"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:14
Are you doing it, too? ...getting caught up in the holiday spirit rushing around buying gifts, getting frustrated stuck in traffic, testing your patience in long lines, cramming your home full of everything green and red and silver and gold and anxiously preparing yourself for the next Christmas party or family get together? I know that in years' past I have been extremely guilty of all of the above.
I love Christmas shopping. (My husband will tell you that this is my love language...gifts!) Usually, I am done well before the fall is upon us. I am the typical "Martha" who has all of our family's Christmas cards addressed and stamped the week before Thanksgiving just waiting for the day after to come and be the first to welcome in the Christmas season. Our home is typically beaming with white lights before December or on the first at the very latest. My home is usually decked out all in the same day. Yes, it's efficient but it has robbed me of thoroughly being able to enjoy this season of advent...preparing for Christ's coming. I have been too busy...too hurried...and too unfocused. Amazing what will change your perspective...
Last year, I was preparing and anticipating one of the sweetest gifts I've ever been given, my daughter. I planned ahead and bought her a little white pre-lit Christmas tree for her nursery to match her brother's baseball and candy cane tree in his room. I just knew that she would have to have a white one...oh, and it would be just darling in her pink and white nursery. I was envisioning all shades of pink little ornaments. It was going to be so girly and she was going to be with me to pick them out this year. I knew we had a long road ahead of us, but she was going to make it. My heart never allowed me to imagine otherwise. My plans were made.
This year is different. I have yet to get the Christmas cards finished although I am pretty close. I haven't even begun the lights outside (but did manage to get my wreath hung). And, the Christmas tree was just put up last week. Call me Scrooge! It's not that I am totally protesting Christmas this year, it's just that I am re-focused on what does matter....waiting for the Lord to come!
Instead, I have been spending more time in His Word and chasing after Him with my heart this advent season. Wyatt and I have enjoyed baking and playing and painting. Scott and I have turned off the T.V. and spent countless hours in real, deep, honest conversation exploring our hearts...the love we have for each other and, most importantly, the love that we have for Him.
Just as Mary was anticipating the Christ Child that she carried, I encourage you to anticipate Him more this Christmas than ever. Feel Him. Hear Him. Yearn for Him. Let Him break the chains you have placed around your heart and surrender it all at His feet...He will be there! He always shows up! His mercy is new every morning and it is yours! What greater gift could there be than HOPE in Him? Wait for Him!
Merry Christmas, sweet friends~ Rebecca