This fall was a blur!
After more than two years of dealing with pandemic social distancing and a stifling Georgia summer, the cool air of fall beckoned me and my family outside to pumpkin patches and apple orchards, birthday parties and nights out on the town. Fall was my season of YES, and I would not be deterred from checking everything off my fall bucket list.
Post-Halloween, it became evident that we had overdone Fall. I was exhausted, my husband was exhausted, and my children were still running around high on candy. The NO in November was speaking to us loud and clear. We said “no” to Thanksgiving with family and “no” to weekend social obligations. Just knowing we had weekends with no agendas gave me space to breathe.
I realized my fear of missing out on the fun events of Fall had driven me to such a speed of activity that I had missed out on the everyday activities that make life meaningful. Saying “no” gave me space to play with my kids and relax with my spouse. Saying “no” gave me time to reconnect with God and with myself.
With December just a few days away, holiday fun is calling to us. I have no doubt that invitations for school pageants, holiday house warmings, and Christmas bucket lists have already inundated your calendar, but in the spirit of NO-vember, I invite you to take this opportunity to pause and consider where responding “no” to an invitation can create space for things that matter–time with God, time for rest, and time with those you love the most.
During this holiday season, have you created space for what matters most to you?
If your schedule seems too full, where could a “no” create room for a “yes” that matters?
This Advent, I pray that we make space for God, our refuge and redeemer, who took on flesh and walked amongst us, and who empowers us with the spirit of truth and light.
My hope is that Prayerful Reflections, written by 32 diverse Christian women leaders, pastors and teachers, would be a daily encouragement to connect with God through scripture and prayer. Each day of Advent will offer you an opportunity to Read scripture, Reflect on its meaning, Respond to the Holy Spirit and Rest in God’s love. We encourage you to share this free devotional with your friends, family and fellow Christians.
Press the button below to download a PDF version of Prayerful Reflections Advent Devotional or follow along each day on the blog.
Rev. Julia L. Styles