Open your mouths with thanks!
Sing praises to the Eternal!
Strum the harp in unending praise to our God
Who blankets the heavens with clouds,
sends rain to water the thirsty earth,
and pulls up each blade of grass upon the mountainside.
He opens His hands to feed all the animals
and scatters seed to nestlings when they cry.
He takes no pleasure in the raw strength of horses; He finds no joy in the speed of the sprinter. But the Eternal does take pleasure in those who worship Him, those who invest hope in His unfailing love.Psalm 147:7-11, The Voice
‘Tis that time of year when the To-Do list grows faster than the items getting checked off of it.
Some of the traditional must do’s for me begin before Advent even starts. The first or second weekend in November, my family and I make Lefse. Then, of course, there is the Thanksgiving prep and feast. Immediately after Thanksgiving, we decorate the inside of the house on Friday and the exterior of the house on Saturday. Then the need to purchase and mail gifts to our family out of state. It continues with the gifts and festivities for those here in Arizona. And, because I’m not tired enough already, let’s not forget to fit in the “regular” life items, such as job and family commitments.
Maybe this is you, too. All of a sudden you look up and realize you are stressed out and exhausted. And worst of all, you realize you didn’t enjoy what you should have, like your kids’ music recitals, school plays, or time with others. It all became a thing to check off your To-Do list.
You see, the problem is we forget to slow down and enjoy what is right in front of us all along. We try to do it all on our own. Why? Because we don’t ask for help. Or we think it’ll get done “the right way,” or better, if we just do it ourselves.
We forget that God never intended for us to do things alone. Yes, even during the holiday season! From the very beginning, he created two people to work alongside each other and to help each other. Verse 10 says, “God takes NO PLEASURE in the raw strength of horses.” Yes, we can push through on our own, but that is not what pleases God. He made us to be strong, no doubt, but we are stronger when we have others to help us. He does not want us to suffer and to bear things on our own.
Verse 10 continues with, “He finds NO JOY in the speed of the sprinter.”
Enjoy what is around you. Look at the creation He has placed in front of you. Put your phone away. This season, enjoy your time with others so much that you forget to take pictures to post on your social media page.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the reminder that we are never alone – and you never intended us to be. We ask you to show us ways to slow down. Help us to deepen our relationship with you and those you have placed around us, and in doing so, find the Hope you bring this Advent season. Amen.
Louise Gahm lives in San Tan Valley, AZ
I’ve been married for 24 years with 2 kids. We’re entering into the next life stage of being empty nesters. I enjoy keeping fluent in my heritage language of “Uffdah,” “You betcha” and “Don’t ya know.”