Holidays are generally hard for me. Maybe it is because I miss loved ones. Maybe it is because of the pressure. Maybe it is the craziness of the people and the schedules. Maybe it is because it means another year has passed and where I thought I would be in life is not where I am at. I believe it is definitely a combination of all those things wrapped into one! While others thrive for the holidays, the perfect gift, the trees, the lights, the running around, the cookies, etc… I can’t say I really am a Scrooge, but will admit it all overwhelms me, more than I care to admit. Every year I vow it will be different, and every year it is not…
So today (started Blog on 11/24), I put on my facebook at quote from Sevenly – one of my favorite organizations that donates every week to a new charity. The Quote said “He who has not Christmas in their heart will not find it under the tree – Roy Smith” ! All I can say, is I have some work to do to get Christmas back in my heart.
I think of the song by Matthew West about THE MOTIONS. That is pretty much what I do with the holidays. I must tell you, I love Easter. I love the meaning, the calmness, it beginning the start of spring. For Christmas it is the hussle, the shopping (when we seem to already have everything), the beginning of winter. Yes there is meaning to Christmas, but that’s what I have lost – what I have allowed my children to loose – what the world has allowed to be lost. I watch shows with beautiful homes and pray that I can just make a space for a tree and find a day to put it up. I listen as people make all these cookies and pray that I can make enough for the cookie exchange (not to mention I will just eat the cookies and gain weight). It also means I will need to open my home to welcome in family and it will never measure up. I hear the Christmas music and pray that the real meaning of Christmas will be laid on my heart.
I know all about Christmas and the real reason. And honestly, some of the “best” Christmas have been when my heart was the heaviest. The year of our miscarriage and I vowed NO tree. But the night of the Christmas program, our friends brought the church’s tree and Steven Lint played the violin and we sang carols. The year my mom passed away and dad and I did Christmas Ever Church Hopping – we went from one service to the next until the last one at midnight. I remember the years of working in the hospital in the Cancer Unit with patients. For many, it was their last Christmas and I was blessed to be a part of it. I have many ornaments from those amazing patient’s and it has been years since I put them on the tree. Mostly because I generally rush to get up the tree and get it down – a year or so ago I just went and bought an artificial tree and the bulbs and we put it up quickly.
So what’s different… Christmas has NOT changed! It is still the Birthday of Jesus Christ. What has changed is my heart! I need to rediscover that wonder of that night. I need to dig deeper into the Bible Stories of my childhood and rediscover the miracles of that night. In fact, the stories should be deeper and richer to me now… I mean as a mom, I can never imagine being Mary in a stable in a far away country giving birth – let alone giving birth to Jesus Christ. I need to rediscover the memories of childhood through the eyes of my children. My mom and I baked cookies together. I remember the tree just by closing my eyes – the silver tinsel, the blue balls wrapped with yarn, the angel on the top of the tee, and the presents labeled Santa under the tree in the recycled wrapping paper from the year before.
Well, Christmas is really just around the corner and I really have two choices… stay miserable/wanting more OR change/be changed. Really there is only one obvious choice! I signed up for an online Bible Study regarding Advent – a chance to go deeper into His word to rediscover Christmas. I will be sitting and planning out the next month for small goals so I am not overwhelmed at my typical last minute, procrastination moments! I prepare for MORE THAN MOTIONS. I want Christmas to be sunk deeply in my heart!
So appropriate for me and the holidays – but truly every day life – so many times just going through The Motions.
The Motions – by Matthew West – lyrics
I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking,
“What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?”
No regrets, not this time
I’m gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love make me whole
I think I’m finally feeling something
‘Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of this life