Last night, I sat in the living room looking at all the decorations, christmas lights, the beautiful Renaissance style manger figurines.
My heart filled with a mixture of sadness and joy, longing and disappointment.
For many this is a difficult season as another year draws to an end. Hopes dashed, again, if any glimmer of hope is present at all. It seems Christmas is really just a bitter reminder of all that hasn’t happened. Or of something lost, an innocence maybe.
The oldest of Christmas Carols seems full of waining hope of what once was. Will it ever be right again?
If we do have money to spend, even if it’s borrowed to feel like it’s afforded, we keep busy. Purchasing, planning, decorating, attentive to every detail…checking our list’s twice.
It seems easiest to keep busy, than to rest or reflect…allowing the deeper desires to surface…because even in our abundance, there is a longing for something more…something bigger, something that still cannot be purchased, or created, or arranged for. What is it?
We can’t put a finger on. Like waking from a dream that we can’t really remember the details of or watching a beautiful party through a dirty and frosted over window. As we stretch up on our toes we can hear bits of beautiful music and laughter…
but we…can’t…quite…see…through…the glass…
Knowing there’s something bigger going on, we want a clearer glimpse of it.
We have all had our share of disappointments. So now as adults, we take control of our desires by managing them a bit better. We walk away from the window, thinking we had better get along the best we can…being more content with the duty and obligations of working harder to make for a smaller Christmas.
We start with tossing away the many secular holiday practices, the childish fantasies. After all, Christmas is really only about Jesus being born in a stable…and no crying he makes…and shepherds, and kings with 3 gifts…oh, and yes his mother was a virgin…sinless, pretty much. (We really must try harder at being good!) No wonder we feel so hopeless inside!
Merry Christmas. That’s it.
Now make your New Year’s resolution…
How can this perspective sum up the season and just five lines? There is really SO much more to this story…in fact, a whole book has been written about it!
Here is a quote from it…. “I am telling you once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in.” (Matthew 18:2, The Message)
What if I could recover the heart of a child? I look at Kaeden, he just turned eight the other day. Yes, we say he’s spoiled, but he knows how to ask his dad for things.
His hopes are endless and innocent. He still dreams of things without consideration of practicality or cost. He believes anything is possible. His perspective of the future is full of joyful anticipation! Yet, his life is being played out in the presentness of his surroundings.
Kaeden is untainted by cynicism or resignation that things will never get any better… “this is how life is, I will just get by and make the best of it” His young tender heart has not yet experienced much of life’s cruel disappointments. As his mother, I wish I could keep him from ever knowing disappointment…but not in this world.
As I celebrate this Christmas season, I want the heart of a child, the heart of my youngest son.
I will fill my house the decorations, lights, and evergreens. I will purchase and bestow as many gifts as my purse will allow. I will sing Jingle Bells, Rudolph and O’Come, O’ Come Emanuel. (My favorite!)
I will bake cookies and food. I will make gifts. I will shop and smile and tell everyone, “Merry Christmas!” I will watch movies, play games, and laugh…and maybe even cry.
I want to ask of my Father for the desires of my heart, fearlessly…”Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matt. 7:7 And he answers me in return “I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full” John 10:10
So above all else, I will believe in the hope and promise, that Jesus will come again!
With joyful anticipation, I will be reminded by baby Jesus lying in the manger, the angels singing, and Santa bringing gifts, that one day the best Christmas ever is yet to come… when all broken hearts will be fixed, all that holds us captive will be released and all our deepest dreams and desires will come true!
May joy and hopeful expectancy fill your heart with childlike anticipation for better things to come!
Merry, Merry Christmas!
~Laurie 👩🏼🎨 (From my archives 12.17.15)