I won't lie to you—for over a month I've been a "just a little" stressed out, trying to get ready for and enjoy my favorite season of the year: Christmas. I had so many wonderful goals, that this year, I was going to do all sorts of fun stuff—like starting an advent calendar journal, getting the house decorated a la Martha Stewart by Thanksgiving, hosting a neighborhood cookie swap, creating a whole glass Nativity set, and joining a choir to sing The Messiah. But with so many other things and two teenagers demanding my time, I've felt like one of those circus performers that has 10 plates spinning on high thin poles, constantly running from plate to plate, keeping everything spinning frantically to prevent them from falling down.
I don't know quite what it is—things seemed to much simpler and easier when my children were younger?! So while my home is at least decorated (although perhaps not quite to Martha's lofty standards!) and I got all my gifts mailed out in time, I didn't make any of my other goals and have yet to convince my daughters that it's still "cool" to carry on the family tradition of decorating gingerbread houses for Christmas. *sigh*
But you know what? That's not what Christmas is all about, is it?! 2,010 years ago, a desperate couple took a hard journey to Jerusalem, and a baby boy named Jesus was born in a simple manger. There were no fancy decorations or big family gatherings to celebrate the birth of our Savior, and I'm sure Martha would have been horrified by the state of that stable! But to think that He would humble himself to become a man to give us the greatest gift of all—Salvation!? Now that's cause for celebration and the true "Reason for the Season!"
I'd like to share one of my favorite Christmas songs from a wonderful group called Avalon. This song always pulls hard at my heartstrings during the holidays—reminding me of how important it is to carry the love of Christ(mas) throughout the year, not just in December…
When I reflect back and dwell on all the blessings that God has given me and my family, all my disappointment for unmet goals and dreams fade away and I'm left with a heart full of love and gratitude. I pray that you are feeling the same and I wish you much joy as we celebrate the biggest Birthday Bash of the year together! *Ü*
And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” — Luke 2:9-14
Wishing you Great Joy & Peace
(and throughout the year!)