Friday, December 14, 2007

A Confession

As a teenager I would sit in our dark living room, gazing into the lighted Christmas tree without a care in the world. I could stay there forever, dreaming and imagining, asking God all sorts of questions. It was a time of serenity and wonder, peace and hope, an excitement in knowing the same God who created all things, who walked the earth before me, was there, taking it all in with me.

Then I grew up. Now there is little time to stare at my tree and pick God’s brain, little time for the quiet to wash away my anxiety, no time for being still. As an adult, this season is filled with lists and tasks and expectations and stress.

I miss what Christmas used to be and dread what it has become--more stuff to cram into an already busy schedule. Every year I stew over how to bring back the wonder and peacefulness. Each December I think there must be a better way. I want to sit in the dark and watch it snow, drink hot apple cider and play games with my kids. I yearn for beautiful music, meaningful conversations, candles, and snuggling up under fluffy blankets watching movies. And even though all of this can be done at home, I know something is bound to interfere, so I dream of swooping my family up and going away, far away, to a place where there is nothing to do, and true rest and peace abound.

But life doesn't work like that. God doesn't give us an out every time we want to escape. And there must be a reason for that. Could it be He wants us to be able to celebrate anywhere, not only in ideal conditions? Does He expect praise at all times? Is He trying to teach us real peace has nothing to do with location, but everything to do with motivation? Am I focusing on the wrong aspects of Christmas? Am I letting Satan steal my joy?

I don’t want to go through the motions of Christmas. I want to celebrate it. How is it I haven’t understood until now I make a choice? My heart is not in it because I haven’t chosen what is best. I have been deceived. I have let my mind dwell on the busyness instead of the Child.

I need to center my mind, my heart, my soul. . .

O Come let us adore Him
O Come let us adore Him
O Come let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord.



Cahleen 何凱琳 said...

I can relate! I also wish that I could feel the Christmas magic as easily as I did when I was young. It's very hard over here, where nobody celebrates Christmas. But like you said, Jesus wants us to be able to celebrate Him no matter what the circumstances.

e-Mom said...

Well Mom, with four kids, no wonder you feel harried! I was just at another blog, and the writer was expressing similar sentiments.

My place of escape? The bathtub. Or taking a long freeway drive. Somehow, those two activities allow me to shift gears and find that peaceful place where I can commune with Jesus heart to heart.

Maybe you'll be able to find some time to just "be" this weekend.

(Like you, I also love gazing at the lighted tree!)

Brenda said...

I hate what Christmas has become too. Certainly not adoring the birth of our savior. That thoughts pops in now and then but does not seem to be the focus. Today I need to get packages ready to mail and work on my Christmas letters. Thanks for focusing on the right things.

Anonymous said...

Since you read my blog, you know that this is my heart, too. I got almost all of my Christmas shopping done BEFORE Thanksgiving this year, hoping that would prevent the stress of it all. But, now that is 10 days away and I still have so many things undone, I'm feeling it!!

I think the fact that we recognize what is happening is actually a sign of spiritual health, don't you? Somehow maybe we won't get sucked into the tidal wave as much.

Thanks for the comment on my blog. I, too, wish we could sit down and just chat about Jesus over cheesecake. Michigan and Nebraska are just too far apart! I am so thankful for you and that we met up through this crazy blogosphere.

Living Beyond said...

Amen lady

We think Christmas should be all about perfection, perfect family, perfect meal, perfect Christmas tree, perfect outfits, hair and nails, and yet it was hardly so picture perfect for MAry & Joseph on that cold dark night. They must have been terrified, cold, lonely, anxious. And the HE who she delivered, came to deliver her, to deliver them, to deliver me and you my friend.

"Is He trying to teach us real peace has nothing to do with location, but everything to do with motivation? Am I focusing on the wrong aspects of Christmas? Am I letting Satan steal my joy?"

Since leaving my homeland 15 years ago I have to confess that I do struggle with this when special 'family' times come around. I have learnt to tell myself "it's just another day" before I pick up the phone to call home, otherwise I fear I may imploded into a big slobbering mess. But in reality it isn't just another day, it is a day to celebrate God becoming flesh and blood, skin and bones. And then I find myself musing on the fact that each day should be a celebrating that God came near, that he came so close so that we could feel his breathe on our faces.

So in my journey I am realizing that at this time of year yes Satan wants to magnify the fact that my loved ones are so far away and he tries to steal my joy and yet the Living Word is telling me that my joy is not circumstantial it is PERSONal - it is HIM. 365 days a year - never changing - consistently the same - He is Life, He is Joy, He is Peace.

It is definately about focus but not just a Christmas but throughout the year.

For He alone is Worthy
For He alone is Worthy
For He alone is Worthy
Christ, the Lord.