In the middle of planning for the Christmas season and keeping up with work, God has been reminding me of the beauty found in the manger: Infinite Light. Unbound goodness. Beauty unending…  All in the face of a little baby.

Wonderful Counselor. Mighty God. Everlasting Father. Prince of Peace.

Emmanuel.

Sometimes life becomes so filled with the ordinary, common tasks that it seems there may not be space for anything else. Yet, present is who He is: God with us. A little baby born in the most unsuspecting of places. There were few eyes to look on Him.  Yet, with His entrance, He brought the Hope of the world.

This past weekend I caught myself looking at my growing to-do list, eyes fixed on what little white space was left on the notepad. Deep breaths.  This really isn’t all that much. I can manage this list.

Then I add yet another item that needs attention before Christmas.

“…you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.” Isaiah 9:4 (NIV)

Where do we look when our days get loaded with tasks and our schedules are filled to the brim? What is the impact of not fixing my eyes on Jesus? How can I point my family to the Prince of Peace if I’m not gazing on Him?

Often, sadly, it is the mundane (the temporary) that drags my eyes away from the Eternal. I am guilty of believing the lie that I am responsible for holding all things together for my family, especially if I want the holidays to be a success this year. My smaller story becomes comfortable again as I try to hold everything together. I toil on efforts to make sure we have #allthethings so everything will be just so. And, now I’m shaking my head. The truth is my eyes have been on myself. God never asked me to hold everything together for anyone. Only He can do that.

He is God with us. His Larger Story is waiting on me…

He longs to be in the middle of our lives, down in the dirty days of never-ending laundry, in the days of nonstop crying ringing through our homes, in the days we feel we can’t go on.

When the emotions of the moment threaten to carry me away (read: working-from-home-mom with three children under seven and one due in a matter of weeks), these days I am quick to recall the tools I’ve learned over the years. If I’m lucky and have a few minutes all to myself, then I’ll grab a pen and my journal to take note:

  • What is it I’m feeling? (these are super easy for me to identify as my emotions tend to run strong around things I really care about like my family)
  • Next, what am I thinking? Have I let a lie creep into my purview?
  • What desires do these feelings and thoughts point towards? How are they distorted?
  • Finally, what am I going to choose today?

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.” Isaiah 9:6-7a (NIV)

May we stop and SEE the wonder of Christ’s coming to earth to be with us this Christmas season.

Let every heart prepare Him room!

 


One Step Further:

As you consider your to-do list and all the things that are on your plate, pause and take a moment to walk your heart through the questions mentioned above and listed below. As you consider your choices for the day, get in touch with the true meaning of Christmas – that God came down, in the form of a little baby, to be with you and bring you back to Himself.

  • What is it I’m feeling?
  • What am I thinking? Have I let a lie creep into my purview?
  • What desires do these feelings and thoughts point towards? How are they distorted?
  • Finally as I get in touch with the true meaning of Christmas, what am I going to choose today?