I trust and pray that you all had a blessed Thanksgiving, found some great bargains at the stores and online, and were able to get some rest! Here at the Eversole home, we decorated for Christmas, visited with family for Thanksgiving, had Thanksgiving 2.o, watched movies and football, played Yahtzee and card games, and shopped – online! It was a wonderful five days of just being a family! And thanks to “Blizzard Bruce” the boys and I had yesterday off from school and work. I’m going to be honest with you; it’s hard getting back into the work and school routine today!
With Thanksgiving a mere memory now, it’s the perfect time to continue to be thankful while preparing our hearts for Christmas.
And as I get older, I realize that I cannot get wrapped up in the extra busyness that this season brings. The pressure to have the “perfect” Christmas is no longer on the forefront of my mind, because 1) there is no such thing as a “perfect” anything in this world and 2) I finally realize what the true meaning of Christmas is.
Letting Go of What I Think Are Traditions
Every holiday season, I get the urge to bake. In my “perfect” mindset, I am sitting around the table with my family icing the Christmas cutout cookies and making buckeye candies and fudge, all the while laughing and singing Christmas carols.
In reality, it’s nothing like that at all, for one major reason.
I cannot bake. I try, but I fail every.single.time.
My sweet son, Connor, said it best, “Mom, no offense but you cannot bake. You end up getting mad because whatever you are making never turns out as it should be.” He’s right. I get frustrated with the outcome of the cookies because they either come out burnt or look nothing like the shape of the cookie cutter!
So this year, I am not baking.
I am also letting go of overspending. For many years, I would look at all the presents under the tree and think, “There doesn’t look like much there, we need to spend more for the boys next year.” In my “perfect” mind, the presents are exploding under the tree.
The reality is that our boys are content with what they have. I’ve been a little frustrated trying to figure out what to get them and they have been frustrated with coming up with a list. It’s going to be a simple Christmas this year, and everyone will be happy!
Preparing My Heart for Christmas
This season I will be reflecting on the real reason why we celebrate Christmas.
I am going to:
Our Savior has come to save us, to give us eternal life. Our Emmanuel stepped off of His Heavenly throne, took on human form and was born in a dirty, dark cave. His bed was a manger. Years later, He would be put to death on the cross for our sins. “Him for me” is a common phrase we say at our church. His life for mine. His life so we can have eternal life with our Lord. This is not something that we should take lightly. John 3:16 sums this up perfectly, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
I am going to reflect on all the ways that the Lord has blessed our family and me this year; spiritually, physically, financially, etc. It’s been a hard year, medical-wise, a year where I could have just thrown up my hands and given up – but I didn’t. Sure, I wanted to at times, but I will continue to cling to the hope of healing through Christ, and that is what I am going to celebrate!
I’m going to really study the birth of Christ in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. They are so familiar to me that I often rush through when I read them. I want to savor the words and take notes of all the little details that I have missed in the past. I am also going to prepare for the season with these two studies:
“Christmas Peace for Busy Moms,” by Sarah Geringer
“Redeemed: 25-Day Advent Study with the Women of the Bible,” by Michelle Rabon
I am going to enjoy the sight and sounds of Christmas. I love Christmas lights! One of my favorite things is to sit in the stillness of the house and gaze at the Christmas tree lights, peacefully reflecting on Jesus and sipping on my coffee. It’s worth getting up early in the morning!
I am also going to savor every minute with my husband and children. Playing card games, watching movies, driving around town looking at the lights, and singing Christmas songs are on our agenda this season, and I cannot wait!
For the first time in a long time during the Christmas season, I feel a weight lifted off of my shoulders. I feel content. I feel at peace. I feel rested.
I would love to hear what you have planned to prepare your heart for this Christmas season! Be sure and rest in Him during this season, sweet friends!