depth

Proper Care and Feeding for an Introvert at Christmas

There are many fantastic things about Christmas, including:  wonderful music, festivities, eggnog, generosity, beautiful lights and lots more!  Of course, the best thing about Christmas is thinking about Jesus coming into human existence as a newborn and the whole Christmas story.  When I ponder Jesus’ birth and the surrounding events, like the angelic visitation to the shepherds and magi following a star, I’m deeply awed when I consider all of this as a vibrant expression of God loving humanity.

But alas, sometimes Christmas can get swallowed up in the frenzy of parties, cookies, concerts, caroling, wrapping, decorating, shopping, baking and heaps more.  And coming from an introvert’s point of view, sometimes Christmas can be overwhelming.  So if you know an introvert (coworker, family member, spouse, neighbor, classmate, etc.), here might be some helpful suggestions that could sooth that introvert and keep them less prickly.

  • Space:  whenever introverts have heavy obligations or frequent demands (office parties, school programs, Christmas concerts, secret Santa exchanges), they will need space (breathing room) to offset these expectations.
  • Quiet:  loud Christmas music, raucous parties and blaring noises can necessitate some quiet for your introvert.  They can struggle if noise (background TV, carols, concerts, programs) seems to be endless.
  • Solitude:  Christmas is a social season and while introverts can be social, it’s helpful to remember that they recover and get refueled with solitude or quiet company
  • Depth:  Lots of times Christmas overflows with superficial conversations about the weather, getting shopping done, being ready for Christmas, kids activities, reindeer accessories, etc.  Introverts flourish in deep conversations and shrivel in the shallow exchanges.
  • Feeding:  sometimes you can lure an introvert from their den with a plate of cookies, or their favorite snack J

My daughter and I were talking about the whole introvert and extrovert Christmas experience and we both enjoyed chatting about these respective viewpoints and how we process Christmas.  No matter if you’re an introvert, extrovert or ambivert, Christmas is the celebration and evidence of God expressing genuine love for humanity.

And as we think about Jesus’ birth, I’m often riveted by the shepherd’s experience in Luke 2 because maybe they were introverts, keeping watch over their sheep in a field at night.  Shepherds at this time in history lived a more solitary existence, since sheep required abundant pastures for foraging, along with quiet brooks for clean water.  And when their work had become the most quiet and settled, in the night watches, they were freaked out with an angelic visit, complete with God’s glory shining around them.  Of course, the angel, Gabriel, told them not to be afraid, because they were astounded!

Furthermore, after Gabriel’s announcement, heaps more angels popped onto the scene with singing and celebration – an incredible divine interruption and display of jubilant revelry!  The shepherds responded to this experience by hustling into Bethlehem to find the baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laying in a manger.  I’m pretty sure that Mary, Jesus’ mom, was somewhat surprised to see these strangers celebrating her sons’ birth and maybe she was also an introvert, pondering these things in her heart.

Whatever your personality is, let’s remember that Jesus’ birth is the crosshairs for Christmas and let’s stay in grateful awe of God’s extravagant genuine love for us, personified in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God’s Son.

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, Christmas, cooking, family, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, relationships, spiritual, thought life, values, watch, 1 comment

call of the wild, call of the deep

Its interesting to take a step away & look “objectively” at our desires.  I think that we often get so wrapped up in achieving our desires that we neglect to consider what is motivating the desires that we have.  Sometimes, you can tell alot about a person by the things they like & desire.  For example, when I look at myself lately, I find that I’m very interested in deeper conversations & things that feel shallow to me at the present are very unappealing.  In fact, I had a very superficial & short conversation today w someone that I’ve known for a really long time.  When I got off the phone, almost the entire conversation felt like a slap in the face, I guess because I had been hoping for a discussion at greater depths.

So my take away is this: I think my desire for greater depths could possibly be a beckoning from God to move away from the shallows & into the depths w Him.  Maybe the call of the wild seems wild to my soul because it is God beckoning to the depths in my heart to embark on deeper adventures with Him.  I think that we need to be careful not to mistranslate our desires into shallow soul pursuits that distract us from genuinely spiritual destinations.

Probably one of my favorite verses in the Bible is Ps 42:7 – deep calls to deep & Your waves have swept over me (sarah paraphrase).

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, living, spiritual, 0 comments

Lord’s Prayer musings

Well, I’m very much enjoying this experiment & I’m big on experiments (I used to have like 3 or 4 old chemistry sets when I was growing up & I’d mix them all together just to see what would happen – fun times!!!).  Anyways, these are some things so far that have come from the Lord’s Prayer adventure:

  • better focus – gives my mind something constructive to ruminate on during the day rather than the random clutter & general nonsense that can be useless & even harmful
  • greater respect & reverence for God = hallowed be Your Name
  • greater intimacy & understanding that God is my Father with all the elements that connect with fatherhood
  • greater submission & surrender to His authority & will (respectively) – bend to my King & bind myself to His will more than my desires
  • more emphasis on God & less on me

So, if you haven’t tried the Lord’s Prayer experiment, read the blog below & give it a shot.  If you’re doing the experiment – how’s it going & what’s been happening? 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in Lord's Prayer, 0 comments