Alas, if we had hoped for a Norman Rockwall Christmas, this year wouldn’t deliver. Rather than the iconic painting, it seemed ours might look a little more like the classic Charlie Brown motley crew around their scrawny tree.
Some years it just seems we’re doing well just to “hold it all together.”
After receiving a new cancer diagnosis, doctors’ appointments, surgery, and procedures ensued. “I don’t have time for all this now,” I thought, as I considered all the holiday preparations yet to be made. But then again, I had to make time for it.
I had just turned in my manuscript to my publisher for my new book about overcoming worry, fear, and anxiety (releasing fall, 2019) when people began to ask the obvious question, “What are you going to do now?”
I didn’t have a ready answer for that. I had originally assumed that as soon as I turned in the manuscript for that book, I would begin work on a companion Bible study. Yet when the time came, it didn’t sit well in my spirit.
Over the next couple of weeks, God shared his plan for my next season: a season of rest.
Every year round about Thanksgiving, the same question always comes: “Mom, what do you want for Christmas this year?”
I remember Christmases from my childhood, when my brother and I would study the Sears-Roebuck toy catalog, all the while dreaming of the things that would show up under the tree with our names attached.
As a child and into my early teen years, things seemed so important. Amassing the newest and greatest toys or fads and comparing our holiday inheritance with friends upon our return to school following Christmas break. “What did you get? Want to know what I got?”
As I stilled my heart during morning quiet time with the Lord, He spoke to me and said, “You know what you’re struggling with is not something you battle just during the Christmas season. You have a tendency to jump into problem solving and doing mode.”
The more God got a hold of my heart and spoke to me, the more I realized that my problem solving and doing mode excludes God from the process. It takes God out of the picture.
Read more for my best tip on how to relieve stress at Christmas and throughout the year.
As fall has come to a close and the crest into winter has descended upon us (or as much winter as we get to experience in North Texas), while we begin preparations for Christmas, my thoughts keep returning to Mary and Joseph prior to Jesus’s birth.
Why was it important that Mary and Joseph go back to Bethlehem? What does their obedience mean for us in modern times?