This post is sponsored by FLYJOY. All opinions are my own.
It's been an unusually warm fall/winter here in Chicago. I can't believe tomorrow is December and we have barely even seen 40 degree temps. Eli keeps asking me, "When will God decide to send snow?" Because to him snow = Christmas. I for one am loving the whole no-snow thing. (Though I do hope the week of Christmas is filled with it, promptly melting on Jan. 2.) After years of snow for most of November, and sometimes even October in Minnesota, I'm soaking up every minute of these extra sunny and slow days, getting outside and stretching our legs before we're cooped up for the rest of the winter.
I don't know about you, but I came into this week pretty exhausted. We traveled for 10 days, making the loop from Chicago to Ames to Minneapolis and back again. While the makeup of each day was actually fairly relaxing, I found all the sales, shopping and pressure to snag-some-deals pretty draining. Pre-Black Friday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and a new-one-to-me, Giving Tuesday. Basically a slew of meaningless labels telling me that I need hunt and search for the best deals, one day in-store, the next only at small businesses, and another only online. Every time I got online, I felt a weird pressure that if I wasn't shopping, I was doing something wrong.
Coming home this week, it was detox week. Every time we come back from a trip, we pull the breaks hard on getting the family back into routine. Some of it is for me, but it's mostly for the kiddos. Sleep, discipline, and nutrition (Which includes replacing all those sugary, carby snacks with lots of healthy FLYJOY bars with the nutritious mix of ancient grains, nuts, dried fruit and nut butters.) are all at the top of the list to get back on track.
But as we started, I felt myself frazzled and distracted, running from one thing to the next, just trying to keep up with the pace of life. But then I remembered, while sometimes I can't set the pace of life (though I have more control than I sometimes let myself believe) I can set the pace of my heart. While the calendar may be full, and the needs many, I can choose to let my heart run around in a frenzy, anxious and distracted, or I can choose to slow it down, focus it on what matters. To have a "gentle and quiet spirit." That verse always used to confuse me, for a long time I felt it was counterintuitive to my generally outgoing, loud (I prefer "spunky") personality. But over time, I've come to realize that Peter isn't talking about my Meyers Briggs, he's talking about the state of my heart, what my spirit hopes in and rests on. Is it Jesus? Or is it nabbing the best Black Friday sale? Is it Christ and his birth, life and resurrection? Or is it creating Pinterest-perfect decorations and traditions? Is it my coming redemption and eternal glory with the return of my King? Or my calendar and to-do list?
It's always a good gut-check to ask yourself what you're focusing on and finding value in. Usually I discover all I'm doing is looking inward or outward instead of upward. So this Christmas season, may your spirit look up. May it be gentle and quiet. While your calendar and commitments may feel overwhelming, may your spirit rest content in knowing that Christ is sufficient and sovereign overall.