breathing room for the holidays: i don’t want to miss it

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As I mentioned, I’m writing a few posts about the holiday season — how we might enter into and emerge from this holiday season with breathing room. My first post was about honestly assessing your unique circumstances this holiday season and then letting that inform your unique capacity for events, details, etc. In other words, what is going on in your body, your life, and your family this year that was unique from last year? How might that need to affect your plans?

All of this is probably more for me than you guys, because you guys probably figured this all out a long time ago, but I have had times in my life when I’ve lived simultaneously frantic and exhausted and I just don’t want to go back there. Especially during a time of year when there’s the siren song of more and my heart and soul are becoming increasingly convinced that there isn’t enough “more” out there.

When I’m a frantic lunatic, I can’t think, I can’t delight, I can’t create from a true place. I can’t really, truly take in the moment. Do you know what I mean? I miss it. I just miss it.

And I don’t like that. I want to be inside my life, inhabiting my experiences, not restless and panicked and scampering around.

The root of the word courage is “cor,” which means heart. I love that.

I want to be people of the heart. Not people of the schedule. Or people of the rules. Or people of the efficient productivity. Or even people of extraordinary capacity. I want to be people of the heart.

To me, this means living connected to myself. Connected to my people, my experiences, my feelings, my longings, my needs. When I’m paying attention and attending to these things in myself, I’m so much better able to pay attention and attend to those things in others. Even though that sounds super counter-intuitive.

In order to live connected to our hearts, it takes courage. Courage to listen to that soul voice inside. Courage to listen to God’s invitations to us. Courage to reach out. Courage to be much stiller then we’d prefer or find comfortable. Courage to LET GO of the things we think are going to deliver our self-esteem, our worth, our happiness.

We have to be people who refuse to run from the interior of our lives.

All of this takes time and energy and a willingness to cull through our own stories and longings and triggers. Ugghhhhh.

I bring all this up because we will miss the moments in our own souls, the touches from God himself, the beautiful mess of loving those we love if we decidedly stay away from the “cor.” One of the quintessential ways we stay away from our “cor” is by staying busy.

I guess what I’m saying here is let’s agree we won’t let the temptation of details, plans, and events take us out of our hearts and into our heads. We won’t let ourselves miss it.

I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a holy moment, for a unique way that God might want to love me this holiday season. Because I know he is constantly wanting to show me his love. And I don’t want to miss it.

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4 Responses to “breathing room for the holidays: i don’t want to miss it”

  1. Carolyn

    Ahhhh! I just received my copy of Breathing Room yesterday. Thank you for sharing from inside you. I feel that we are sitting over coffee (which I love to do) chatting and you are sharing your story with me and I am being set free. THANK YOU.

  2. Susan Shores

    I love your book, Breathing Room! So honest and so much needed for where I am. I heard about you through Emily Freeman at and I am so thankful. I also am glad for your emphasis about slowing down during the holidays. Thank you for writing what is real. Susan Shores

  3. Laurie

    Oh boy. You had me at “honestly assessing your unique circumstances this holiday season and then letting that inform your unique capacity for events…” and clinched it with that pic at the end. That’s my one word for the year. And what God has put me through to prove it? Hardest year I can ever remember. Thank you for helping me be mindful of the difference of where I am this year and what it may need to mean for advent season.

  4. Helene

    jipe 7 août 2012 C’est marrant, mais tu parle de tolérance et ta photo de ramadan, tu la nommes « ramadan », ta photo de parachute, tu la nommes &lnuuo;&absp;parachute &raqqo;, ta photo de requin, tu la nommes « requin », ta photo d’homme, tu la nommes « idiot », je te trouves carrément tolérant pour les types qui ont le faciès « ingrat… :-)


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