Friday, December 4, 2009

Treasuring CHRISTmas

As the Christmas season started, I found myself getting quickly stressed about buying gifts, busy schedules, getting ready for 2 weeks in Texas, etc. This saddened me because I wanted to savor and treasure the season for its true meaning: the coming of Christ, Immanuel - God with us! I realized from the blogs of other women that I wasn't alone in this dilema. I love how Carolyn Mahaney and her daughters have chosen to approach the season. They write in their girl talk blog how they have chosen to "sit out" the season, meaning to take time to "sit at the feet of Jesus" in the midst of the busyness of the season. Much like Mary, who in contrast to her sister Martha, was not too preoccupied with hosting and other preparations to listen to the words of Christ (Luke 10:39). This, Jesus said, was "the one thing that was necessary."

This Christmas season, I have resolved to not get stressed, to not care that I get the "perfect" gifts for people, to not care that I make every Christmas party. That's not what its about. It's about the seeing "the
glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14b) That's what I want people to see and find joy in this Christmas.

While Jess was here she reminded me of the great advice that so many of the women at her church post on their lovely blogs. I started catching up on some of these blogs and was inspired to make an action plan to really make Christmas about Christ. My little action plan (every developing - send me ideas please) looks like this:
  1. Purchase/Make simple gifts for friends and family - take the focus of "stuff," so there's room to focus on Christ.
  2. Do an Advent (4 weeks leading up to Christmas) study with my husband. These are two that were recommended on these so said blogs (thanks Heather Hendrick and Kendra Duty). I love the study we're doing because it includes singing (learning in some cases) old Christmas hymns. I love one of Heather's ideas of inviting friends over for dinner or dessert and having them share in your advent study for that day.
  3. Complete shopping for "simple" gits by the first weekend of December. Next year, I'm aiming for Nov. 1st!
  4. Making a Christmas/Year-end donation to those ministries that have helped us grow spiritually and treasure Christ more this past year.
There is more I would like to do, but I'm afraid with work and taking care of my home that would defeat my purpose of resolving not to get stressed out this Christmas.

I hope you too can treasure and find much joy in celebrating Advent and Christmas this year.

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