Beginning around October I started filling up my December calendar with an insanely gigantic number of events. It’s kind of crazy. We have basketball, dance, and the regular school and church activities, along with the extra church fellowships, parties, and services for the holiday season. The real kicker is that I am the lone adult character in the kids’ community choir Christmas musical. No kidding: these kids are acting and singing circles around me! I think my character is supposed to be the super glue that holds the story together, but right now I might be more of a neon pink duct tape. It’s a work in progress.
And, I have to admit that I have been tempted to stress. I’ve been falling into that trap of thinking about all of the things I’m excited to get behind me. I don’t want to experience this Christmas season that way–just trying to check off boxes on a huge to do list.
This season is about three things: loving God, loving my family, and loving others. Oddly enough, these are the three things we are called to do every day of the year, not just for a few weeks in December. Yet, we act like we have to squeeze all of our spreading of joy and cheer into these few days. No wonder we’re all too busy!
But, regardless of my philosophies on the whole busyness thing, the fact remains that my calendar is full. So, I am working hard, with God’s help, to take each event as it comes and to slow down long enough to watch my kids’ faces. To really look at friends and family and think about how very blessed I am to have them in my life.
After all, this is the only Christmas of our entire lives when Adelade will be her sweet, fascinating eight year old self. It’s the only Christmas in a lifetime when Sawyer will be a wide-eyed five year old, giving all of his theories about how all of the magic of Christmas is actually accomplished. It’s the only Christmas we’ll ever see where Emerald is learning to point out baby Jesus in the manger, where she will get to really open presents and reach into her stocking for the first time.
This is a precious time in our lives in more ways than one. Looking into the deep ocean blue eyes of my children, I can imagine how Mary felt when she stored away in her heart all of the amazing moments she had as a new mother, and as the mother of her own Savior. I can think about the great love that Jesus felt for her, both His sweet mother and His child whom He came to rescue. I can sit by a beautifully lit tree on a quiet evening and imagine what the shepherds must have witnessed in a clear, cold night sky so many years ago.
The truth is that there are lots of opportunities to stop and remember what all of this busyness is about. I may not have time to be still for days at a time and reflect on Christ’s coming, but I can definitely be still for moments at a time throughout the day, pausing to whisper a prayer of thanks, listening to the words of a worship hymn or a Christmas song and remembering just how worthy He is of praise and honor, pointing out His great love, His great sacrifice, His unparalleled humility to the precious children He trusts me to teach.
This season is busy. It’s a little overwhelming sometimes. But, when I stop and think about the magnitude of what Christ did at Christmas, about how He left the perfect joy and peace of Heaven to come to a broken world and live in a frail body, about how He volunteered for the abuse and scorn and a painful death all for the sake of my soul and the souls of many whom I dearly love….
well, that is truly overwhelming.
On Christmas, and always, may we be more overwhelmed by His love than we are by our busyness.