Do you get that feeling when Christmas is over?
A deflation, a drain?
There is SO much build-up to Christmas Eve and morning. The secret purchases, the gift-hiding, the cooking, the singing, the giving of time, the trying hard not to leave anyone out on the card lists online or otherwise, the driving to church forgetting the bag of hats and gloves for donation, the returning home, the being together, a breather …
Out of nowhere, our oldest, the one smarter than I am and taller by several inches, who looks more like a college student than a middle school student, who has far outgrown many things geared for children … yet Braedon was the one who laid this book on his bed and awaited for us to gather.
Inside the front flap, I wrote in 2010: “Each year Mommy and Daddy will read this to you on Christmas Eve. We love you. Santa loves you. God loves you.”
I count it as precious how Braedon took the initiative to carry on a tradition wrapped in a child’s wonder.
As we all found a place on Braedon’s bed, Jackson announced the plan for the morning. Our Action Jackson, our one whose mood can turn sour when his way is not granted, our helper on his terms, our shining light of wisdom reminding us God is at work in Him. The plan, you ask?
For the parents to be down the stairs first, waiting on the boys.
As the boys come down the stairs, they/we will sing happy birthday to Jesus.
We will pray together.
After we pray, we each tell what we are thankful for.
Zero prompting from adults. In fact, this plan was better than ours, so we went with it! More to ponder in my heart.
After our boys and their excitement were tucked in, Jason and I stole down the stairs to be Santa and the Mrs. Filling the stockings, arranging the gifts for the boys by the soft white lights on our Christmas tree.
With the kindle of holy and the desire to surprise my husband, I slipped a few gifts into his stocking.
Yes, I spent money on the devotional, but the moment without a price tag I will store in my heart is this: Jason opened the gift and immediately began looking through it with an eagerness can only come from God.
So, Christmas Eve and Christmas morning were blessed, or shall I say I was attuned to Jesus at work in our little family. What more could a mama want?
Slowly, as Christmas day wore on, there was something in the air. The whisper of the world: “be disappointed, you didn’t get what you wanted, it’s over until next year.”
My spidey senses could see it in Braedon’s face, hear it in Jackson’s tone, and before long I was lamenting (within myself) about the online ordering/photo/kitchen mistakes I made.
I took a nap, then a walk with my husband. Being outside, God is evident everywhere. In the dead leaves, His squirrels use for nesting, in His trees who speak His name, in each and every home in our humble neighborhood … inside are the souls He created.
Ah yes, Jesus is forever with us, even when we allow the tempting whispers of the world to change our focus.
Jesus doesn’t leave. He remains in us, with us, and is for us, never against.
I feel no shame in sharing how feelings got the best of my faith, even for a short time on His birthday.
Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced.
Therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know I will not be put to shame (Isaiah 50:7).
Christmas will always include moments of joy and sorrow, full and empty, grateful and gritty. As our feelings ebb and flow in the midst of Christmas, Jesus does not change … ever.
His grace awaits for us at the throne where we are invited to approach in reverent boldness (Hebrews 4:16).
Let’s face it, if all our holidays were picture-perfect bliss, would we even acknowledge Our King?
Would we see the need to talk to Him, give thanks to Him?
Would we not miss the absolute awe of Our Lord and Savior, a powerful light of the world drawing His people ever near?
Let me end with a prayer:
We praise Your holiness, we honor Your throne, and are ever thankful to be welcomed in Your kingdom that has no end.
We thank You, Jesus, that our lives are not perfect in looks, in provisions, in our hearts, in our homes, in our country.
We thank You, Lord Jesus, when You include us in Your Kingdom work, when You show Your amazing grace and power through our ordinary lives.
Help us, dear Jesus, to be in awe of all Your work, no matter how small. When a child wants to pray, let us celebrate his heart which You are working in. When a husband wants to read devotions, let us praise Your name on high as you bless that marriage. When a person in chronic pain, has a day with less pain, let us thank you and give You glory. And as hard as it is for our human hearts, teach us to look up in every difficult moment, every mind-blowing tragedy.
Help us to trust even when we are blind to Your good works.
We pray with our faith in Your precious holy name,
How was your Christmas? I invite you to share thoughts in the comments. If you need prayer, please email privately at firstname.lastname@example.org
A new poem is up at https://faithhopeandpoetry.blog
Have a wonder-full day!