Sunday, December 16, 2012

How’s Your Christmas Peace Holding Up?



Have you ever had the Christmas Crankies?


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.                                Isaiah 9:6


In the past few days I’ve caved into the stress of the holidays. I’ve been overwhelmed…I’ve felt edgy…I’ve responded badly…I’ve been a bit humbuggy…lacking in peace :(

All ths while I’m supposed to be preparing for the Prince of Peace.

I’ve been flooded with thoughts like, “I can’t do this!” “This is ridiculous!” “How am I ever gonna get all this done?” I mutter, stammer,  simmer.

How will I get all the decorating done?

I  know…for all you organized A types, you're probably a bit unsettled, if  not downright outraged that I haven’t finished this by now. I love our house decked out for Christmas, but I don’t love the process of decorating. It takes a lot of time and effort. A lot of standing and snipping (fresh greens), and details…ribbons, Christmas balls, gold beads, glistening pomegranate, pine cones, lots and lots of Santas, and of course the crèche sans baby Jesus until Christmas morn.

How will I get all the shopping done?

I’m not going all-out crazy. But I’m a gift giver. One of my five top love languages is gift giving. I like to think about and give meaningful, thoughtful presents at Christmas. I’m nowhere near done.

How will I get all my baking done?
There's a little over a week left before the big day (which I host every year). Very little time to bake the lemon bars, 7-layer bars, Mrs. Fields Chocolate Pie, thumbprints, almond fingers...

What's that you say?
Despite all the noise going on in my head...a still small voice came through loud and clear today, on this the Sabbath, the day of rest that wasn't very restful. 

"The decorating isn't about Me..."

I ignored it at first. But as I gathered up the greens, frustrated with the mess of dead needles that would have to be cleaned up later, I heard it again.

"The baking isn't about Me either..."

And I had to face it. All this hustle and bustle, all the anxiety...it's all about me. It's about perfectionism and performance...approval and pride.

And He, the reason for the season, is not asking for any of it. All He asks is that I believe. In exchange for my little mustard-seed sized faith, He'll give me rest, joy, life eternal, peace...deep and abiding, anytime, anywhere, and always. 

God rest me...God rest ye!

So how's your Christmas peace holding up under the pressures of the holidays?


photo credit: Lawrence OP via photopin cc 

5 comments:

  1. Beautifully said and thanks for the reminder! and for the first time ever, I never thought to hold out the baby Jesus until Christmas day. Happy Christmas!

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  2. I have to say it can get crazy even for the type As... not sure I am one of them but I border some time. When I get stuff done ahead of time I think I should do more. I don't bake but sometimes I feel like I should...after all my friends do...you know that kind of stuff.

    I will have to say intentionally celebrating advent with my kids has help remind me what we are counting down too.

    Thanks for the reminder that all this STUFF we do isn't about him, the waiting, the anticipating, the celebration is...

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  3. In these past few years we have been doing only a few Christmas bits. We decorate a tree, LOTS of lights, give a few gifts, set up a number of nativity sets. We don't give very many gifts any more -- both financially and practically. Christmas is simply to rejoice in the Lord, thank Him for Himself, focus on the purpose of His arrival.

    SO, takes a lot of pressure off to view Him, and Him alone.

    [DID send about 30 cards out today, which hasn't been done for about 5 years, b/c of family stressful situations and the world becoming connected through email and the cost of stamps. BUT this time, it was back to normal and I felt blessed to send them. Won't stop doing that again!]

    Hope you have a blessed and thoroughly joy-filled joyful time while focusing on our dear Lord.

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  4. Thanks so much for sharing CaryJo. I still have the "make the magic" happen attitude and that brings unnecessary stress. Having trouble letting go. I love that you sent cards again. That is a very personal touch for the season and one I think is worth keeping. I haven't sent out cards in so long...don't see it happening before Christmas, but maybe after.
    Blessings!

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