Devotionals

Welcome To The Holiday Season

Holiday Season

Welcome to the Holiday Season.

The world’s on fast forward, and I feel like I’m standing still.

There’s a blur of activity around me, and I’m going in slow motion. I know I’m moving. I know I’m making progress. I know I’m getting stuff done…right?

Balance is a mirage in the distance. The pressures are unending and unrelenting. The tasks relentlessly demand to be seen, heard, and completed. I search for something to eliminate, anything to lighten my load, but I’m afraid everything will come crashing down like Jenga blocks if I pull one more thing out.

Can you relate?

Then yesterday, while at the allergist, I overheard a nurse breathe life into the words tumbling around inside my heart as she talked with another nurse.

“Welcome to the Holiday Season.” The other nurse quipped. She was matter-of-fact in her statement but not unsympathetic or uncaring.

Welcome to the Holiday Season.

Is that what the Holiday Season has come to? Stress? Too much to do and not enough time to do it in—on top of our everyday life challenges and demands? Running from one place to the next, swiping your visa and leaving a little of your soul behind? Wrapping gifts late into the night, worried that it won’t be enough—or appreciated?

Sadly, for many it is.

I know this, and you know this. We see it in the empty eyes that hurry past us as they dash from store to store—as they hustle to the checkout, double-checking their lists to make sure they haven’t forgotten anything or anyone.

Welcome to the Holiday Season.

From turkey to Black Friday and mistletoe to the Midnight Kiss, they miss it. Between boxing up the cranberries and Boxing Day, they miss it. They miss the joy. The wonder. The miracle.

They miss the unfathomable mystery of our Creator’s coming to earth to be our Redeemer. They neglect the wonder of the Word becoming flesh to dwell among us. They forget to marvel at the love our Creator has for His creation. FOR US! Amidst the twinkling lights and tinsel, they lose the beauty of His tender grace; the glory of His mercy.

And I was about to be counted among their numbers.

I allowed myself to be swept up in the busyness of hosting Thanksgiving, planning Christmas presents, and deciding where to place the decorations. I permitted myself to be consumed with lists and lists of lists to be sure nothing got missed. I’m already feeling exhausted, and the enormity of the task is still stretched out before me.

Welcome to the Holiday Season.

“God, I don’t want it to be this way! Please tell me it doesn’t have to be this way!” I silently prayed.

“Baby, look at me.”

“I’m so tired and overwhelmed. My lists are breeding like rabbits…”

“Baby, look at me.”

“I mean, I haven’t written a real sentence in DAYS! My readers must think I’ve become a victim of alien abduction or something.”

“Baby, look at me.”

“God, What can I do?”

“Baby! Look at me!”

“Why? What good is that going to…”

“Baby!”

“What!?”

“Shut up and look at me!”

When I turned my heart turned to face Him, His love flowed all over me—and I FOUND IT! I found the beauty of the mystery. I marveled at the profoundness of this time of year. I found the joy of the season.

I FOUND—HIM!

Nothing else matters but our God, our Creator and Redeemer. With my eyes focused on Him, I discovered what I was looking for. I found the reason to celebrate. The reason to worship. The reason to simplify—to let go of everything else.

The truth is, all the gifts we give or receive are soon forgotten, lost, and broken. Many eventually get donated or end up in the landfill. But not our salvation. That gift is eternal, unchanging, and everlasting! And it makes us pure—white as snow!

The people walking in darkness

have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of deep darkness

a light has dawned.  

You have enlarged the nation

and increased their joy;

they rejoice before you

as people rejoice at the harvest,

as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.   

For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,

you have shattered

the yoke that burdens them,

the bar across their shoulders,

the rod of their oppressor.   

Every warrior’s boot used in battle

and every garment rolled in blood

will be destined for burning,

will be fuel for the fire.   

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.   

Of the greatness of his government and peace

there will be no end.

He will reign on David’s throne

and over his kingdom,

establishing and upholding it

with justice and righteousness

from that time on and forever.

The zeal of the Lord Almighty

will accomplish this.

Isaiah 9:2-7

 

WELCOME TO THE HOLIDAY SEASON, BELOVED! WELCOME!

 

Blessings!

15 replies »

  1. Love this!! This was my conversation with a friend yesterday!! How do we give this Christmas away!! And breath in the True and full meaning!!! Thank you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First I want to talk Jesus and why we celebrate Christmas, but most importantly I want to have faith in Action!! Doing things for others! From simply buying someone’s coffee to giving a gift card to a Stranger! Praying that God will lead us to the person who needs to experience His Love! Loving those around me!! Living in the moment!! Trying to be Mary and not Martha at my gatherings! Listening actively!! Not just to respond!! Opening up my heart and my home if someone needs a place to celebrate! Letting go of trying to find the perfect gift because Christ is the Perfect Gift!! Loving everyone I meet! Even the ones who are cranky and hard to love!! They need it more!! Forgiveness to others and myself when we mess up! Because we will! JOY! Smiling at a stranger!! These are some of the things I want to do!! Xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

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