Strange name for a Christmasy type post hey? That's what I'm feeling I need this season. Rest and Peace. I VERY easily get caught up in the hustle and bustle that is Christmas. Shopping, spending, baking, decorating, carols, lights, concerts, banquets, parties, etc etc etc. The list goes on and on and as fun and festive as the time is - at the end of it we feel exhausted. We have overspent, over extended, and over eaten. We begin our new year with over working to try to pay the bills for all the shopping we did and acru more bills by joining the gym to try to deal with all the over eating that went on for the last 2 months.
I love all the festivity that goes with Christmas but I don't love the Christmas hangover. I don't love the pressure of perfection that takes over at this time of the year. The perfect gift, the perfect tree, the perfect turkey, the perfect lights, the perfect hostess, the perfect outfit and of course the pressure you put on your family to have the perfect husband who gives the perfect gift and the perfect children who have a hard time even remaining sane because of all the sensory overload that takes place at this time of the year.
WOW - is that what its really all about? When I think about the Reason we even have Christmas - I don't see any perfection - except in the peace. The journey wasn't perfect, the marriage wasn't perfect, the accomodations CERTAINLY weren't perfect but that day the PRINCE OF PEACE came to dwell among men to bring us Peace. Not peace on earth, not peace among men but peace and rest to our spirits. Peace between God and man...
I'm turning myself around this Christmas - that pattern is coming to a screeching halt! While I will still give gifts, bake for my family, enjoy the festivities, and listen to carolls; I will rest. I will encourage my family to rest and relax and have peace this season. I WILL NOT take on the pressure of having to be at every party, concert, banquet, take part in every secret santa, etc. I may send my Christmas cards out in March - lol. I will celebrate the gift of peace that God sent that day. The peace that we so easily forget in the hustle and bustle of life.
I don't think the night Jesus was born there were cherabim and seraphim in that stable, with kings and wisemen with all kinds of elaborate gifts; those came later - but what I think the scene looked more like was this:
A husband and wife, in awe of the miraculous gift that had been given to them. Probably an amazing feeling of overwhelming responsibility but I'm pretty sure there was peace and joy. And, after Jesus was born, I'm sure they all laid down together to rest.
I LOVE Christmas, but this year, starting today, I'm going to focus on the Peace that Jesus came to give, the rest that we so need at the end of the year and I'm not going to put pressure on myself to attain perfection, instead, I'm going to rest. I'm going to spend time with Jesus - the source of my peace and let Him renew and restore me at the end of this year in preparation for all the great things that lie ahead in 2013. I'm going to love on my family and friends and try to be a blessing to them by not putting the pressure of perfection on them. I'm going to try to focus on the beauty around me, the gift of Christmas and remember to breathe.