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Capturing the Essence of Christmas

"And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21


It never failed the day after Christmas I had what I called "The Christmas Blues". Nothing to do with Jesus, just the aftermath of the hub and bub of the season. Coming to a halt the rush and the decorating and shopping, all the food preparing and gift giving and celebrating with friends and family. The month of December is gloriously hectic for a lot of people.


When the boys were little I wanted to fill our month with activity and fun. Making traditions and memories, living and loving to its fullest. I wanted to capture every moment and put it in a snow globe so that we could look back with laughter and smiles in our heart (I won't mention the 'the lighting of the tree'; that will be for another time). I was set on pursuing the best Christmas experience ever, every single year. And, of course, not all went as planned. Some never even got off the ground because of bad moods, short tempers, illness, or lack of desire.


I have learned over the years that traditions are hard sought after. We have to work for them and be disciplined and organized to carry them through. They can at times wear you out, especially when littles are included. You have to take into account the atmosphere, attitudes and whether they have a fever or not (seems like someone was always sick during Christmastime).


Let me add we did have our church festivities, Christmas choir performances, the children's Christmas plays and our Sunday School parties. Jesus always mentioned throughout the season for being the Reason. But when everything was over, it was over! I was weary and worn and probably a little let down because all that was planned out in my mind to be this delightful, dazzling holiday season didn't quite go as I had envisioned.


As I matured and grew in my faith and really focused my heart on Him as I prepared for the birthday celebration, I realized that none of the hustle meant anything if my heart wasn't set on Him first. If I was too busy trying to bring about a 'perfect' Christmas and not busy enough sitting with Him (Psalm 46:10), listening for His still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12) and embracing the time each day to praise Him (Psalm 148:2).


All the traditions I tried to start, the gifts we bought, the food, laughter and seeing the excitement on my children's faces meant nothing if for the month of December I was focused on the rituals and leaving out the relationship.


"There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest..." (Heb.4:9-11)


We celebrate not because life is merry and easy and put together, but because Christmas means there is Hope for us. It is not a clean, neat ready world, or a peaceful world that rejoices, it is "a weary world rejoices" and we are weary, especially if we do not take the time to rest in Him.


I want to embrace and breathe in the first Christmas. The straw filled manger, the lowly shepherds, the young mama, eager for the birth of the Christ child. That is all that matters. Let's focus on Jesus and get back to a simple kind of Christmas that holds an enormous meaning of hope, redemption, salvation and a place to rest our weary souls as we look forward to peace everlasting. Amen.


I love you & He loves you more!


Lord, I celebrate You! May we fall on our knees and hear our Savior's voice. Thank You for this time we get to lift our hands in praise. For You were born to die for our redemption and oh the meaning that holds for us. May we not grow weary but rejoice for our Savior lives! Amen.

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