I am normally a CHRISTMAS NUT! In college I decorated my dorm room as much as my roommate would let me, and even my CAR! I wanted nothing more than those battery powered christmas lights to put in my car! Never got them, but wanted them! I put garland in the car, those “stickees” on the windows, ornaments on the air vents, as much Christmas as I could cram in my car. Ok, I confess, I kept doing that AFTER college while I was married too!
Anyway, Christmas is a BIG deal for me! I love EVERYTHING about it! I love the music, the smells, the baking, the decorations, the lights, the specials on TV, the movies, the family time, you name it!
And, more than anything I love what and Who we celebrate. I love the reason we celebrate. I love the miracle, the wonder, the craziness of the story of Jesus’ birth!
But this year was different. We didn’t decorate except for our tree (which is fake which I hate, but it works). I just couldn’t stomach not having a tree to place gifts under. Caleb deserves a Christmas tree! 😉 But even that was only put up maybe a week before Christmas.
Baking was a minimum.
Didn’t really listen to Christmas music at all, or even watch many movies. Caleb has a few faves so we watched those but that’s it.
I just wasn’t “merry” this year. I couldn’t muster it up.
I wasn’t TOTALLY depressed. It’s not like I didn’t enjoy the season at all.
But this was the first year in about EIGHT years I didn’t plan a Christmas service in some way for church. And I MISSED that! I LOVE creatively looking at the amazing story of Christmas and figuring out ways to help people connect with their amazingly loving Father who gave us His precious Son in such a humble way. And how His coming to earth changed our world forever.
Heck, we didn’t even go to a church service of any kind for Christmas! It was just so WEIRD!
And I was really beating myself up about being so down at Christmas. After all, I have family, I have people who love me, God has miraculously been providing for our needs, I have a warm house and food and clothes, I have a tremendously wonderful little boy at home….I have SO much! Why couldn’t I just get it together and not care about all that was gone and look at what God DID at Christmas.
So one day I was trying to think through the words that are in the Bible and associated with Christmas. Joy, peace, hope…and for some reason hope is the one that stuck with me.
I think I was struggling too much with joy….that one felt out of reach sometimes.
I have experienced God’s peace just about every day since this whole thing blew up.
But I had lost hope. At least most of it anyway. And I needed hope.
I’m so glad God is ok with my needy-ness. Cuz I sure am NEEDY!
If this hadn’t happened, the week before Christmas, I would not be able to even write this.
So, for me, this season, and even today, hope is my word.
I need it.
And God is giving it to me. Little by little I am trying to let it drip in.