Leave Room for Cream!

If you’re a lover of coffee swirled with oodles of cream, then you understand how crucial it is when you order coffee at a restaurant.

Please leave room for cream! 

Or maybe you’re at a friend’s house and when she gently pours fresh brewed coffee into your mug, you politely stop her from filling it up too far:

Remember…I like lots of cream!

Some of you would even go so far as to say you like a little bit of coffee with your cream! In that case, you are really careful about not filling your cup up too much.

But then it happens. Your server completely forgets you need room for cream, pouring freshly brewed coffee all the way to the brim of your cup. It’s so full, some of it even splashes out, making a nice little puddle right smack in front of you. Ughh! What a mess!

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What a powerful picture of what our lives can be like! When we don’t leave room for any margin– cramming our schedules to the brim–everything splashes out and before we realize it, we have a huge mess right smack in front of us. 

We keep filling our lives up with more and more. We say yes to every request without thinking it through. We scurry around with a sense of urgency, afraid we’re going to miss out on something. And just like that server who thinks we like black coffee, we keep on pouring until there’s no room left.

But instead of coffee creamer, in that moment we realize we have no room left.

No room to just rest. No room to sit still and read a book. No room to have even a five-minute conversation with our spouse. No room to let the kids just play outside. No room to listen to our teen unload about their bad day. No room to be refreshed. No room to be still in the presence of God.

It’s especially easy to find ourselves in this overflowing mess during the Christmas season. We say we want to leave room for cream, yet we keep on filling the cups of our souls to the brim.

Gotta send out those 100 Christmas cards!

We already have three parties scheduled, but I think we can fit this one in too.

We’ve already reached our limit of spending, but a little more won’t hurt.

I wasn’t going to buy anything for that friend, but now that they’ve given me something I need to get them something in return.

I wanted to have a simple Christmas at home, but they’re expecting us to be there!

We really want to go to the Christmas Eve service, but we have so much to do. 

My house isn’t decorated like hers, so I’ve got to go out and buy some more stuff to keep up.

And the list goes on. What’s the one thing that causes your schedule to overflow? Have you left room for anything else?

The thing about a cup of black coffee filled up to the brim is that there are only two ways to make room for any cream.

You can either drink the black coffee until you have enough room, or you can pour it out. Either way, it’s going to be inconvenient. If you’re used to sweet cream, the black coffee can be bitter to the taste. And if it’s really hot, you can’t quickly drink it down to where you want it without burning your mouth.

If you attempt to pour it out, you’re most likely going to make a mess as it drips down the side of your cup. Believe me, I’ve tried this many times!

If the cup of your soul is filled to the brim, and it’s too crowded for the peace of Jesus to flow through, what can you do? Sometimes we may have to drink the bitter cup we’ve poured. It’s not pleasant. Maybe we get burned and experience grueling pain. But going forward, we’ll know better. We’ll know next time not to make a rash decision. We’ll know next time to think through a situation, asking God for wisdom. Even when we make a mess of things, God’s grace is always available. We humbly learn that the next time we will leave room for cream.

What about you, dear friend? Are you leaving room for His peace and rest this Christmas season? Are you intentionally slowing down and keeping your focus on Him? Or do you already feel your cup getting too full? Are you allowing others to fill your cup to the brim without saying stop?

Relax with your family. Celebrate your friendships. Rest in His presence. Enjoy your cup of coffee, but whatever you do…….leave room for some cream.

Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”

creamers

 

 

 

4 Reasons Why I’m NOT celebrating Christmas!

Before the kids had time to sink their teeth into Halloween candy, Christmas tunes were blasting through the radio waves. What? Really? Even my 10-year old daughter was shocked at this. With a piece of Halloween candy in her hand she gasped, “Mom, why are they playing Christmas music so early? Don’t those people know what month it is?”

Can’t a child enjoy their Tootsie rolls and suckers for a little bit before thinking about candy canes already?

Before we barely finished displaying our homes with fall decorations, stores were already dragging the Christmas decor into the aisles. Before the last pumpkins and mums were purchased, the ornaments and Christmas trees were already in place. Political commercials for the upcoming election day were intertwined with those that pushed us to start Christmas shopping.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we live in a society that is driven by materialism.

The sooner we can get people thinking about Christmas, the sooner they will start to shop. And the sooner they begin to shop, the sooner more money will be made.

It’s probably not too far-fetched to imagine that at some point in the near future we’ll find ourselves taking down 4th of July flags only to replace them the next day with Christmas lights.

I don’t know about you, but as a follower of Jesus my heart grieves at this materialistic attitude we’re surrounded by. For many, Thanksgiving traditions of lingering over coffee and dessert with family have expanded to a quick bite only to dash out the door to be first in line… all for the sake of a good deal. Black Friday is no longer on Friday anymore! What are they calling it now?

If we aren’t careful, it’s easy to allow the greediness of this world to trample upon the gift of grace that was so lavishly poured out on us.

With that said, I’m taking a stand. I’ll not be celebrating Christmas this year. I’m celebrating Christ….not the commercialized Christmas our culture has embraced. I’m celebrating the gift of salvation….not the grasping of more stuff.

1. Instead of getting caught up in the RUSH……I’m going to slow down and relish the REST of my Redeemer.

2. Instead of going on a rampage to SPEND……I’m going to be still and SEEK the face of my Savior.

3. Instead of allowing stress to lead to PANIC……I’m going to pursue the promise of His PEACE.

4. Instead of filling my trunk with too many PRESENTS, I’m going to empty myself to be filled with more of His PRESENCE.

Please don’t misunderstand my words. I am not putting the Scrooge label on my forehead by any means. I will put up a Christmas tree, shop for presents, and engage in festivities with family and friends.

But I resolve to not get caught up in how our culture defines Christmas. If it doesn’t truly involve Jesus Christ, then don’t call it Christmas. Call it the Holiday Season, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, or Winter Celebration. Any of those will do just fine.

But for the sake of our Savior…..don’t call it Christmas if you intend to leave out Christ.

What about you? Where is your heart on this, dear friend? Do you find yourself getting caught up with the motions instead of the message? Do you feel overwhelmed with the count-down to Christmas or are you truly excited about the celebration of Jesus coming to earth?

My prayer is that we will trade the urge to rush, spend and panic for the desire to rest, seek and pursue the peace of Jesus Christ…the real meaning of Christmas.

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

christmas tree

Blessings to you!

Lisa Preuett

http://www.reststopforthesoul.com