After many years of shelling out my time and energy for the disappointing and inconsequential, I feel the Lord defragmenting my attention and creating wholeness so my heart-eyes can settle on the Baby Boy.
“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).
A Different Sort of Christmas
“Bless her heart,” I can almost hear my heavenly Father saying. He has seen me wrestle with appearance and effort and striving, especially at Christmas time. He knows about my misplaced affections and out-of-sorts priorities.
He’s been healing my heart, wound by wound, for a while now. Ever since I’ve been born, really.
And it’s so nice to finally be okay with knowing that He knows and no longer trying to hide.
Usually by now I’ve made shopping lists, grocery lists, gift lists, to-do lists, get-together lists – a maniacal list of lists. But I’m not the same this year. My rhythm seems to have slowed a little, steadied up a bit.
Oh, I know I’ll still buy gifts, decorate trees and bake cookies. But this year I feel a weaving of His presence in every thought and plan. With every move of my heart, I sense His hands cupped around my face redirecting my gaze.
He’s asking, “Do you see the Baby Boy?”
It’s November 25th and I forgot to get out my big and little Pottery Barn straw turkeys. They’re missing from the proud perch of my dining room table, but I’ve yet to take them off their storage roost. I already feel like I’ve messed up Thanksgiving because of it. And a small corner of my heart quips, “I can just imagine the mess I’ll make trying to pull off Christmas.”
Do you see how it can happen? Forgotten decorations steal away purpose and meaning just like time flies away with those Toms. It’s going by so fast.
In the frenzy and folly and faux, Truth is still true. And I see that now. Like the star in the East, He’s leading me through the present season in His presence, through these Holy days leading up to His birthday.
So we can decorate and shop and bake while loving and tending and caring, all in celebration of the Baby King.
Rest. That’s all we’re supposed to do. In His provision. In His love. In His arms. Traditions and window-display hopes ascend toward outlandish holiday heights only to careen us, slipping and sliding, into a dusty cloud of unrest and disappointment.
How can we sidle with disappointment in a day when the Savior has lain in a manger?
Caught up in Christmas Cookies
When we make much ado in the doing, that’s how the emptiness crowds out the fullness of Christ’s grace (John 1:16). It’s so important to remember that all of the Christmas-y measures and missions fall flat when we forget to tuck them in His glory.
On “Cookie Day”, I can get grumpy with granulated griminess and misread measurements. My penchant for perfection whisks the Spirit right on out when I see a faint dusting of dashed hope sifting through the all-purpose flour and baking soda.
So I choose this year to savor the moments with my girl and her babies and not go stirring and whirring into a blurring flurry of pouring, mixing, scooping and measuring precision. After all, who can feel His presence in that misguided mess?
Do you hear what I hear the Father saying? “Sweetheart,” he whispers, “even this is about the Baby Boy.”
Other Stuff of the Season
I can see, now, the discontentment I face when I seek contentment from anything other than His radiant face. I’ve let go of lining up one more movie or performance or light show because the fifty others just didn’t quite hit the spot.
And the timing of this and that – the crazy, useless scheduling for perfection’s sake – I’ve let it go. It is okay if my schedule, your schedule and their schedule are at odds. It’s okay.
Because His plans and purposes will win out in the end (Proverbs 19:21). That’s a very nice place to rest.
In all of the flit and flutter, let’s light on the greatest gift of all and not get lost in the black hole of the tree skirt. You know, that place where it never seems like enough gifts have been bought and wrapped and tucked?
When our minds are caught up and our hearts are weighed down, let’s just take in a breath. Let that gift of inhale remind us that every holiday moment leading up to the Holy day we celebrate is about only one Gift.
He gives. We receive. Then we share. We can exhale in this sharing.
It’s in the breathing in and then the breathing out that we turn our eyes from the bustle to see the greatest gift of all.
Can you see Him? Do you see the Baby Boy?