It’s a subtle pressure, isn’t it?
We value so greatly our time with family and hearth and home at Christmas time, but the slow heating up, ‘frog in the kettle’ style, is an annual and familiar struggle. God – help me not to fall into it this year…help me not to quote #thestruggleisreal again this season – even if it is! God, please please help me to hear you through the marketing roar at the mall this week! Help me to get all the decorating done, the Christmas cooking planned, the presents selected, bought and wrapped….But God, let me not be swayed away from the REAL meaning of Christmas…
I’m home. And it’s a delight to be. My life and work takes me many places during my year, and this year has been no different. But when I finally land back here in Sydney, in the midst of my beloved gum tree studded suburban lot, inside my wooden river house, I’m still affected. Even here it reaches me.
Perhaps it’s a struggle for you, too, to keep focused on the joy and the belief in Christmas that brings the purpose and plan of Heaven into your world, all because of the pressure that is upon us at this time. And I think it’s a particular pressure reserved for us women. Ha!
But this Christmas season I am making a plan. I am determined to see through those ploys and plots that would bring down faith and hope at Christmas. No matter what state this world is currently in, and I must say it is in a state…I have decided not to bow to its familiar Christmas chorus that drowns out the words of favourite carols and mixes my Christianity with its manufactured blessing. No, I am a daughter of a King who blesses me no matter which way I turn, no matter what is raging all around me, no matter where I am in this world. And my soul knows that very well. And therein lies the peace of this season; a soul that knows it well.
We all love Christmas time, I think. But our souls can get so very distracted from its meaning and its prominence of Truth, can’t they? I mean, when did you last sit and enjoy Christmas Eve with all its activity, with your family? Sing the carols, enjoy the ambience… I remember countless Eves of panic and paper wrapping, items yet to be disguised in multi coloured Christmas wrap and then strewn across my room, while I counted gifts and ribbons and made sure I was being ‘equal’ with all the children in my generosity….and the number of parcels to be opened the next day! I remember Christmas Day celebrations where I flopped dead tired into a chair at the end, and couldn’t really remember the happenings of the day because my mind had been so full of making it special for the family and guests – in my own way, of course…Sound familiar?
But wait! What is actually in store for me this coming Christmas?
As I am writing this blog I have been privileged to hold my eleven week old grandson. The wonder of life is so worth celebrating, isn’t it? And as I move gently in rhythm to United’s musical words “If you sought perfection I’d die trying to reach it…” I realise that, once in a while, God loves that I stop, take stock and realise that there is literally nothing that I can do to make Christmas better – more real – more exciting – than it already is….He listens to my cry to try to ‘make’ Christmas and to be the perfect, when there’s only One who is.
What, in Heaven’s name, is more exciting than the celebration of a baby born to set our world free? What, in the name of goodness itself, can be more satisfying than looking around us and understanding that every one of us is pure miracle…and our Creator senses pure joy when we turn to Him?
This Christmas, I am reminding myself to turn from the roundabout of busyness, the non-stop turntable of extravagant bowing to the pressure from all sides… and – breathe!
Breathe in His love, His heart, His forgiveness, His heart. Breathe out His Spirit from my life and touch those around me. Breathe again and again the love that the season is renowned for – and take it into our new year as a daily occurrence.
How? Well, right now – stop! Listen to His heartbeat, and begin again to sense the childlike flavour of Christmastime. Zone in to the Words from His Word. Can you hear Him whisper?
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son; And they shall call His name Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). (Matthew 1:23)
God – you have my heart. This Christmas. And always.
Here’s a link to the Christian Women’s Blogsite where you can read about the Christmas Blog Tour. Enjoy!
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