Pondering, preparing…

Pondering, preparing…

I find myself pondering today. Pondering about the upcoming holiday weekend, preparing for it.

It’s only Thursday, but it feels like Friday because I’m blessed to work at a place that gives us Good Friday off. And as I sip my chai latte, I’m anticipating that extra day of weekend.

What will I do? Where will I go? Will I savor every moment of it? Will I spend it relaxing and rejuvenating? Or productively getting caught up on the ever long to-do list?

I love weekends, and I love long weekends even more. Especially after a rough week when it’s been a struggle just to get out of bed on time and get to work without forgetting something important and get through all the evening chores and must-dos before collapsing onto the couch or into bed. It’s just been one of those weeks.

But with this long weekend I have hopes for a better week next week. Maybe I’ll even rise early (hah!), drink my morning tea in quietude, and feel prepared to face the day. Maybe the days will go swiftly and productively as I earn this living. Maybe the evenings will be rhythmic, each responsibility attended to at its proper time.

Or, at least, maybe I’ll get up in time to eat breakfast before I rush out the door.

And that brings me back to this weekend. How do I prepare for it? What do I do with the precious time I am allotted?

The concrete-sequential side of me wants to make lists–long, grand lists of things to do and projects to tackle. But somewhere inside, my heart, my soul need rest. I need time to cuddle with the puppy and read a good book. Time to just sit back with a cup of tea and some knitting. Maybe a long walk in the woods or new little adventure to bring back some spark.

snuggling with the puppy

All the pondering still leaves me unsure of what to do with this long weekend ahead of me… One thing I know–I don’t want to waste it. I don’t want to wake up Monday morning and wonder where the time went. I want to savor every bit of it–the productive moments and the sweet, slow moments.

My holiday mantra

I firmly believe that the holiday season should be enjoyable. So although its still a bit early, I’m mapping out all of the wonderful things we want to do, trying to fit each and every one into the schedule so nothing falls through the cracks.

But every year I really want to make this season less about “doing” and more about “being,” and more often than not, I lose that somewhere along the way.

This year, I once again dedicate this season to joy and contentment. And to keep myself on track, I am adopting a very special Bible verse:

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19

This will be my mantra this season.

In light of it, I have decided that amid my packed schedule, I need to make room for pondering.

Let me explain, when I was in Haiti last spring, my trip leaders explained that there might be some slow times during our stay. Sure, we were planning to see and do a lot, but they had purposefully left a significant amount of flex time in the plan. Why? Well, because things happen on trips like that. Things that are unexplainable and things you cannot plan for, but things that will touch your heart.

They were right. Things did happen. Not every time we left ourselves open for it, but far more than could have been possible had we packed out our week there.

So this holiday season, I want to make room for “things” to happen. I want to make room for pondering, for slowing, for treasuring. I want to make room for God. That’s what it’s all about anyway, isn’t it?

To do this, I am going to need a plan. It is such a non-concrete goal that this concrete-sequential girl needs some tangible ways to get myself there.

The first one is reading Little Women.

Little Women is one of my most favorite stories in the whole world. And since it begins and ends in the holidays, I always think of it as a holiday story.

And let me tell you, I know this story inside out. I’ve even read Little Men, and my 1914 edition of Good Wives (which my parents brought me from Europe), and other Alcott books like A Quiet Little Woman and The Inheritance. So you can imagine the shock I felt when I realized just a few weeks ago that I had never actually read Little Women.

Dismay.

So my first path to slowing this season, my first step to pondering, is to read Little Women.

And I mean really read–all out hot tea (or cocoa), warm blanket, papasan, and Christmas music playing softly in the background.