Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Keep Your Focus

Did you have a nice Christmas? Was it filled with love, joy and peace? Was it filled with wonder? My Christmas was filled with those qualities and it continues. It continues because I don’t believe Christmas is one big event that you “have” and then it is over.

Preparing for Christmas was different for me this year. I have at least nine tubs of decorations for the tree and every room of the house. Several weeks ago as I started pulling the tubs out, I realized that I didn’t have to put up all of the decorations. As I came to that conclusion, peace washed over me. I pulled out four tubs and decided that whatever was in those tubs would be the decorations for this year. Side note: thankfully the Christmas tree lights were in one of the tubs! In past years it took me hours to days to put out all of the decorations. This year’s simplicity took me just over an hour to put up decorations. The tree has lights and balls on it and is 'simply' beautiful! 
Each of the gifts I chose to give this year was personal. I didn’t aimlessly wander through stores to buy something just to buy it. As I watched my family and friends open their gifts, love was in the room. It feels so good to give gifts that people ‘love’.

Christmas Eve was spent with The Husband’s family and joy was in the air. Christmas Day found my family traveling to my house for a day of festivities. Joy was in the air here, too. At each family gathering we were thankful to be together and enjoyed each other.

I totally understand how the Christmas season could become a burden. While riding the bus to work I heard stress in the words of the people sitting around me. Co-workers reported not getting everything done. Deadlines, crowds, travel, expectations, sickness and you know the rest; these things can cause stress and take the wonder out of this season.

If you felt stress over the past few weeks, may I give you a present today? Here it is:

Next year, keep your focus on what God did for you in every preparation for His Son’s birthday.

Every decoration you use in your home, every gift you purchase, every cookie you bake, every mile you travel is all to be done because Jesus was born. This is the season of celebration. Don’t forget: His birth, His life, His death and His resurrection. This season is about everlasting life!

I know that if you start praying now, asking Him to help you keep your focus on His birth, that next year’s Christmas will be filled with peace, joy, love and wonder. And what better gifts are those qualities to share with your family and friends! Believe me, you will have the most awesome Christmas if you keep your focus. I know, because I’m still celebrating! 

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