My column today was written by my wife, Cindy, as a message to the women of our church. She shared it with me, and I loved it so much I wanted to share it with you. With her permission, of course!
“The holiday season can be one of the most stressful times of the year. I sometimes feel that I bear the burden of the planning, organizing, shopping, baking, and decorating, as well as getting out our annual Christmas letter and trying to make sure our family gatherings are “special.” I honestly love so many things about this season, but it’s easy for me to lose sight of the meaning and the relationships when I’m just trying to get stuff done.
When my children were little, I wanted to make sure they knew the true message of the Christmas season. We used an Advent devotional, putting felt symbols about the birth of Jesus on a felt Christmas tree (this was before the time of the Jesse tree). We displayed nativity collections, made a birthday cake for Jesus, and taught our children about why He came, to save us by giving His life for us.
We gave to faithful ministries, put together Operation Christmas Child boxes, went caroling to neighbors and shut-ins. You name it, we did it. And I haven’t even told you about sugar cookies, fudge, making gifts, and other traditions.
I loved building memories through doing all those things, but sometimes this mama was exhausted by Christmas Day.
When the angel came to the shepherds, hard laborers with little to give them hope, he exclaimed, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
For all the people. Not just special people, rich people, or mamas who have their lives together. This is the best news that was ever given…for all of us! And the celebrations of this season are to help us remember the good news of great joy, that a Savior has been born…and the great joy of a Savior is for us all.
Don’t be discouraged Mama, Daughter, Friend. “Let not your hearts be troubled. Neither let them be afraid.”
In our own strength, we can’t change our souls, our cluttered minds, and even sometimes our busy lives, but we can lift our eyes to Jesus, and He can change them all. Look to Him and allow Him to remind us of the good news of His great joy that will be for all the people.
We are prone to wander, and we lose sight of the good news and great gift that you’ve given us. May we turn our eyes to you and be reminded of how much you love us. May we experience your joy as we release our burdens in the power of your Holy Spirit who abides in us. With hearts of gratitude, amen.”
From our household to yours, may the Lord bless you with His peace, and give you a very Happy New Year!