Stepping into December
As we enter this advent season I wonder how you are feeling? The Christmas music, the twinkly lights, the party food, school nativities, Christmas parties … the list goes on. Some of us revel in this season – the earlier the tree can go up the better! For others , and I suspect its more of us that we imagine, this is a more tricky season to navigate … especially when the media often portrays more of a picture perfect Christmas.
Only this week I was chatting to our Wellbeing Group at work, as we reflected on resources to share with people to support during this period. The discussion emerged as we acknowledged that for all the horrors of lockdown – and the grief of time not spent with loved ones, there was, if we dared to admit it, some sense of relief in having permission (well we didn’t have a choice!) in adopting a more simple approach to the festive season.
You may well have brought habits from that time into how you mark this season today. My invitation to you is to pause as we enter the season of advent – and think about how you want to ‘step into’ December. As you do that, talk to God about how you are feeling – whether you or full of joy for the weeks ahead, or you know it has the potential to be tough – or perhaps a mixture of all of the above. One of my takeaways from recent years is that so often joy and sorrow go hand in hand. Remember, God is God, and no emotion is too big for Him.
Ruth Rice, Director of the Christian mental health charity Renew Wellbeing, and a great friend of Fitfish, talks about sitting with our morning drink, with our hands wrapped around the cup, knowing that in the same way God holds us and loves us. This might be a simple practice to help you keep grounded this season.
Here at Fitfish we talk a lot about spiritual, physical and emotional health. Perhaps consider naming one small habit which you would find helpful in each category – that might be as simple as ensuring that things which are important to you the rest of the year, are still a priority in this season. This year I have become addicted to the sport of Pickleball (!) – so I will prioritise playing each week. I also want to take the time to ‘lean in’ afresh to the wonder of the Christmas story and so am planning on reading Amy Orr-Ewing’s advent book, Mary’s Voice.
Our emotional health can easily be overlooked, but the best person to know what is best for you in this season is you! Maybe you would find it helpful to put some boundaries in place, and give yourself permission to decline an invitation if it feels too much.
However you choose to journey through this season, here at Fitfish we pray that you will be captivated once again by the wonder of the Christmas story.
If you have been part of the Fitfish community over the last couple of years you will know that our January ‘Coffee and Conversation’ has become an annual event on the Fitfish calendar. Come and join us on Sat 6th Jan 2024, 10:00- 11:00. Bring your journal and a pen and we’ll spend an hour together and think about how we ‘intentionally’ step into 2024 and everything that God has in store for us. This isn’t about New Year’s resolutions – but it is about stopping and noticing how God has been working in our lives in 2023 … & what that might mean for the year ahead. Come and join us. Book your free place here.