May we not be consumed by our consumption this season. Let us focus on what we cannot buy with money more and let our wallets collect a little dust.
- Relationship – Spend time with your friends, family, neighbors, and simply take a few minutes to talk with the woman on the street. The tree can wait, the shopping can be put on hold (or not happen at all – think of that!) in order to connect with those around you. Presents are bought today and are gone tomorrow but the connections you build will last into eternity.
- Homemade coffee – And I’m serious about this one! Certain chains make so much money during this season. Learn to make your own coffee at home for a better price and frankly, it’s a bit healthier for you! And purchase coffee ONLY when you are sitting down with someone else. Make your coffee about connection and not consumption. (Refer to #1)
- Stillness – with all the hustle and bustle of the season, a quiet and relaxing moment is waiting for you to finally take a freaking break. So take it! Money can’t buy you peace, that only comes when we stop long enough to take in His peace. Practicing stillness is priceless. And if you have to put it on your calendar, so be it.
- Looking up than looking down – I was walking my dog on the most beautiful day last week and instead of enjoying the blue sky, I was on my phone! I heard God clearly say “look up” and so I put my phone away to be present with Him and with my sweet pup. We need more looking up this season; our hearts need it as much as our necks. Watch for snow, look to the sky, and thank God for the beauty that is His creation.
- His presence – Which we find in his Word, through his people, in prayer, and in creation. Practice what Ann Voskamp likes to call “Glory Soaking” or the Japanese call “forest bathing” where you simply spend time out in creation. Even as cold as it can be especially here in the PNW, get bundled up and walk through God’s beautiful creation this season.
There’s nothing innately wrong with buying stuff for the people who are closest to you, I’ll probably buy my husband a good beard trimmer (he needs one desperately) but may we not put shopping at the top of our to-do lists this season. It’s not what our souls ultimately need the most. We need each other and Him to take priority over anything we could get at Target. Let us keep that in mind.