I woke up early this morning.  I could have slept longer, the house is quiet, and yet I am awake.

The theme I wrote of earlier this week has continued to play out, the opportunities to embrace what is being offered and live into the spontaneity of it all, and I have felt the conscious choices I’ve been making to live more present in the “now”.

The “now” at my house today includes a sick girl upstairs, who I hope will awaken fever free, our family being just us for Christmas which hasn’t happened in a long time and my newly engaged first born who is floating through her Christmas week.


I could tell you all the things that were on my agenda, my list, that remain undone this morning; cinnamon rolls for friends, Christmas cookies yet unbaked, presents I had planned to wrap that still remain in their bags from the mall, the desk in my office chaotic and unorganized etc.

And yet, I am not focused on trying to figure out how to make those things happen or make it better for myself that they didn’t happen.

I am committed to staying the course this Christmas Eve.

I will remain present for what will be offered.  I want to remain present for what will be offered.

“Christmas is a very adult feast.  It stretches us far beyond a manger in Bethlehem. It brings us to recognize who it is that we, like the people of Jesus’ own time, will, in everything we do in life this year, either accept or reject.”     Joan Chittister, The Liturgical Year

Because I believe so wholeheartedly in the goodness of God and in my own need for a Savior I hope that today as you walk into your Christmas you will also be considering how you will either accept or reject Jesus in everything you do.

And, I recognize that not all of you reading this hold those beliefs with me.  Still, the truth of where each of us will be faced with opportunities to make choices remains.

What will you accept?  What will you reject?

Living present today for me will include a number of choices:

-accepting the chance to bake cookies today with all my kids

-accepting some help with the grocery shopping that didn’t happen yesterday…meaning I will also reject the need to control all the choices made in that shopping

-accepting the state of my messy office and rejecting the temptation to focus on that instead of being present in the rest of my day

-accepting the peace that has been taking up more and more space in my heart these past few days

-rejecting the things that will come to distract me from the goodness that is palpable in my heart and in my life

I hope each of you will find moments to stop and make conscious choices today and tomorrow that will afford you more presence and more joy.

Christmas Blessings to you All.

DSC_0512Tracy Johnson is a lover of stories and a reluctant dreamer, living by faith that “Hope deferred makes the heart sick but when dreams come true there is a life and joy” (Pro. 13:12).  Married for 27 years, she is mother to five kids.  After nearly a half century of life, she’s feeling like she may know who she is.  Founder of Red Tent Living, she writes here.