Today begins the long treacherous road of the school holidays for my gang and me. I’m lathering myself in essential oils, breathing deep and hoping for patience for Christmas.
I had no idea that motherhood would turn me into Ebenezer Scrooge! I sat at my son’s end of year concert today hoping that the carols would stop and as I flopped on the couch this afternoon the thought of writing a devotional was furthermost from my mind.
My kids have pulled their mattresses out into the loungeroom and I can hear the soundtrack of “The Polar Express” whispering them into calm.
One of the main reasons why Christmas comes with so much stress and sadness is each and every person we meet is fighting a battle we never see.
The word Noel translates into the Christmas Season and in its rawest form means birth. We could take license and say that “Noel” indicates the birth of the Christmas Season.
Now there is much debate about the history of Christmas, the who, what, where and how. No matter what you believe about the beginnings of the traditions we now call Christmas, I am sure that falling into a place of disappointment, isolation and regret is far from ideal at this time of year.
“No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused”
Dickens describes it perfectly when he unravels the heart of his character Ebenezer Scrooge.
This Christmas (and school holidays) I am going to do my best to live in the midst of the season and celebrate the messy moments in my today.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.
Fruit grows in the midst of adversity when we humble ourselves and lean into the new.
The first Christmas, when Noel was birthed was far from perfect. I know Joseph would have been fuming that every hotel was full to overflowing. I can’t imagine that Mary would have been smiling with peace and adoration when a donkey rode her into a back shed, with cattle lowing. The carols make it sound so serene, but have you stayed in a farmyard shed recently? Net alone put your newborn in one of their feeding troughs?
Expectations not met.
Moments of opportunity for growth.
“Bah Humbug” or “Oh, well!”
This Christmas, in the midst of dance concerts, holiday madness, hens nights and kitchen teas, I am trying to learn about patience and peace. Slowing down my Christmas and expectations.
This year we are doing no presents for adults, as three days after Christmas, it is my sister’s wedding. I am also buying take away on Christmas Eve because it has been a long year and I am going to revel in the spontaneity of it all.
And each moment when I struggle to maintain my peace, with children screaming and toys flying, I will remember the moment when I said that this Christmas I will walk slowly.
May your Christmas be full of moments that teach you the beauty of rest. When someone asks you to rally into a high pitched fervour, that we would learn to step back and breathe deep. I ask that wisdom would prevail and we celebrate the beauty of mess. Lowering our expectations to remind our hearts of the simplicity of it all.
In the name of
New Days, a vision workbook has just been released for download here. A tool to help you reflect, journal and envision at this time of year.