He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10
December 1. That means Slowvember and Nanowrimo are over, and Christmas is upon us. Where did that term come from? “Christmas is upon us.” As though it sneaks up from behind and yells, “Boo!” Just having finished a month where I deliberately tried to slow down and enjoy life more (though not always successfully), I don’t appreciate the image of a frantic Santa Claus and his reindeer mowing people over in a hurry to deliver all those presents that we don’t really need. I learned a lot in November. I learned I don’t have gout but an arthritic big toe. I learned that staying off my feet can be just as beneficial as getting exercise. I learned that less is more and too many casseroles just result in more leftovers than people want to eat. This year, I finally calculated the amount of food we needed exactly right. While people were stuffed after the Thanksgiving meal, my fridge wasn’t. Nor my garbage can. It was a welcome relief! I learned that I must discipline myself to write consistently. That the gaps in my creativity come more from time than from talent. At the same time, I am the only one who knows the extent of my talent and if I am more comfortable writing slowly and deliberately, it is better to write 500 words well than 5,000 words just to see that number on the bottom of a page. I am happier and more inclined to go back to the work if the last paragraph doesn’t read like a second grader just learning to string words together wrote it. If I learned anything in November, beyond the fact that I am a terrible writer when I feel forced to write, it is the value of slowing down, of making time for friends and family, of listening when I would rather talk, of stopping when I would rather push past to do list in hand. I would much rather be known as a person who cares rather than a person who could write 50,000 words in one month. I would rather spread calm and peace than frenzy and anxiety. So, while I made my 50,000 word goal in November and am done with Nanowrimo, I plan to keep Slowvember into December. Slowcember anyone? So, I will chose not to yell at husband when he fails to pressure wash the front porch keeping me from getting my Christmas lights up by December 1. I will enjoy a good book instead of a stupid television show. I will look my neighbor in the eye instead of focusing on their fantastic Christmas light display (put up by a service). I will purchase or make small gifts that bring joy instead of expensive gifts that will collect dust. I will not put up so many decorations that you can’t see the manger scene. And I will remember that real Christmas does not sneak up on me, but resides in my heart all year long.