Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Christmas Already??

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
Matthew 7:12 (NLT)

My ornaments are still in their boxes, and the tree is naked (except for the 2 J's therapist made). I feel exhausted and I've wondered what's the point... but I've been trying to 'do Christmas' for the kids. My feelings must have been contagious, since my daughter had them too. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit spoke to her, and she spoke to me. And I encouraged her to write it....

Christmas time can be so stressful for me. December can be the fastest month of the year: one moment I stand at Thanksgiving, thinking “Well, what do you know? Black Friday is tomorrow and Christmas is coming up. I can’t wait!” and the next moment I stand at December 21st, thinking, “Oh no! I did it again! I didn’t move quick enough and now I don’t have any time for Christmas anymore. How am I going to even enjoy Christmas if I’m so rushed to get presents during the next four days? What’s the point anyway? I won’t even have the time to enjoy Christmas at all before it’s over.”

My word for the new year is Vision. I am asking God to open my eyes so that I can see him at work in my world, and to open my eyes to the possibilities that are there if I dare to dream. I was listening to a Christmas album by Third Day, called Christmas Offerings, while I was walking outside in the newly fallen snow. My family and I used to listen to this album a lot when I was younger, under the age of ten. I have such fond memories of that album. I have such fond memories of Christmas at that time, and they always seem so much better in my memories than the Christmases I have now. Then God opened my eyes.  

I realized that what makes Christmas time such a happy, wonderful time is my mindset.

The happiest holidays are caused by remembering the reason for the season, remembering how incredible that first Christmas must have been. God sent Jesus Christ to Earth, as a baby who would grow up to die for our sins, and save all of humankind forever! He rescued us from sin. By doing this, God gave us good tidings of great joy. God gave us an incredible Gift, and that is why we give gifts. It’s because of God’s love for us that we return the favor by loving each other.  

The joy that we feel at Christmas time today was originally set in motion by the joy that people felt years and years ago when God showed such love for us on that special day in Bethlehem, in the city of David. In those years before I was ten, I remembered the reason for the season much more than I do now. We listened to songs about it, read stories about it, and even acted out the nativity scene when I was younger. Today sometimes I get so caught up in preparing festivities and worrying about the festivities I haven’t prepared yet, that I forget about the reason why we are celebrating in the first place. But when I take my focus off of all the things that I want/wanted to do and the things I’ve done/haven’t done, and put my focus on the reason why we do all of this commotion in the first place, that’s what helps me feel relaxed and happy like in the old days. That’s when the “Christmas Spirit” really kicks in. The true meaning of Christmas, the reason for the season, gives me a great reason to do all of the things that I do at Christmas time, decorating my home to celebrate what our God has done, and giving gifts to celebrate the greatest Gift ever given. 

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that you will help us to remember to celebrate your Real Gift to us, in everything that we do this holiday.

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