Christmas 2016 is drawing to a close, and it has been a pretty good one. And it wasn’t the presents under the tree that made it such a great day, it was the time spent with my family. I wasn’t really sure about how this year’s festivities were going to go. A week ago, I was beginning to grow concerned even though God has always provided more than enough to get us through the greediest time of year. I could feel myself getting drawn into the trap of trying to accomplish things in my own strength instead of relying on the Lord’s.
Part of my pout this season was brought on by exhaustion. I worked every day leading up to Christmas. Standing on your feet eight hours a day can get pretty tiring, and when you couple that with the occasionally impatient customer and/ or lazy coworker, it can quickly drain your spirits. I’m also carrying around extra poundage this year and have a bad knee and a thousand other little whines that can lead me straight down the rabbit hole of self-pity. But I let the little annoyances snowball even though I knew better.
6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
The gifts I have to offer will never cost much, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable. I’m glad I have finally realized that.
Realizing my worth and ability to gift in non-tangible ways helped to lighten my mood a little, but then I became focusing on doing more for people instead of being there for people. I got out my notebook and calendar and started scheduling every second of every day leading up to Christmas. My checklist grew as I tried to think of ways to prove my worth. When did I realize that I was overworking myself trying to get everything perfect for a family that wouldn’t notice? When I found myself complaining about Christmas falling on a Sunday this year. How absurd!
Celebrating the birth of Christ in my church was an inconvenience I just didn’t want to deal with. It’s hard enough scheduling Christmas with my family and my husband’s family, when you throw in the added obligation of having to attend a Christmas eve candlelight service and Sunday morning service, it just becomes too much of a burden. Talk about losing sight of the true meaning of Christmas! I had gone over the top with performance and perfectionism this year. An angry, tired, and cranky mom is not what my family wanted for Christmas this year, good thing I had the reality check before the big day got here.
I did the one thing that always brings me back to the real reason for everything, I got alone with God. I skipped the customary Christmas eve candlelight service because I just couldn’t move anymore. I put on comfy clothes, closed my eyes and prayed. I allowed myself to rest in His presence, without any interruptions, for the hour my family was gone. As much as I enjoy the music and tradition of the candlelight service every year, I needed something more. Something that I could only obtain during alone time with my Savior. The one thing I really needed this over-scheduled, stretched thin holiday season, was a moment alone with the guy whose birthday we were supposed to be celebrating. No distractions, no T.V., no noise, and no human conversations, just meaningful one on one conversation with the star of the event. It was the one thing I really needed, and yet it was the one thing I had omitted from my checklist.
When I finished my much needed prayer time, I felt revitalized. I had the strength to make it another day and the confidence to know it was going to be another awesome Christmas even if the kids didn’t get everything on their wish list. Honestly, they don’t keep the stuff they have picked up, why do they need another shirt to throw on their bedroom floor with all the rest of their crap. But I digress, that is a rant for another post.
I am so amazed by the love that God showed a wicked and sinful people 2000 years ago when he sent Jesus to be born. I am so grateful for the life he has given me and the amazing and wonderful people that I am allowed to call my family. And I hope that next Christmas, I never lose site of the fact that I have all I need already.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, and a part-time basket case who wants to be a full time writer.