Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Random Christmas Thoughts Swirling Around in My Head

Thought 1 - Simplify.
This has been a truly restful Christmas season for me this year. In many years past, I have gotten stressed by procrastinating my Christmas shopping and cleaning. This year the Lord has allowed me to have peace as I have checked off my imperfectly done "to do" list. I am truly content with the abundance that He has provided! He gives me enough hours in each day to accomplish exactly what He has for me to to. The key has been to not make my burden more heavy than it needs to be by worrying about whether my house is perfectly cleaned or whether my Christmas menu is Top Chef-worthy! This year, I chose a few simple, fresh decorations, and left most of the fussy knick-knacks tucked away in storage. May I say that it feels absolutely fantastic to simplify?

Thought 2 - Spend the season meditating on the faithfulness of God: the God Who is there. He does not leave us without hope or without help. God's promises are sure. In all of his dealings with you and with me, God is faithful. Just as He was faithful to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt, He was faithful to deliver us out of sin and despair by sending us His dear Son. "Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14) He has faithfully delivered me. He has been faithful to preserve me and will be faithful to raise me to eternal life in glory! Our God is uwaveringly faithful from beginning to end. Why should I waste time or energy worrying? "Let us hold fast to our confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised us faithful..." (Hebrews 10:2)

My meditation and prayer this season is that I would not only believe in God's loving faithfulness, but act on it. I pray that this Psalmist's prayer would be true of me this season -- "But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me." (Psalm 13:5-6)

Thought #3 - Take time to share the meaning Christmas with our children: through Scripture, through stories, through songs. Be intentional about this! Set aside the regular tasks and academics to meditate on the goodness of God. Let's take time to do special crafts, read traditional stories, and make some memories. Here are some resources that we have been enjoying:

Advent Family Study
Our Grace Journey's Free Inductive Advent Study

Picture Books
One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell
The Legend of the Christmas Rose by William H. Hooks and Richard Williams

Short Chapter Books
Christmas at Fairacre: Village Christmas/Christmas Mouse/No Holly for Miss Quinn (The Fairacre Christmas Omnibus) by Miss Read
An Angel's Story by Max Lucado

"O measureless might, ineffable love

While angels delight to worship above
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend."

-Robert Grant (1779-1838)

Have a blessed, and restful Christmas!


Anonymous said...

Great Post, Tami. I enjoyed reading it. Yeah, the older I get I've simplified on the Christmas decorations. I've come to the point that a few "significant" decorations create timeless elegance, with a bigger impact, opposed to a lot of small stuff everywhere. Simplicity is beautiful. Have any resolutions for healthy living in the New Year? Boy I do! Since school started, I've gotten lazy, and would you believe 12 lbs heavier. I've got to exercise. uuhhhgg.

Stacy said...

Hi Tami!
I hope you and your family have been enjoying a wonderful Christmas holiday. BTW, I've been simplifying our holiday decorating for a few years now. I'm even considering donating some of them this year. Glad you popped in again this month. Have a safe and happy New Year too!
Stacy :-)