This morning is the day, the day we will celebrate Christmas as a family. The day we get the pleasure of celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior. For me this celebration can be bittersweet at times, because my mom is no longer with us, but there is much joy this year with the welcoming of a new daughter to our family. Mike was married in June and though Catherine and he had been dating awhile, now she is officially called daughter.
Both Catherine and Cara (Andy’s wife) have added such a lovely beautiful dimension to our family. It is a blessing that God has provided such godly women for our sons. They both are an answer to a long standing prayer for our sons. Their vibrant faith, their joy in living and love for our sons, and our family, blesses us each time we are together. They add much light and love to our family!
It is a vibrant faith relationship with God that fills us so we can be a vessel of light and love to our families. Sometimes during this time of year with the preparing, cleaning, shopping, laundry, etc., we can exhaust ourselves and short change our time with God out of pure exhaustion. We forgo the one thing that will refuel us and refocus our thoughts on the One who can sustain us. He alone can help us change our thought patterns and remind us what is truly important this time of year.
I have to admit, I used to be that person, but this year, I am making my time with Jesus a priority. I’ll fess up, the reason it is a priority this year is because in years past my focus has been on being sure everything is “perfect, clean, and prepared” and all I did was exhaust myself both physically and spiritually. God, so gracious and merciful, has shown me this is not the way He wants any of us to live. Not only that, but I don’t want to create the impression that this is the way it needs to be in our family. Those worldly expectations are in no way what we should be striving for. I want to live differently. How about you?
This season God has opened my eyes to the importance of being fully present, not exhausted, not focused on the “image,” but just being real. Vacuuming not done, it’s really ok, house not dusted, no problem (sorry honey…) God is reminding me, Jesus was born in a stable, maybe not the perfect place, nor extremely clean, yet God loved us so much, that He wanted Jesus to be where people needed Him. I’m sure it wasn’t where Mary and Joseph imagined the child of God being born. God is not about us being perfect, but about us expressing love. And for us to love well, we can’t be exhausted spiritually. Are you exhausted?
God truly sees each of you, not how clean your house is, not how “perfect” your table is, or how decorated your home is, He sees you, the person He created. He desires that you are not spent physically or dry spiritually. He wishes to spend a little time with you so He can refresh you. He wants to help you refocus your thoughts on what is most important, Christ’s love, so you can be refilled with joy and be fully present with those you love in your life. He sent Jesus to love and save the world and as a follower of Christ He desires to fill us, to be our “all and all” so that we can be the vessel of light and love He created us to be.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. (John 1:9)