Our host for "At the Well" this week is Tracy from Thirsty for Him. She has chosen the topic of: Having a "Mary" Christmas: Keeping "Christ" in Christmas with Practical Ideas.
She asks us the following questions:
Do you find yourself stressed each Christmas, trying to "DO" all of the activities of the holiday, only finding yourself depleted and wondering if your family celebrated the true meaning of Christmas? What are practical tips and ideas you can share that celebrate Christ and simplifies Christmas?
It has taken me many years, but I can honestly say that I have been set free from being overly stressed at Christmas. Well, as far as the busyness of Christmas is concerned anyway. Certain things in life go on no matter what the season, and my stress load with life in general is a whole 'nother subject. ;)
Two insights I have to participate in this subject, because I'm terrible at traditions. Wish I weren't, but I really am. (sigh)
The first is to take time to worship God alone.
Mark 1:35 (New International Version)
"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."
This may mean turning off the music or walking away from the computer or other distractions...and getting alone with God--focusing on His character, His Word. It's so difficult for moms with little children and little to no support from their spouses, but it can be done. (Just not for long unfortunately).
Honestly, I don't know how anyone keeps the Christ in Christmas without taking the time to focus on the Christ OF Christmas.I simply cannot. After you've done this, then you can take the time to meditate on the Word and pray with the rest of your family. This, I promise, will make a significant difference in your attitude this December...it's more than listening to Christmas sermons and reading other's devotions...it's TRULY spending time in magnificent wonder and awe of your Savior King. Listening. Telling. Turning. Living.
Second, be intentional about living worship.
Ephesians 5:15-17 (New International Version)
"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."
It sounds so simple and so basic, but the small things speak Christ into others in the midst of a hectic, complicated, frustrating time for many. We try to tip extra when we can, put coins in the Salvation Army bucket. The kids and I not only put our grocery cart away, but we look for stray ones to put away too. We are friendly in lines at the checkout counter and try not to honk at the person who switches three lanes. Imagine a honk-free Christmas...now wouldn't that be something? (Bear in mind I live in the city).
I always pray that our family would not be out to impress the Santa who knows when you've been bad or good, but that we would be about giving our all to the Savior who knows our thoughts and motives. When I choose to turn a conversation from gossip to praise at a Christmas party, it makes a difference. When I seek out someone who looks left out and sit with them at the Christmas program, it makes a difference.
I could go on and on, but TRULY, the way we live out our faith during this time, demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit in us, the more peace that comes at Christmas, the internal kind anyway. Together, let's reflect on Him and live as though He is our "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6b)
Mary Christmas! Sooooooo many other thoughts, practical insights and sweet conversation await at Tracy's place. I hope you'll head on over.
In the Key of HE,