Wednesday, December 5, 2012


The ladies from our church had our annual Christmas dinner and gift exchange 
at a local restaurant last night.
The evening was full of fun and laughter.
Then, in the middle of the night last night, I had to get up and take a Pepcid
 because my stomach was full of spaghetti with extra mizithra cheese.

There are two Christmas trees in our house this year, 
one upstairs for the grandkids to decorate
 and one downstairs in the living room.
Christmas decorations are here, there, everywhere,
and though I tried to keep things simple this year,
the house is full of signs of the season.

I pencil in the dates on my Dayrunner calendar of Christmas parties and dinners
and then enter them in on my iPhone calendar, 
and sinc the events that involve the church with the church calendar,
and though we are very conscious to not overload people with too much to do this time of year,
the December calendar is still full.

Each time I go grocery shopping I pick up a few things that we will need 
for Christmas baking 
and for Christmas dinner.
This way I don't have the extra expenses all at once, 
but can peck away at the list little by little.
The pantry, the refrigerator, the freezer are full of the promise of feasting to come.

Our house is full with my daughter and grandkids staying with us, 
and the grandkids fill the house with laughter and squabbles, 
with crayons and paper scraps and a refrigerator covered with their art.
Soon my son-in-law will join us in time for Christmas,
and on Christmas day all of the daughters and sons-in-law and grandkids will be here,
and the house will be even more full...
of laughter, and mess, and gift wrap, and food, and dirty dishes, and love.

Everywhere I look there is fullness, 
except in people's eyes.
I see the emptiness that betrays the condition of their heart.
They've feasted on the food, 
and decorations, 
the parties,
 the friends and the family
 and nothing fills the emptiness.
And I know about walking around empty while fullness surrounds me.

This year I started December by accepting a challenge from a friend.
A friend who was overcome with depression and anxiety for three long years.
His life was changed when he began to start his day with God,
not with a list of 
"I must read this today"
"I must pray for this today"
but with sitting in God's Presence with worship music on,
an open Bible,
an open journal,
and connecting with God in relationship.
He wrote a book* about it with a 40 day challenge to try meeting with God in this way.
I began the challenge December first.
And I am feeling the fullness of Emmanuel,
God with us,
God with me.
In the midst of all this fullness,
my heart is full,
and that is what matters most.

Still following,
*Life Changing Prayer by Dr. Mark Jones


  1. Elizabeth- Thank you for reminding me where the fullness of the season truly comes from...I just read the book of Ruth today and blogged about it... and at church we are studying the beatitudes...which generally each line seems to resound with this idea, "Blessed are the empty, for they shall be filled."

  2. Very inspiring post. All the busyness and trappings of the season are only distractions if we don't know Jesus who came as a baby to redeem us. I always enjoy your spiritually encouraging words.
    Mary Alice

  3. Sounds like a book to check out. I want to learn this--this just sitting with Jesus.

  4. I sense your full heart, and it's contagious. I'm feeling all warm, like I'm standing in the glow of one of your Christmas trees. I so love what you say, and what you share, in this space.

  5. I have not been able to find Dr. Jones's book, Elizabeth. Could you possibly include an active link to where it can be purchased? Thank you so much!

  6. It's funny how trying not to be busy just makes us normal-busy. Why/how did we become this way?! Enjoy your journey of starting each day in such a lovely way!

  7. DJ and I have also started the challenge. What a difference it has made in our days.

  8. This is so true, we decorate and shop and do all the 'festive things' but our hearts are sad and empty. May we at this time of the year especially 'remember and focus' on the story and message of hope. We do have good news if we accept it.


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