{31 Lessons Learned the Hard Way} :: Lesson 28~The Best Gift I Can Give

I'm writing you from the quiet of my home this morning. Christmas music playing, my "home for Christmas" candle burning, tree lights on.

Sounds nice, doesn't it? If only every day of this season were as calm as this morning.

There are so many things to do...

Christmas parties to prepare for and attend.
Gifts to buy and wrap.
Decorating and baking.
Christmas photos and cards to send.

and on top of all of that...

Christmas services, plays, programs, concerts.
Special outfits to buy and wash and iron for each.
Extra rehearsals and snacks to bring.

This is all added to the everyday craziness of life. I know you feel it too. You have your own list. Many shared with ours, some that are different.

Why does this month have to be so crazy? To be honest, many times I feel like I am barely making it through this season. I SO look forward to December 26th when it is all over. I've been so tired by the time we get to Christmas day that I make it through the day in a haze of exhaustion, fueled by coffee all day long.

Why is it that we, as Christians, feel a need to make this month so much more celebratory than every other month of the year? Shouldn't we be celebrating all year long?

Don't we know this truth every day of the year?

This miracle,
the gift of a perfect sacrifice,
born to a virgin...
is it only true on December 25th? Or MORE true?

The true meaning of Christmas, celebrating the birth of our Savior, giving to others, deliberate time spent with those we love...shouldn't we be doing with our every day lives?

So why do we give into the craziness of a culture that has not grasped this Truth? Shouldn't we, as Christians who follow this Christ every day, resist the hustle and bustle and busyness of this season?

This is the darkest time of the year. The sun sets behind our mountains by 5pm every night. And we light lamps and candles and tree lights to warm the atmosphere in our home.

And shouldn't we be doing the same in a culture of darkness? Shouldn't we be light to the dark? To the hurting and needy around us?

And how can we accomplish this if we are frazzled and stressed? How can we truly love those around us if we are preoccupied with to-do lists and shopping lists and...exhaustion? Are we spending the holidays running on adrenaline and caffeine or are we truly giving our hearts and our time to our God who started it all? To our families who long for our attention and time over all else?

Things are a bit different in our house this year. We are still participating in all of the activities of the season. My kids are in school, which comes with extra Christmas activities and parties and concerts and gifts. We are in the midst of children's musical and Christmas Eve rehearsals at church. We decorated our tree (and might I just add that it's smaller and more sparse than in years past? Easier to get in the house and decorate so that we had time for other things?) We're in the midst of gift buying and wrapping.

But my intentions are different this year. We are taking time in these dark evenings to quiet ourselves. To read Scripture and enjoy the anticipation of Advent. I am taking time to look my children in the eyes and hold them close and listen to hearts.

I am giving them the gift of me. The gift of a mom focused on them. A wife with a quiet spirit, a still demeanor. It doesn't come naturally for me, especially at Christmas, and I'm not perfect. But I am trying. So that when they come home from the busy of school and work and church and parties, they find peace. So that they can find rest and comfort in the haven of our home.

What is a way you are focusing your intention this Christmas?

This post is part of the series {31 Lessons Learned the Hard Way}. Did you miss a lesson? Catch up here.

1 comment:

  1. Andrea, this is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I love your last paragraph the most......"I am giving the gift of me".....beautiful is all I can say.
    Thanks for writing.


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