"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)
Christmas 2005 was one of my most memoirable Holidays - for good and bad reasons.My finances were in decent shape and I physically felt good. I just "knew" this was going to be a great Holiday! (Are you waiting for the shoe to drop??) I even felt so good that I decided to make new stockings for my family too.
December 1, I began to plan my stocking patterns and started buying presents...December 2, my "plan" began unraveling! I added working overtime, getting sick, making baby items for my sister, practicing for the Church Christmas program, substituting for the Sunday School teacher and Junior church teacher, getting a roommate, doing more shopping, getting even sicker, working more overtime, and on and on. All of a sudden, I didn't have my stockings or gifts made and it was the middle of December! My great, Holiday attitude wasn't so cheery anymore either! (Not to mention all those grumpy people in the checkout lines and all those crazy Michigan drivers!)
Somehow, through all the scrooge-y-ness, God spoke to me. As I practiced, "Oh Emmanuel, God With Us," my heart rejoiced at what a special Holiday this was, because it's all about celebrating Jesus! Even sewing my stockings made me think about how we should be overflowing with God's love, joy, and peace and not overflowing with resentment, frustration, and bitterness.
I continued to work on my stockings and gifts, but I made sure my focus was on Jesus and I tried to enjoy the special moments - even if I did have to buy some stockings that year!
What about you - where is your focus this Holiday? Are you too busy focusing ON the Holiday that you are missing WHY we celebrate Christmas? Why not take some time right now to praise God for His love. Merry Christmas!
(Copyright Bridget Gazlay, 2008)
Read more articles by Bridget Gazlay or search for articles on the same topic or others.