Don't let me frighten you. It is 46 days until Christmas. (Find a Christmas countdown clock here.) That means that Thanksgiving is coming really soon. We are excited that our family will be home with us this year. Everyone! But that means more cooking. More cleaning. More shopping. More planning. More traveling. More. More. More.
So starting today, I'm collecting "calm." I am actively on the lookout for something that is peaceful to me. I might make a photo. I might not. What I think of as calm might not say calm to you (because in the top photo of our neighbor's barn, the farmer might be only seeing more work) but these are places of calm to me. Every time I drive past that neighbor's barn, I slow down to look at the way it is silhouetted again the sky. I love looking at it.
Today during the sermon, my mind had drifted somewhere else (please tell me that I'm not the only who does this) but when it came back to focus on what the pastor was saying, her words were, "Maybe you need to empty out something in your life. Make an empty place so that there is a space for spending time with God." Those words came after I had made this photo collection of "calm." Think that message was for me?
I'm taking a pledge right now. I will carve out a few minutes every day to just "be." Oh, rest assured, I will still do lots. It comes with the season. But I am not planning to get crazy over the to-do list. I will do the best I can to plan ahead, cook ahead, and shop less. (That means I can wrap less which makes me happy. That's my least favorite holiday chore.) But if I don't get to everything on my list, it will be no big deal. I'll do what I can.
As you make your lists, leave a space for "calm." If you are at the stage of life where there just isn't time to "do nothing," do what I'm doing on my busy days. I'm looking for something that pleases my eye. Or, maybe I'll hear a song on the radio that speaks to my heart. I will take a deep breath. And I will be actively aware of these few seconds of beauty and peace. Even a few seconds is helpful if that's all you have.