Oh the irony.
When planning out posts for this month, I agreed to write this post because I thought it would be a good personal reminder for me. Refreshing and joyful even.
God has a sense of humor, doesn’t He?
Because, boy oh boy, do I EVER need the reminder of this post. So, please, pull up a chair and join me as I preach to myself today. You can consider this post all the things Kelly needs to hear (and REMEMBER) on this Monday before Christmas.
picture via Pinterest
Making space for Christmas. Creating the breathing room for the true reason of the season.
Something I think we all agree is important…and yet very few of us truly take the time to do and get right.
I LOVE this time of year. From Halloween on, I just adore it all. The holidays. The traditions. The time with family. The excitement and anticipation of the season and the winding down of the year. It is the best.
Every year, I vow to slow down, to savor, to remember the true reason and spirit behind the season…and every year, I fail to do so. I come close, I make an effort. I still come up short.
This year has been no exception. It feels like everything has been set up to get in my way and distract me. Sickness. Bills. Work. Prep for this. Prep for that. Buy this. Go there. This party. That party. White Elephant Gift. Cookies. Christmas program.
Before long, my calendar and to do lists were so full, so swamped. I have no space…some of it all is unnecessary, simply burdens I (voluntarily) place on myself because I think the season needs it (hint, it doesn’t). A lot of those things though, are good things.
But good things aren’t the best things and, in the season of best things, I want the best. The best that is not defined by what parties I go to, the cookies I bake, the holiday crafts and things I do, or the gifts I buy and get.
No, I want HIS best.
His best that is made of the greatest redemption story of all time, the story that starts with a baby in a manger and changes the world and saves me from myself.
That kind of best demands space to take it all in. Space that just doesn’t have room on a calendar full to the brim with parties, errands, and seasonal to-dos.
Let’s pause for a second. Let’s switch gears. Maybe you aren’t in the same boat. Maybe you have all the space, but the holidays are tough for you. The holidays may be a reminder of what you don’t have that you wish you did/thought you would have/had last year and don’t this year. Maybe the holidays are tough because people have passed, traditions have died away, and you are left with the deep sting of loss. Maybe the holidays have good things in them, but they just aren’t what you hoped they would be (for one reason or another)…you feel double the negative at grieving the loss of what you hoped for and feeling bad for grieving. Or maybe the holidays are just hard because you find yourself comparing yours to theirs and you feel like you are coming up short and not doing enough or doing it “right”.
Regardless of the why, it can hurt. Hurt badly. You have the space to remember the season, but the pain is just screaming at you, distracting your soul from His best.
I get it. I’ve been there too.
That is why, in the one of the most joyful seasons, we have to fight sometimes to remember. With an ever increasingly secular culture and our own selves as our worst enemies, we have to fight.
This was never what the season was supposed to be about. Don’t let good things crowd out the best things.
What does that fighting look like? For me, it means getting into the Word. Specifically, the story of His Savior’s birth. It means saying no to things like Christmas cards and white elephant gifts. It means less doing and more quiet, contemplating the beauty and glory and significance of the simplest and plainest birth story ever.
Sisters, in this last week of Christmas, let’s make space. It is not too late. Slow down. Say no to something. Unplug. Don’t overdo it. Remember the true joy of the season. To put more focus on the best thing instead of good things.
Remember. Make the space. He will meet you there.
Luke 2:10-12//But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”