Financially speaking, this month of January tends to be a more trying month for Tonya and myself than other months. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce the reason: Christmas hangover. It’s not that we go wild with Christmas shopping and cross the line into sin with it. It’s just that spending any amount of any month’s “extra” income on presents affects the next month’s checkbook. That’s simple math.
A preacher reminded a financially strapped church-member that 1st Thessalonians 5:18 says: “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” The church-member said, “I don’t see what I have to be thankful for, preacher. I’m buried in debt. I can’t pay my bills. I can’t make my payments, and on top of it all I just lost my job.” The preacher thought for a moment and answered, “Well, be thankful that you aren’t one of your creditors!”
No, it’s not that bad with my family’s finances, but it’s not helping matters that I’m also suffering from some kind of post-holiday, winter malaise. For whatever reason, I’ve been having trouble getting energized this new year. During the holidays, with Tonya and the boys home from school, we all got off schedule by sitting up later and sleeping in later. When school started back up, they got back on track, but I’m still having trouble breaking out of that pattern. I’ve got to fix that. Also, I had been doing an excellent job of getting in thirty minutes of daily exercise leading up to Christmas. But I’m now on my third week or so of taking a break from that. I’ve got to fix that too and get back on that exercise machine.
I was listening to the radio a few days ago and actually heard a disc-jockey address what I’ve been experiencing. He said the post-holiday letdown is very normal and that it is brought on by eating too much, not getting enough exercise, and sleeping too much. I thought, “Wow, he must be following me around with a camcorder!” At least I was encouraged that my problem is fairly typical.
Oh, and another thing that isn’t helping my mood or energy level these days is the weather we’ve been getting here in the mountains of western North Carolina. Like a lot of other folks across the country, we’re mired in one of those winters that doesn’t know it’s a winter. Since the beginning of December we’ve had unseasonably warm weather and a lot of rain. Such weather just kind of wears on you when you’ve grown up in these mountains and are used to subfreezing temperatures and snow. As I recall, we’ve only had two snowfalls so far this winter. One was a barely measurable trace that got the grass white for a little while, and the other was a couple of inches that didn’t exactly get everyone buzzing either. The forecast does call for the possibility on an inch or so tonight, but, again, that’s not enough to really get our juices flowing around here.
Anyway, I just thought that I’d share some of this info with you guys, my readers, today. Maybe someone else out there is experiencing some of the same post-holiday funk that I’m experiencing. If you are, I invite you to join me in slipping back into gear and getting back up to speed. 2012 is a big new adventure that is just lying there waiting for us. If you believe certain doomsday interpretations of the ancient Mayan calendar, it’s even our last year. (I don’t believe those interpretations, by the way.) What I do believe, though, is that God wants to do great things in us, for us, and through us this year. So let’s stop sulking around, overeating, oversleeping, and worrying about our finances and start living with the faith, energy, zest, zeal, and confident expectation with which He would have us. And, yes, I’m preaching to myself on that.