Many times life just seems to stop in between Christmas and New Years. People take vacations, couples sit by fires, being warmed by the flame and the glow. People slow down from shopping and in turn spend more time with family, on vacation, playing with new Christmas presents, or indulging in sweets or fun activities.
God is such a gracious God to give us a time in the calendar that work slows down and friends and parties and time to chill increases.
My friend Trillia Newbell, author of Fear and Faith (one of the best books I’ve read in the past 2 years), has written a new book that will help you make sense of what to do with all this free time, how to enjoy everything that is at your disposal, not feel shame in enjoying it, and how to be grateful for all these gifts.
I often feel that in some religious circles, it is just not ok to have leisure time. To not be working (outside of one day a week for a rest day). Many will say that watching tv is a waste of time, exercise or the arts is only good for functional reasons (and you can’t really enjoy them). Enjoyment is severely underrated – yet God gave us everything for our good and His glory. So, why shouldn’t we enjoy it.
Trillia takes on many different good things in life – and seeks to show us how we can not only have them for function – but also for enjoyment. And in enjoying these good gifts – that actually brings God great(er) glory!
“We must not take ourselves so seriously that we forget the wonder, we forget to delight, we forget the joy of living, and most important, to forget the God who gives it all to us.” Oh how I love this quote, and I think Trillia rightly sums up her book this way.
Some of the areas she invites us into for a closer look are work, relationships, marriage, food, art, nature. We need to think about our work as enjoyment and not task driven or a punishment. My husband has just finished a great book that Trillia also recommends on this subject. Relationships. With this – I think its ok to just enjoy one another without turning everything into a heavy religious, discipleship, sin conversation. Yes, those are needed. But, what is often missing in my world is good friends just to enjoy tacos, guac, pancakes, coffee and good conversation about life. Food is the hard one for me as enjoyment can lead to indulgence which is sin for me. Art – all types of music and art can lead to glory for the Creator of music. And nature – same way – I love to be outside just because the colors or sometimes even the gray is gorgeous and soothing and invigorating (and my boys can run off energy).
So, going into the New Year, maybe one of your New Year’s resolutions can be to enjoy the great gifts of God that He has given you.
Thanks to Blogging for Books for this book (and Trillia of course for her thoughts). All opinions are my own.