Monday, November 28, 2016

Intentional Christmas

It's baaaaaack!

"The Most Busiest Time of the Year . . . ."

Yesterday was the official start of the Christmas season, the first Sunday of Advent.

My man and I sat with the calendar pulled up on my IPad after our daughters were in bed.We added pageants and parties. The little squares began to quickly fill. The "notes" were cluttered with reminders to bring a dish or an ornament or both a dish and an ornament.

With lots of expectations placed on our family by well-meaning church members and by myself, I find myself quickly feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Is that a cold-sore forming on the side of my mouth?

Dear Sister, PLEASE, do let this season be the fertile ground Satan uses to rob you of the joy to be found during this "Most Wonderful Time of the Year." We can be SO busy with all the Christmas activities that we miss the TRUE meaning of Christmas.

Yes, I know that you know, Christmas is all about Jesus.  I know that you know that the REAL reason for the season is to celebrate His birth... but have you taken the time recently to stop and really reflect on what we are celebrating?

As our pastor said yesterday, it can't be found in a Christmas movie on the Hallmark Channel. Yes, it might be a tear-jerker, pulling on our heartstrings, but if we aren't careful, if we aren't intentional, we might find ourselves more "moved" over an emotional movie or a clever advertising scheme than the true meaning of Christmas.

So, how can we be intentional to have a meaningful, worshipful Christmas season when we are so busy?

I don't have any magical, easy answers to this question. Actually, if you've found some way or some method or some thing over the years, please share it in the comments . . .(Scroll down to Vickie's Post, "A Simple Christmas" for a good start!)

For now, I am starting with a simple prayer. I started praying this way as a single college student prepping for exams and feeling overwhelmed during this time of year. I asked that God would make my Christmas experience somehow more significant by impressing upon me something "new" from the familiar old story. Every year I have prayed this, He has answered.

Despite the busy-ness and through the bustle, God faithfully deepens my holiday season with depths from the simple story my 3 year old can explain. He has promised that if we seek Him, we will find Him - especially if we are seeking Him in a manger.... The shepherds and the wise men responded in worship, I have found we will too . . .

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