Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Merry Christmas!

My children are on break. The house is full of excitement, laughter and music. We have been cooking, playing board games, watching Christmas specials & laying low. Tomorrow we will start hosting and visiting family and dear old friends throughout the Southeast. Christmastime is here!

I have been relishing my soul's relieved sigh to be off the hamster wheel of life and back to basics: faith, family, friends & food. Life seems simple, pure and sweet. These are the elements of our culture's Christmas celebration that fill my heart to the point of overflowing--the feelings that Christmas songs seem to be about.

As I was thinking about it tonight (with a silly grin on my face and gooey ham ball mess on my hands) I started thinking about this passage:  

You yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,  for that indeed is what you are doing...But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more,  and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you,  so that you may walk properly before outsiders..." I Thessalonians 4:9b-12a ESV

It is not a 'traditional' Christmas verse, but it is what my heart has been feeling--joy in the simplicity. Letting go of the elements of the rat race that are exhausting and distracting has brought great freedom. The verse has become my Christmas mission for the next few weeks: love others, live quietly, mind my affairs and work with my hands. Frankly I hope it will become a better approach to life as God has intended in 2013.

Not sure how present I will be online in the next few weeks, still praying God will show me what 'living quietly' looks like for one who likes to live out loud. :-) Wondering what it might look like to allow the Spirit to just press mute as I take Mary's cue to "treasure and ponder things in my heart" for a bit.
We'll see.

Until then, may the baby born in the manger be a staggering reminder of the lengths the Lord went to in His pursuit of His people. We are His beloved children. May we treat each other as such and revel in the magnificence of that truth. Glory to God!

Merriest of Christmases to you and yours!


Keri said...

I love these reflections, and I think the verse you highlighted is right on the money for this season. Thank you for sharing that wisdom!

Enjoy the coming days of family, friends, faith and fun -- in other words, Merry Christmas! :-) (P.S. The pics of the kids with Santa are perfect!)

Julie said...

You are so right about working with your hands! I have really become aware of how much quieter and less stressed I have been this holiday season when I decided many people on my list would get handmade tote bags. Something about creating and thinking of the person that would use it brought me so much joy and gratitude. I have found the same to be true with the few (VERY BASIC) quilts I have made for loved ones. It is almost like when making something we are weaving our love right into it & it bounces right back to us. Corny yes...although I haven't convinced my 15 year old that all he needs is a tote bag (hey, I would have let him pick out the fabric :) ). Merry Christmas to you and yours and a blessed 2013!

Julie said...
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Ashley said...

Merry Christmas to you and your precious family!