Friday, December 01, 2006


There is so much I should be doing! So much! So! Much! So where do I start--I blog!!!! I have so many things I need to do in preparation for the Holidays that I am paralyzed. I am stuck!

Where's the inspiration? Where's the motivation? Where's the final internal thought that will propel me into action? It's missing again today! I have visited so many of your blogs and have seen that many of you are in full swing for the season. Homes are being decorated, gifts are purchased and wrapped, Christmas photos are stamped and sealed; I've even seen new Christmas templates for crying out loud!

Maybe I'll be the face of Christmas paralysis this year! My intentions are good but the grip of anxiety in my gut prohibits any meaningful movement! There must be others that experience this dilemma, aren't there? See, that's the pull of anxiety: it tells you, you are alone in this state!

But I know better. I know that the compelling reason of the season is the birth of our Savior. No doubt, if I had been Mary, nine months pregnant, riding that donkey , to only find no room in the Inn....I would have been paralyzed with anxiety! Still, the birth of our Messiah would not be postponed. Deserving of a royal birthplace, he was born in a manger. Somehow, the simplicity of his birth has been lost with complex lists and endless preparations of things that must be done. As I sit in this thought, I can feel the Christmas paralysis ease.

Mary's example helps me welcome the season. While in the throws of a not-so-ordinary childbirth, finding herself in a stable, Mary also hosted unexpected company. Angels proclaimed the birth of the Savior and soon shepherds and wisemen followed the Star to Bethlehem and visited the newborn baby. A close look at Luke, chapter 2, tells us what Mary's response was to all of this. It seems, Mary did not stress, did not fret, did not panic--"she treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."

Pondered? Pondered! In the midst of my Christmas paralysis, I am moved to ponder. Like you, I have so many things to treasure; at the top of the list is my son's trip home next week for an early Christmas. He has a four day break in his new work schedule so he is coming home! There are so many things to be done before he arrives--I want his trip home for Christmas to be perfect. Yet, in the spirit of treasuring and pondering, I will shorten my list to simply loving him. Yes, the guest bedroom will get cleaned and I will get in the car and buy his Christmas presents soon. But for right now, I will treasure and ponder! I treasure the steps he is making towards health and well-being. I treasure his reunification and engagement with us--his family. I treasure the One who has heard my prayers.

I ponder the lessons we have learned over the last decade of my son's wayward years. I cherish the joy that is felt in the good times and yes, even the pain that has been endured during the bad times. How would we know joy without pain? For it is in the depth of our pain that we find our Savior. Like the shepherds who were keeping watch over their flocks by night, if we are watching, pain directs us to our Savior.

Today, I ponder this: "Do not be afraid [or anxious!]. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the LORD.....Glory to God in the highest on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

His favor rests.....peace to men......his favor rests......great joy! What love! I think I just heard the internal voice of peace....that eases all Christmas paralysis! How about you?


bjk said...


Barb said...

I sat right here and read Luke yesterday. Nothing cures Christmas paralysis like reading the Christmas story.

Dawn said...

I LOVE your writing style. I love your thoughts. I am often paralyzed as well, but now I'm just running in circles. Not good. Thanks for the comment today - another good thought!

I am so thankful that it is not two years ago today, when K was in the hospital after two surgeries. He is writing his Christmas thanks letter to those who supported him financially during Teen Challenge and it is humbling to him to find out how many helped him with prayer and funds. I cried when I read his letter. He still needs a job - his background check is prohibitive. But our God is bigger than any background check! Thanks for your prayers.

I'm so glad C gets to come home for a few days! I hope it's as wonderful as can be.

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Lisa said...

Hi Diane,
I have felt this way before...thankfully my kids are older, so their items are bigger and my running around (I think) has been greatly reduced...although I did go to three diff places today and bought Christmas bags and stocking stuffers etc and so on ;) I had an excuse though...really I did...I thought the library opened at noon, but it didn't open until 1pm--what was a girl to do??

Your point is a good one! Christmas is very overwhelming for almost everybody, and we need to remember why we're celebrating Christmas in the first place. Christmas is a depressing time for many people, esp those who have lost ones.

Remembering that Jesus is the reason for the season helps me when I get anxious and overwhelmed with all of the things that I (think) is needed for Christmas when actually Jesus has already accomplished everything we need!

Nice post!

Anonymous said...

Yep, I know exactly what you mean! So many aspects of Christmas can overwhelm me...and each year, I have to purposely set my heart on Him and weed out the anxiety-producing elements. Ah, but do enjoy your son's visit! I'm already praying for you....loved the post. Will visit again soon.


Anonymous said...

Oh come let us adore Him!!
Thanks Diane, this was really inspiring!

Katherine said...

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your son!

C. H. Green said...

Wonderful post. I'm not paralyzed as much as I am swamped with work! Praise the Lord for work! But it does tend to leave you exhausted for all the holiday preparations.

C. H. Green said...

Also, totally unrelated, but what happened to Spending Time with Glenys? Did she move her blog to another server? You know who I'm talking about? I can't find her anymore. Glenys, if you're lurking around, shoot me a comment and let me know where you went.

Pat Kirk said...

What is that saying? The longest journey begins with a single step.

Enjoy your son's visit.

Janet Rubin said...

Hi Diane! Lovely posts. I can see our minds were in the same place! Just remember, there isn't a single bible verse that instructs us to put up trees, send cards, wrap presents... we made all that stuff up. Our Lord will be pleased if we love, encourage, cuddle our children, smile at strangers in the store... Don't let all that stuff stress you out. Keep dwelling on the wonderful verse you shared. God bless!

Gardenia said...

I am stuck too - stuck as can be. In EVERYTHING. Hope to get unstuck soon - I too head to blog, it seems to be easy and everything else hard. I pray the Lord removes this stuckness right quickly!

Catez said...

I've been sick so that has taken care of being busy. Usually at this time of year I opt out of the busyness and opt into being reflective. Good post.

tam said...

Despite your paralysis you seem to be in pretty good spirits!

Thank you for sharing this with us!

(ps thank you for checking in with me too!)