Thursday, December 15, 2011

How Christmas changes people

This year, my craving for Rest has a lot to do with the chaos around me.

I am afraid that I'll get swept up in the *whirl and twirl* without pausing to reflect.

The flutter around me--the busy, busy, busy--makes me cringe.

When I hear people ask me if I'm ready for Christmas
I nearly want to cry.

Of course I'm ready. Aren't you?
     But wait, what exactly do you mean by ready?

Are gifts purchased and wrapped a reflection of ready?

Are you thinking of whether I have cookies poised--baked and decorated?

Or what about whether my house is adorned with lights all pretty-like, the stockings hung by the chimney and everything just so {nearly} perfect?

Because, if you're thinking of those things then, I'm not ready.

I don't have all of the gifts purchased, or even decided on. Rushing to get them all done and out of the way just implies more hurry to me, and less thoughtfulness. That's just me, mind you. I want the gifts I purchase to be out of generosity, not obligation. And by shopping close to Christmas, I am thinking of why I give in the first place.

And the cookies, I haven't baked them, either. Baking is enjoyable to me--seeing flour turn into beauty and delight. But, when I think about how so many people really go all out with {nearly} perfectly decorated creations, I start to doubt my own abilities. I want to keep it simple and enjoyable, not stressful and comparable. 

Our house isn't decorated all pretty and full of beauty at night. We wouldn't qualify to be included in a tour of beautiful homes, at least not from the outside. Folks who drive by might wonder if the Grinch lives there because we hardly keep our outside lights on, and there's barely any evidence we are breathing, laughing and dancing inside. We've decided that this year we don't need those lights. Keeping it simple is our goal, though on the inside there are lights, glitz and glimmer. 

So, the evidence of ready isn't there, if you're looking for those things.

I have been on edge this year, anxious about how Christmas changes people, and then how it's over. 

In the blink of an eye, the giving spirit, joyful songs, smiling faces, and beautiful lights will be switched off. The New Year brings high anticipation of change and hope, and a week later there the chaos resumes and the fears assemble again in one straight line.

For a moment, the world waits, prepares, and shuffles about in clouded-happiness. For many, it's a mask of sorts--perfection-seeking at its finest. And for many yet, it really is joy turned inside out--the heart is reflected in the adorning.

I just want to adore. And I long for others to do the same. 
What if we did less adorning and more adoring--each other, ourselves and most of all, Him?

There is purpose in our story--all of ours. His, especially.

Pain happens. Life hurts. Challenges abound.

People I know personally are not sure how they will possibly give gifts to their children.

Dinner on the table is a miracle, every day.

Marriages seem to be hanging by a thread.

People need a miracle Every. Day.

Challenges of life don't just happen around Christmas time. And they aren't exempt from occurring only when gift-giving is at its highest pressure point.

I don't want to savor the sparkle of the tree too long this year. I know it'll be over far too soon--packed up, stored away and more clutter in its place.

What if Christmas were truly every day?

More. Christ. That's what I long for. 


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  1. This a much needed reminder and beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Less adorning, more adoring. Yes, please.

  3. I'm ready too. I'm ready for the chaos to end where I can just rest. Rest in His presence. My tree is up, but not decorated due to faulty lights, some gifts are bought, but not wrapped. And this yesterday I'm not even panicked -- I just want to enjoy HIM!!! Joining in from Faith Barista.

  4. I know I need a miracle every day. This is all beautifully said. This line in particular I love:

    "less adorning and more adoring"

    I pray we're all able to that.

  5. Amy~ I so share your heart on this, as you already know... Thank you for reminding me again to move slow, to be intentional about the intention of these HOLYdays.... You bless me much, sweet ssister-friend.

  6. A great prayer for all of us, all year long: "I just want to adore. And I long for others to do the same." Thank you!

  7. Oh you have said it so well. Less adorning and more adoring. I want to adore Him. He is the only gift that satisfies.

  8. Hi Amy! I wanted to circle back and let you know your post of adoring rather than adorning at Christmas was heartfelt. I wonder how it all went? I hope you found rest and now, the new year is carrying you in His arms forward.Thanks for sharing this in the faith jam!