Tag Archives: New Year

A Christmas Past, Happy New Year

Christmas Past, Happy New Year

This watercolor is of my daughter, the first year in our new home, 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 with scripture notes for the neighbors but it felt like it was all I could do to 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. The weeks leading to Christmas felt materialistic and empty.

But it was more than that. I still so deeply miss my own home, my old neighbors and my fellowship at our old church, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of miles away. And Christmas brings that all to the surface.

And so, as Christmas got closer, I got sadder and sadder (and sadder.) I had failed my daughter and myself, but mostly God. How could I have let this important time slip through my fingers, while I remained caught in the web of washing dishes, cooking, cleaning and helping care for the sick?

It seemed unacceptable as a Christian.

And yet, over the last week a few truths occurred to mitigate my feeelings:

Jesus should be the center of our lives everyday.
Any season without Him is empty.
Traditions are important but can’t take the place of a relationship with Christ.
Living your life in service to others (yes, even faithfully hand-washing dishes and cleaning up other’s messes) is pleasing to God when done with a cheerful heart.

And so, here is to a New Year. A year hopefully to be spent serving others, strengthening our relationship with God and keeping Christ in every moment of every day.

God bless you all in 2012.

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