One week (actually less) until Christmas.
Time is going fast and yet, I’d say that we are just ‘here’. Here, enjoying each day. My life is slow and yet the weeks mysteriously fly.
We are here.
Here going through the motions. Getting. Buying. Shopping. Making. Cooking. Baking. Eating. Naps. Stories. Advent reading (when remembered). Smelling. Getting mail. Inviting. Going. Staying.
We are here.
I’m not sure if it was the first-time-ever-Christmas tree that did it or the conversation about traditions with some friends. Maybe it had to do with my (not so daily) reading of my Advent book by Ann Voskamp, ‘The Greatest Gift.’ Or maybe it was the slowness of my days, coped up in a Smallville with a one-year-old and the pulling myself mentally out of the grind, out of the box that started it. But, did it have something to do with a young family starting and pondering what we want Christmas to mean to our children?
Maybe all of thee above.
I’m ok with not knowing.
But this year has been different.
The song that seems to describe the season for me this year would be “this is such a strange way to save the world.” I thought Steven Curtis Chapman sang/wrote it but after googling it I’ve found it’s written by Mark Harris from the group 4Him and two other dudes.
Every thing about Christmas, as in what this season is REALLY about is so. not. what our culture has made it. Created it. Pushed it. Produced it. And, sings it to be. Even Christmas movies seem to not quite get it right.
It’s all about the Christmas love and kindness.
The Christmas spirit and magic.
Making dreams come true.
I keep listening for the rest, the rest of the story but they never satisfy me.
The world has made it loud & large.
Christ came small and quiet.
The world has made it about getting.
Christ is about giving.
The world is about great, strong leaders.
Christ is about servant leadership.
The world is about instant and now and like, I want it yesterday.
Christ is about long-suffering and becoming through the forge.
The world is about busy and doing and yelling.
Christ is about stilling our hearts and listening.
The world wants to be noticed and famous.
Christ longs give abundant and thriving life unlike what we imagine.
Contrary to loud beat of the culture, it’s hard to hear the real bells of Christmas. I want to grasp the Christmas story of the birth of Jesus. Do I really understand why He even came? Do I have gratitude for my saviour and my God? Can I see that this was the birth of a rescue plan for me. For you. The world.
How to move beyond the Christmas nativity and catch a whiff of manure in the stable. Was there shame of birthing a child out of wed-lock? I delivered my first baby 20 months ago. How about exchanging a hosiblte bed for a cold bed of straw? In a crude and dirty barn? Was there tears of feeling alone and helpless as the couple struggled with ‘now what? ‘why us?’
No cell phone call to mom.
No nurse to help with latching on.
No shower to rinse off in.
What was it like to have nobody, strange shepherds come to visit? Or loll in the rays of the bright shinning star over-head. Did Mary ponder the miracle of her new baby and the mystery of God’s plan? Did Joseph swell with protectiveness and pride of ownership of being chosen by God for this great thing?
This year, I’m not pushing a certain plan for Christmas Eve or Christmas day. Jason and I continue to talk about what we’ll do on those 2 days. Knowing us we’ll decide that day. Other years I made something happen. Something I thought was cool. Not getting much of an input from the husband. To busy to ask. I was busy creating.
Maybe when I say I’m ‘here’ this year, I mean at ‘rest’. I’m not making it happen. I’ve seen woman do that and they exhaust themselves to no payback just empty depletedness. (
I’m here. At rest. Observant. Inquisitive. Still & calm.
Pushing back the loud, bossy world and ushering in the sweet, quite Saviour.
Merry Christmas, y’all!