Hibernation, To-Do Lists, and A Beautiful New Year
Lauren Santerre

For the past twelve days I have been in hibernation. Now I say this with a bit of an exception because it has been
Christmas time, so, of course, I  have spent time with my amazing family. But, other than that, I have pretty much been cozied up on my couch enjoying wassail, coffee, treats, movies, books, wedding planning, the Christmas tree, and my fiancé. Meyers Briggs tells me that I am split down the middle on the extroversion/introversion scale. I love people, but every once in a while I like to go into hiding. I prefer to leave Facebook, grocery stores, Target, and the world behind if possible. I did venture out to the movies once. So that is how I spent my holiday season this year, and I must say it was glorious. I feel rested and as if I had an actual vacation.

So, I was not surprised when on Sunday morning, I awoke before my alarm went off and my mind got to work on that “to do” list that was awaiting my attention. I am sure you know the one I am talking about. Monday is coming, and you start thinking about the tasks and matters that will need to be addressed, especially after a twelve-day break of hibernating! My mind woke up on hyper-speed. So instead of trying to go back to sleep, I decided I would just get a jump-start on the day. I got out of bed, went downstairs, made a big pot of coffee, grabbed my computer, established my spot on the couch and prepared to make the list. I was putting in my standard one teaspoon of Truvia and two creamers and I paused. This was my last official day of vacation for quite a while. It was Sunday. Was I nuts? I should sit with my coffee, look at my Christmas tree (yes it is still up) and enjoy the presence of God in my quiet house!

I decided to close my computer and grab my devotional book, my journal, and my coffee. I do not know what your experience of the spiritual life is like, but mine often involves a good deal of humor and uncanny “timeliness” from God shall we say. I opened Jeanie Miley’s Ancient Psalms for Contemporary Pilgrims, which I am making my way through right now and the entry for the day on Psalm 23 read, “Do you wonder what to do with your to-do list? Do you debate which priority to meet first?” I almost spit out my coffee. Was this for real? I wondered if maybe God had sent little angel scribes to change the words while I was preparing my cup? There I was just fifteen minutes ago awakened by this sense of all the things I “had” to do this week and feeling already overwhelmed that on my Sunday I needed to start getting them in order. Have you ever felt like that? Then God sat me down and said, why not spend some time with me instead?

Those words on the page jumped out at me. Miley’s devotional continues in a remarkable way prompting us to consider what tasks are really our tasks, which tasks belong to others, what tasks make our hearts sing, and finally what tasks align with the intent of the Good Shepherd? She also reminds us that choosing to spend time with God aligns our purposes with God, and will help us to choose how we use our resources, most specifically the precious resource of time. I found comfort in the much needed reminder that God provides and anoints me to accomplish that which I am called to do in the service of the Kingdom. I am not alone to finish my list.
So as I begin this New Year, and I hope as you begin yours, I pray that we remember to spend time in the presence of the One who is beyond all names. I pray that as we set our intentions for this year, whatever those intentions are, that we remember we are not alone to accomplish our goals and dreams—God desires to anoint us with Holy Presence. I am continually amazed by the open invitation of the loving heart of God who says, “Come, come to me. I love you.” This year may we indeed come and experience the beauty of overflowing bounty. From hibernation into full life I go, see you all in 2015!

Lauren Sante1420411657rre joined Brigid’s Place as the Executive Director on August 1, 2014. She is a third generation Houstonian. Lauren is a graduate of Colorado College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where she read so many books about God she had to “rethink” her own theology quite a few times. She loves to pray and talk about God, but she is most passionate about trying to love people well! She is blessed to have many parents, two sisters, a cheering squad of friends, and a near saint-like fiancé named Randy. One day Lauren would like to have a Cavalier King Charles named Winston.