As I sat rocking my two year old to sleep I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by her beauty, by the very essence of her innocence that sat like a halo about her head, or be affected by the underlying thought that she was my last baby. My last baby that was growing so quickly. I breathed in her goodness, soaked in her pouty lips and long eyelashes. A peace settled over my heart as I lay down on the bed holding her sleeping body and felt the weight of her little chest against mine.
Thank you, Lord. I thought. Thank you for this gift.
I had just been wrapping gifts, in fact. Lots of presents for all the people I loved. Although this was our first year to only buy what we could afford, refusing to put anything on a credit card, or buy tons of toys that weren’t really needed, I still had a bunch to wrap. Yet despite the mild mountain of presents awaiting me in the other room, I lay in the dark savoring one of my favorite gifts.
The past few years of my life as a mother had involved a lot of stress, hurried schedules, and toppling to-do lists. Although overall the role of motherhood was one I adored, many times over the years I had felt less than grateful, restful, or overflowing with peace. I mean, deep down I was grateful, and typically at the end of a tough day, near exhausted tears, I would recall that. And I’d feel guilty for forgetting it for even a moment.
What the Lord has been speaking to me lately is how I need to slow down and enjoy life. It’s a call to focus on what’s really important, and to not sweat the rest. This is tough for today’s woman, but as I’ve started to practice resting in God and seeing my priorities through His eyes, it has been much easier.
Christmas-time is an ultimate challenge when it comes to focusing on what’s important. We want to focus on the presents when the Lord wants us to focus on the gifts. We tend to be motivated by shopping lists, recipes, family get-togethers, and the like. We desire to create traditions, send cards, and take that Santa photo. We look to bake cookies with the kids, seek out the very best, Christmas light shows, and find the most popular, coveted toy on our kids’ lists. And while all these things are wonderful and good, and I’ve done many of them, if they stress us out then they’re not worth the wrapping paper they’re packaged in. If our Christmas pursuits are causing us to fret and fuss then we’re losing focus on what’s truly important.
Over 2,000 years ago God gave us the perfect gift, a gift of life that was wrapped up in unconditional love. Our job is to carry on the tradition of love. We’re supposed to love Christmas, not stress out over it. Not go into debt over it. Not run, run Rudolph until we can’t even see the gift of it. We’re to love others, love ourselves, and love the reason for the season. We’re not meant to rush the
presents presence of Jesus in our life. We’re meant to unwrap it slowly, joyfully, and in a spirit of rest.
This year I haven’t rushed to try and fit in all the things. To do all the things. To buy all the things. To see all the things!
I’ve simply enjoyed the things.