Holding onto Joy this Christmas

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Photo via Solopress.com

Tis’ the season to be busy,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Run so much it’s making me dizzy,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Is this the song you’re singing this holiday season? I know I’ve heard myself rehearsing this tune a time or two. Well, it really may be more like everyday since Thanksgiving, but hey, who’s counting!?!

Christmas is my favorite time of the year; however, I have to be very mindful to hold onto my joy amidst all the chaos surrounding me. Otherwise, ‘peace on earth and good will towards men’ becomes ‘Lord help, I’m caught up in this consumeristic whirlwind!’

Do you know what I’m talking about? We start with trimming the tree and hanging the stockings. Then we move on to fighting the maddening crowds at the mall attempting to find the perfect gift for every single person on our list. Somewhere along the way, we are tossed to and fro from mingling at the office party to baking for the ladies cookie exchange at church.

There are endless activities bombarding our schedules. So much so, there’s hardly time left to breathe and much less time to ponder the true meaning of Christmas! I know this article has to be just for me and none of you out there! 😉

So, why do I allow myself to get sucked into this whirlwind year after year?

Because I want to give my family an unforgettable Christmas. I’ve decked my halls with boughs of holly, I’ve cried during all the Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, and I’ve spent much more money and energy than necessary obtaining those coveted gifts. All this effort spent in trying to produce warmth in the hearts of my dear ones and memories to last a lifetime.

“What’s wrong with that?” you may ask. I’ll answer using three words from the highlighted sentence above and then I’ll ask you a question.

Effort, trying, and produce. Where is the joy in that?!? 

Leave it to me! Somehow, I have a real knack at overcomplicating everything – especially Christmas! What should be a time of worshipping Jesus Christ, my Savior, has become more about striving to produce a perfect Christmas for my family. Which leads to me overthinking, over planning, and overdoing! As a result, I’m left overly exhausted and my joy is depleted! Is there anybody out there who can relate???

Oh, if I could learn to simplify things! You see, I’ve allowed traditions and expectations of man to replace the miraculous wonder of Christmas – Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God! 

Lord, forgive me! Father, help me rediscover the simplicity of childlike faith and, therefore, rediscover the joy of my salvation! The joy that simply comes by believing in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, and loving one another just as You commanded. Only in You is my joy made complete for you alone crown my head with joy! Father, help me to not get caught up in the things of this world, so I may turn my focus upon treasures of the kingdom of heaven. May I learn to rest in Your goodness and see the majesty and wonder of the King of Kings who was born in a lowly manger. Thank you, Jesus!

Is this your prayer too, dear reader? If so, as we go forth in our festivities may we all keep a couple of things in mind…

I know Buddy the Elf says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear.” But I think there’s a better way! The very BEST way to spread Christmas cheer is by sharing the love of Jesus with all who will hear!!!

And

In all the hustle and bustle, don’t let your sizzle fizzle… your passion be crashin’… your fire expire… (okay, I’ll quit while I’m ahead! You see where I’m going with this. LOL!)

My soul will find joy in the Lord and be joyful about His salvation!  –Psalm 35:9

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

 

About Michelle Halloran

I'm a daughter of the most high God and bondservant of Jesus Christ, my Savior. Whoop! Whoop! Every time I say it I just want to shout! Also, my handsome husband and two boisterous boys are my world! I love them dearly and am blessed to walk this journey of life hand-in-hand with them. (Hugs and kisses to my Sweeties!!!) I'm a Kentucky girl, born and raised. Other than God and family, my joys in life are reading, cooking, and working out. (Got to work out after all that cooking! It's a balancing act, really. HaHa!) And put me anywhere near water - ocean, lake, river, or pool - and I'm in heaven! I don't have any particular qualifications to be a blogger, so this isn't a resume. I simply have a heart for Jesus and a passion to know Him more. It is my prayer that readers of "Dove & Sword' will experience the anointing and presence of God through the inspired words on each and every blog post. Whether it's a prophetic word, a motivational story or simply a lyric of love to the Father, I write from the heart as the Spirit leads. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. Psalm 34:3
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