This time of year it's so easy to get caught up in the need-tos... need to do this, need to go there, need to find that, etc. A season that should be reflective of all the good and joy around us become one big anxiety-ridden to-do list. The joy gets sucked out of everything and things become an obligation that we just can't wait to be over. We stress about the bills. We fret about the food. We worry about the shopping list. We scurry to get it all done.
But how much are we missing amongst the bustle? How many small moments and big treasures are unappreciated or undiscovered because we're stuck just trying to do it all. How many times do we lose sight of the true gifts around us?
Today I read a devotional with an excerpt from Max Lucado's In The Manger and it hit close to home. We're no different than millions of people for thousands of year. Sometimes it's so easy to let everyday life get in the way of an extraordinary life - a life where the truly important things are anticipated and enjoyed.
This statement resonated with me - not just on the "religious" side of things... but also when I think of the other precious gifts around me - my family, my friends, time spent together, memories in the small moments: "Those who missed His Majesty’s arrival—missed it not because of evil acts or malice; no, they missed it simply because they weren’t looking."
So amidst my own hustle and bustle, I'm going to make a conscious effort to not just hang on or coast through while scratching off items on my list. I'm going to keep my eyes open and watch for the extraordinary among the ordinary and recognize those special gifts... and maybe take the time to smile instead of getting impatient with the overwhelmed cashier. Give a hug to my kids when they least expect it. Enjoy the fact we're all snuggled on the couch watching another episode of some superhero show instead of bemoaning all that I have yet to do. There is so much to discover when you keep your eyes open.