Days of Rest and Refuge

Dear Reader:

After all these years there are two types of Christmas decorators…the one that put their tree up the day after Thanksgiving and bring it down (yesterday) the day after Christmas. For you yesterday was not a day of rest and refuge …though by last night you were probably feeling relieved and proud of putting Christmas behind for another year.

Then there are the rest of us…my tree usually goes up about three weeks before Christmas or whenever someone has time to run pick one up for me. It, along with all my other lit decorations, bring me such joy and peaceful calmness each evening…I am reticent to take it (and all the other decorations) down before the New Year.

So for me…these days between Christmas and New Year’s are catch-up days for me on reading or talking with friends I have missed with all the frantic rushing around preparing for Christmas …puttering around with a few little nature projects…but certainly nothing taxing. Everything has settled back into normalcy…and after all the rushed celebrations and gatherings, as delightful as they were…normalcy feels good.

This period of time makes one feel like enjoying the ‘fruits of one labors’...admiring the twinkling lights of the tree…listening to soft music, fixing comfort food…and just chilling with everything still decorated but put neatly back in place… (from the earlier pre-grandchildren happy invasion Christmas Eve. 🙂

‘Pastor Zach’ preached on the idea of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Crisis” the Sunday before Christmas. Probably by just looking at everyone’s dazed expressions in church…he hit home on a popular problem over the holidays. The Christmas crises seem to  mount chronologically as the Advent Calendar draws us closer to Christmas.

But an interesting twist on this perspective is the idea that a crisis doesn’t necessarily mean something bad. One of the word’s definitions is: a time period when an important decision must be made. A negative or positive outcome depends on how we handle the crisis – the choice we make for change- good or bad. Crisis has the potential of forcing us to change from within and that can be a very good thing…especially at Christmas!

On the first Christmas the whole world experienced a crisis…a change of unequaled magnitude that would effect the world forever…and our response to it…is still on-going. For people of faith who have made the decision to believe in a little baby in a manger…the world has never been the same. ..just better.

So until tomorrow… Take some time between Christmas and New Year’s for reflection. It does the body…and spirit…good!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

With the warm days we have had the last two days…the plants on the porch are responding happily …my mini-red petunias (title photo) are still blooming in abundance to add more festive red to the porch. And look at “Little Big Red”s  bloom now…I was hoping it would bloom for Christmas…but I am kinda thinking…maybe New Year’s? Wouldn’t that be a great sign to kick off 2020? Waiting to bloom in God’s personal light.

Sam Clark sent me the new Clemson Coke-a-cola commercial on messenger recently. I pulled it yesterday and died laughing…it is so cute…feel sure the coke company did it probably for the other three teams in the semi-final national football playoffs also but I can’t imagine that any other is cuter than ours. 🙂

I can’t transfer videos on to WordPress…but I will show you some pictures. Tajh Boyd represents Clemson with the commercial “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” (with new Clemson lyrics)- You can pull it on the Tigernet website. It’s starting to feel a lot like Saturday today…the excitement and fun are building.

It is time to put my Clemson Tiger on the Christmas Tree yesterday…right under Ruthie the Angel…and next to some other angels…I figure we can always use the good company and welcome heavenly inspiration and guidance tomorrow evening.


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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