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Present: How Not to Miss the Loveliness of Christmas

Present: How Not to Miss the Loveliness of Christmas

He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. — Psalm 23:2-3

During Christmastime we find ourselves tempted to abandon Christlikeness in favor of overdoing. The season that centers around the silent, holy night, the simple baby, and the star quickly becomes the season in which we over-everything — overspend, overeat, overindulge, overcommit.

I fall into it every year, and one year, I was falling even a littlShae bit deeper than usual. The stress and chaos were on the rise, and something had to change or I’d miss the loveliness of the season entirely. I stopped myself in the middle of it all—the trips, the wrapping, the cookies, the expectations — and I asked for help. I prayed for new eyes to see, for a way outside myself and my tense, swirling chaos. As I slowed down and listened, three words laid themselves on my worn-out spirit like a blanket: present over perfect.

I can show up with my perfectly wrapped gift and my perfectly baked cookies… and my perfectly resentful and frazzled self, ready to snap at the first person who looks at me wrong. Or I can rest my body and nourish my spirit, knowing that taking a grounded, present self to each holiday gathering is more important than the gifts I bring.

God designed us to need rest and nourishment. When we receive them, we are better able to be wholly present. What do you need to cut out this season, in order to be fully present?

Excerpted with permission from Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are by Shauna Niequist, copyright Zondervan.

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Your Turn

It’s Black Friday. Do you feel the swirling chaos barreling at you as the To Do, To Cook, To Buy, To Visit, and To Plan lists grow longer and longer? What if we stopped and breathed in those three gorgeous words? Present over perfect. We all have lots of things that must be done, but what can be crossed off the lists in order to be more sane and have more time for awe, and wonder, and peace, and being fully present? Come share with us on our blog. We want to hear your thoughts! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full