The last few days have been some of the busiest of the season. This December. This year maybe. I understand now why my parents struggled every year to get a Christmas card out before Christmas. Life just happens. There is shopping to be done and party after party to attend. And we try to tie up loose ends at work so that maybe, just maybe, we can rest over the holidays. But that often means less sleep and more stress. What a way to lead up to the day we've all been anticipating -- Christmas day, Jesus' birth. Running and running, so that when we finally do arrive, we are to exhausted to even rest, let alone celebrate. I'm in Arizona now with my family for Christmas. I have lots of family out here in Phoenix (aunts, uncles and cousins) and my two grandmas came too. So there's twelve of us gathering in two houses for five days of Christmas festivities. Constant games -- cards, football, Celebrity (or the hat game) --you name it. Delicious food and plenty of wine.

I stepped away today to just be alone. For a moment. To let my mind and soul sit still, so all the worries and stresses could settle. Like the snow settling to the bottom of a recently shaken, but now sitting snow globe.

So I'd encourage you to do the same. If you can, take time each day -- even if only for ten minutes -- to be alone. To quiet yourself and listen -- to God, and to what your own self (your mind, your body) might be saying. And then listen to the quiet.

I pray as you listen that you would, in that quiet space, hear with your soul, the coming nearness of Jesus.