out we visited my sister and her husband and baby. I realize that's not nearly as much visiting as some people, but for me it was more than enough. The logistics alone would boggle the minds of sergeants in the army.
We attempted to keep the real meaning of Christmas in Christmas this year, but I admit I was defeated more often then not. Lighting the advent candles turned into a "you can blow them out if you use good dinnertime behavior" exercise instead of a spiritual one. We rolled into town about 10:40 on Christmas Eve, plenty of time to make the 11 o'clock service, but the baby who had not slept the entire day on any of the 7 hours of flying time, was asleep in the car. Our older son finally stopped asking if we were there yet and was nodding off, so we rolled right by the church. On Christmas day, we made a birthday cake for Baby Jesus, but my son was more interested in seeing how many inches of sprinkles he could pour on it. By dinnertime he had exhausted my husband's patience so badly that instead of eating the birthday cake for Jesus, the child was sent to his room while the rest of us ate it. Kind of defeated the purpose I suppose, but live and learn. This morning my son asked me if I had written a thank you note to Santa for the presents. I realize this isn't exactly laden with Christian sentiment, but I was surprised it would cross my son's mind to say thank you to another man he can't see but believes in when he can't thank his own grandparents and aunts and uncles in real time. I tell you children just bondoogle the mind.
Anyway, it has been a very lovely Christmas. Mostly low key although busier than I had hoped. I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas as I much as I have. Now it is time to turn my attention to the New Year. It's Christmastide right now. We're still waiting--for Epiphany and the three kings.
I am beginning to see a pattern here in Christianity with waiting. Sorry, momentarily interrupted by "moooommmmmmyyyyyy", where was I?
Waiting. Maybe waiting isn't the right word. gives the following synonyms for wait (verb): anticipate, abide, look for, remain, pause, rest. Hmmm, absolutely none of those words means the same thing, but I like using them in the context of Christian waiting. For example, we anticipate the coming of Christ during Advent, we anticipate his resurrection at Easter, we abide in His love always, we look for ways to be like Him, and we pause during various parts of the Christian calendar to evaluate our life and its course like Lent.
Perhaps the hardest part of waiting, is the resting part. I have a terrible time resting. I am so constantly on the go, I don't know how to rest properly. If you can't rest properly, you can't focus your attention. If you can't focus your attention, how do know how to abide in His love or remain in His care?
I think this resting part of waiting will be my New Year's resolution for 2009. I've worked on living the way of blessedness, prayer, and forgiveness. My journey this year will be a journey of rest. Synonyms for rest include: break, composure, interlude, peace, and respite. How will I do this? I surely don't know, but I will endeavor to pause and look for rest in my waiting until I find it. It may seem like an odd goal considering the season of life I am currently in (crazed wild child tamer). All I know is, you can't find peace racing around filling your calendar. Part of waiting and finding peace is being quiet with yourself. Not only is it hard to find the time, but it's a hard thing to do. I don't particularly like being quiet with myself, but I'm going to do it. If I shut up long enough, maybe I'll tell myself a few things I need to hear.
I wish everyone great success in whatever goal or realization or resolution or change you may be seeking in the coming year. Most of all I wish you rest while you wait and rest while you seek and rest for the sake of rest.

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