It started with a scurry of activity and stress. Bundled with the typical seasonal obligations were the remnants of a trying time in ministry early in the month. But ready or not, I headed in. Committed to making this Bresina Christmas Eve more memorable and family-focused than last year’s “quick and dirty dinner out,” I took a full day off in advance to ensure I could host a bash. It was the first day of my 14-day out-of-office stint, and I had a list of to-do’s.

Along with the to-do list was a couple of healthy (albeit difficult) commitment objectives I set for myself for this short-term sabbatical:

  • Focus on relationships (especially the ones that had suffered the most from the intensity of the past few months).
  • Rest.
  • Create some space to get “my head straight”.
  • Don’t work! (D2S stuff that is…)

Christmas Eve was a hit and everyone invited save one came and partook of the annual Bresina stinky (but delicious I am told) Oyster Stew. We didn’t get any extended family talked into joining us for candlelight worship services in Brighton at 11 pm, but I just don’t think our family is up to staying up that late. I will have to work out something different for next year. Christmas came and went and was filled with great food and fellowship and thankful hearts.

Remarkably, I came close to finishing the list and with one major exception, feel pretty good about keeping my commitment objectives. It took me a full week, but I finally began to relax. I spent almost an entire day unplugged and with the Lord. I had some great coffee times complemented by outstanding conversation. I saw three movies and went shopping with 8-year-olds for hermit crabs. The craft room is organized and I can see the top of my desk in our home office. I spent an afternoon painting platters with my closest confidant. I loved on my hubby, my son, my mom and dad, and many others. It was awesome!

But sadly, it’s now over. It’s time to hit 2010 head-on and accomplish His purpose for His glory! My desire this year is to continually be in prayer and to draw closer to my Savior. I want to rest in Him and allow Him to be the true authority in my life. As I head into the new year, these are the things I want to put first:

  • Making my relationship with Jesus my top priority.
  • Taking care of myself (sleep, exercise, eating right).
  • Pray without ceasing.
  • Love — purely, sincerely, honestly.
  • Model what I ask of others.

Here we go!