Monday, December 7, 2015

When You Want A Soulful Christmas

I have a confession to make.

For more years than I care to count, I exhale a sigh of relief on the morning of December 26th. The added crazy, glitter-filled curve balls, which I allow to take over my days, too often deplete my soul.

The very holiday that is about the gift of Jesus is all but lost under yards of wrapping paper, blinking lights and noise.

Life is especially loud and fast during December.

And God is most often heard in the quiet and the slow.

Maybe this is why I found it so refreshing to run across this podcast by Bonnie Gray and Kathi Lipp.

The title drew me in. "How to have a more soulful Christmas."

Bonnie Gray is such a tender, soft-spoken person. Kathi Lipp brings great perspective to the pressures of Christmas.

I'll share two quick takeaways I found helpful.

The first suggestion was to write a Christmas mission statement.

It almost seemed silly, but when I jotted down a few hopeful words, I could see that my heart wants more of what Jesus is about and less of what the world has to offer.

The second thing that resonated with me was the word, "linger."

Kathi Lipp talks about making space in this busy season to sit across the table from people and ––linger.

And the only way for me to linger more with others, is to say "no" to some things so I can say yes to others.

The day-to-day stuff of life has already consumed eleven months of my year. And December is now a week short on days. But in the time that remains.... I'm letting go of the expectations that crush the hope of Christmas. I have a few plans that will create space for experiences which do feed my soul and hopefully the souls of those I love. And there is room for interruptions, because life and people don't fit into a bullet point list.

Because December 26th is coming and this year I don't want to miss the reason I celebrate Christmas.

So, if I were going to love on you all––just a little––I would share one of my families favorite Christmas cookie recipes. I'd much rather sit next to you and chat, but this is the next best thing, right?

I'm not sure why we only make these at Christmas.

I don't bake a lot since I feel a personal responsibility to eat more than I need, however, this is a recipe that I can make ahead and have on hand.

Cinnamon, chocolate, and coffee flavors blend together layers of flavor. Dipped in chocolate makes them beautiful. A great cookie to linger over coffee and conversation.

Through the years, I have altered this original recipe, since I don't cook with shortening. I substitute butter and I have also tried unrefined expeller pressed coconut oil and coconut sugar.

I almost always double the recipe since the dough freezes well. And right now there will probably be more opportunities to give them away.

Jesus came to bring us the gift of  Peace, Hope, FreedomLight and true Life. I can't reflect this truth if my soul is running on empty.

It's still early in the season isn't it? Share how you keep things simple?

How can we embrace the wonder of these days with wide eyes and deep slow breath?


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© Rhonda Quaney