I Did it To Myself

Long time no blog! I last wrote at the end of September. My goodness. What happened?

Life. Busyness. A loss of balance. My husband announced his retirement. Our son in the army deployed. We had several out-of-town fun trips plus an out-of-town work trip. I had some great speaking opportunities. What can I say, it was just a season. Then it was Thanksgiving. We hosted 20 friends and family. Now apparently, it is Christmas. I’m the only freak on my street with pumpkins still on the porch. It is November still, right?

I write, speak and preach endlessly about balance. Why do I end up without it sometimes?

Life balance is like bicycle balance you can never really stop riding and say, “there, I’m balanced.” Balance is ongoing and we can evidently go wheels off at any moment.

Also, I’ve learned that in order to write well in this space, I need margin, downtime, rest, white space, time to let things simmer and when my schedule is too packed that well gets depleted. I choose not to write if I don’t have anything to add to the conversation.

It’s God’s non-sensical math again. You have to subtract in order to have a multiplication of any kind.

The good news for me is that I’m now back in a season of space. Many big things are behind me until late January. I can rest, regroup, move more slowly, savor, enjoy and replenish.

My December Top Ten Inner Circle email comes out on December 1 where I will elaborate on some of this, but I wanted to do a short version for those of you who haven’t signed up there.

Every Christmas, I try to remind myself and others that it is okay to have a simple Christmas. It is just fine to have a space filled Christmas. Some of you find yourself in a place of loss or trying times right now. Maybe you are in a place you’ve never been in before at this season. Maybe you are in a time of grief, a new diagnosis, family struggles or job or money issues. Maybe you never dreamed you be where you are this holiday.

Maybe you are trying to still do it all and make those round holiday pegs fit into a newly formed space. You may not have signed up for this new space but here you are.

Can you subtract something? What if just eliminating one thing helped you breathe?

We all make lists at this time of year. Maybe make a list with the purpose of prayerfully holding that list before God and consider what not to do.

Two of my three children recently told me I was trying to cram a certain family holiday time/tradition into an unrealistic space and time. I thought I was just trying to make something work. I had not considered NOT doing this holiday thing. I almost couldn’t even hear them talking it was so strange to me.

Could you add a different thing? Maybe you need to add one of the facing loss at the holiday seminars or one of the Blue Christmas grief worship services churches offer at this time of the year. Maybe you need to add doing something for someone else especially if you are feeling sorry for yourself. Maybe you are trying to eat better and not bake and consume so many sweets. Maybe you add giving that money/time away to feed a truly hungry person.

Could you just say no? I don’t know what you need to say no to, but when you do say no to the right thing, your soul will delight. You will feel the reverberation of soul care through your whole body.

You’ve heard this from me so many times, but I have to keep saying it: One of the main problems that first Christmas is that God wanted to be with us and there was simply no room. Remember that? God wanted to be born to us and we didn’t have room.

Sometimes I think nothing has changed with us. We are still these people who overfill our lives, homes, schedules, bellies, ears and eyes with stuff we think is Christmas and we squeeze out the new life God is trying to get us, me included.

I’m so grateful I’ve entered back into a season of space and have the gift of time to remember this, write it and send it to you with love. Merry Simple Space Filled Christmas.

Dr. Cindy Ryan is a pastor, wife, mother of three, breast cancer survivor, Mosa to Keller, Pace and River. It’s not too late to sign up for the December 1 Inner Circle Top Ten list at

1 thought on “I Did it To Myself”

  1. I hope all of Graham’s bags finally arrived and he is settling into his new place.
    I also hope you are finding peace and holding onto him being in God’s hands.

    Keeping you in prayer.


    Sent from my iPhone

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s