Friday, December 16, 2011

My Reason for the Season

I need a boost today.  I'm in a holiday slump, and I need to regroup.  I have this every year, where I go into the holiday season at full speed, ho-ho-ho-ing all the way.  Then I get about a week or so away and reality sets in about how much I have to do, and some of the joy gets stifled by all the stress.  This is when I need my reality check.

Stress, shopping, and cleaning the house is not what this season should be about, and I get frustrated when I allow myself to get to this place.  This season is about joy.

This season is, first and foremost, a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  I am a Christian.  I choose not to get religious (or political, for that matter) on my blog because that's not what this is for, but today I am going to.  So those of you who are uncomfortable with this subject matter, feel free to stop reading and check back another day.

For me, the birth of Jesus Christ is definitely something to celebrate.  I am no Biblical scholar.  I am not a frequent church go-er.  I love going to church, it just has slipped down my priority list these days, and that's just how it is right now.  But I'm not as knowledgeable as I wish I was about the story of Jesus, I just know what your average C & E Lutheran knows.  

What I do know is that God is real.  I know that Jesus is real.  I know that Heaven is real, no matter what you want to call it.  These are things I know.  I have felt the presence of God in my life, and I truly believe it was God.  I have felt His presence during one of the darkest moments of my life.  There was a time in my life that was so dark and painful that I, in my seventeen year old heart and mind, was not capable of dealing with it.  In that moment, I felt myself let go.  I knew I was no longer in control of what was happening, and instead it was as if I was watching it happen from outside of myself.  And I managed everything.  I saved my own life and that of someone precious to me, and I was not the one in control.  There was a loving, comforting, and wise arm around me, and a whisper in my ear telling me to let go.  That He would take care of this.  And He did.  It was such a real moment, such an amazing comfort during a horrific time, that right then and there I had my proof that God was with me, that Jesus Christ knew me and I was not alone.  He saved me that day, and has several times since.  And I feel it every day.

That knowledge has kept my motor running even when I feel like I'm pretty low.  And once in a while I get a boost from above that I know is God up there, reminding me that He's here.  Many of these moments I choose to keep to myself, but sometimes I will share them.  I have seen Him come through my son, I have seen Him when I was going through the loss of my dad.  I know He was sitting with my family as we lost my mom-in-law, and that the loved ones I have lost are with Him now.

So absolutely I have reason to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  And I have reason to be joyful, to be festive, and to embrace the entire craziness of the season.  Christmas has become ginormous, to quote Buddy the Elf.  And I love it all.  It is commercial, yes.  But it's happy.  For me, Christmas is a time to be with your loved ones, to feel all the love you have for your family and friends.  To be silly and festive.  To celebrate anything you need to celebrate, because what better time to surround yourself with joy than at the most important birthday party of them all?  

So today I have to finish up my shopping.  I have to get ready to bake an insane amount of cookies tomorrow.  I have to try to ignore how messy my house is and know that I'll have time to clean it next week.  I need to hug and kiss my hubby and make sure he knows how blessed I feel to have him.  I need to play with this adorable dog that has found his way into our home and hearts.  I get to greet my kids again when they get home from school, excited that it is Friday.  I am going to wear jingly Christmas jewelry, and spend more money than I should.  And I'm going to feel blessed that Jesus is my Savior, that He loves me and my nutty holiday fever.  And hopefully I will say "Merry Christmas" to at least ten people today.

Merry Christmas.  Eight days to Christmas Eve.

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