This watercolor is of my daughter and her beloved kitty, the first year in our new home, back in Christmas 2004.
Christmas seemed to pass in an empty blur of activity this year.
Not only did we not do our annual advent studies or bake cookies tucked with scripture notes for the neighbors, but it felt like it was all I could do to just get through each day. Since, too, it was our first Christmas in years when financial issues weren’t choking us, we probably went a little crazy with the gift buying. So, the weeks leading to Christmas felt materialistic and empty to me.
But it was more than that. I still so deeply miss my home, my dear friends, and fellowship at our old church, hundreds and hundreds of miles away. Christmas seems to bring all this “loss” to the surface.
And so, as the day of the celebration of Christ’s birth got closer, I got sadder and sadder. I had failed my daughter and myself, but mostly God. How could I have let this important time to reflect and honor Him just slip through my fingers, while I remained caught in the daily web of washing dishes, cooking, cleaning and helping care for the sick?
I felt unacceptable as a Christian.
And yet, over this last week God provided me a few truths to ease my heart:
- Traditions are important but can’t take the place of an enduring relationship with Christ.
- Satan often uses our “feelings” to condemn us and rob us of our joy in Christ.
- Living your life in service to others (yes, even faithfully hand-washing dishes, cooking healthy meals and cleaning up other’s messes) when done unto the Lord, is a wonderful form of honor and worship to God.
- Jesus should be the center of our lives everyday, and any time or season without Him will be empty.
And so, here is to a New Year. A year, hopefully, to be spent serving others, strengthening our family’s relationship with God and keeping Christ in every moment of every day.
God bless you all in 2012.
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…
James 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
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