So, not only is this a picture of the Freebie for the month of December, but a reminder of the upcoming Christmas Season. Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win.
Preparing for Christmas can easily get lost in the glare of twinkle lights and glittery bows. Or a glittery face, hands, and everything, if you happen to wipe your face after making gold glitter bows all afternoon. Big golden mistake—for sure. But glitter-covered hopes diminish in long lines and short minutes. In addition to the added loneliness, depression, and stress that many struggle with during the holidays.
Admittedly, this Christmas is beginning to look a great deal like a fix-her-upper for this momma. Holding a lot of potential—with some true disappointments. Meaning, I may have to fix my attitude on the first promises of Christmas to keep myself from some disappointment and sadness. I need only look at the first Christmas though, fixing my heart on what I know to be true.
There was only one bundle of perfection that first Christmas… Yes, Mary may have been dealing with some disappointment herself. I’ve never traveled any distance while close to the date of giving birth, let alone ride on a donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem (a 90 mile journey). “Mary traveled with Joseph on a donkey.” ( Luke 2:5). However, I imagine it wasn’t a comfortable trip. Nevertheless, Mary doesn’t strike me as a whiner (like me), but as a woman of praise. “Then Mary said, “My soul praises the greatness of the Lord! My Spirit exults in God, my Savior.” (Luke 1:46, NIV). Mary didn’t question the journey, but celebrated the destination: The birth of Christ. How can we celebrate God’s perfection in an imperfect situation? 1. Fix our expectations. 2. Fix our heart on praise. 3. Fix our eyes on the clock, giving ourselves ample time to spend with the Savior each day. 4. Fix our distractions. Saying no to activity-oriented slots of time, and yes to people-oriented fellowship. 5. Keep our hearts fixed on the destination, managing our schedules with less may help us focus on more—more of Him.
Some Moments Might Be Stinky…At one point in raising our three children, we were also raising twenty-seven rabbits, and three goats. God bless their 4H hearts! And if you’ve spent any time at all around a small barn of animals, you know it’s well, stinky. While speaking with a friend recently, she commented that she just didn’t feel in the “festive” mood. Dealing with significant crisis and sadness has taken some of the wind out of her celebratory sails commenting that, “Right now is a stinky time for our family.” We have all had those times. And having people telling you to “cheer up” and “snap out of it” while they share sugar cookies, really doesn’t fix the hurt. But let’s listen to Mary’s song. “…From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.” (Luke 1: 48-50). God not only did great things for Mary, but his gift of goodness extends to us as well. We are blessed. And although Mary laid her son in a manger, in the most humble state and difficult situation, she was able to breathe in God’s goodness. How can we breathe in God’s goodness this Christmas? 1. We can fix our focus on God as the gift. Oh so much easier said than done, right? But while I give gifts, I can thank God for the many blessings I have. For the great things the Mighty One has done for me. And you! 2. We can fix our minds on hope. Reading scripture, listening to encouraging music, and reading encouraging books may seem like basic suggestions, but how often I ignore these very simple ideas. One of my favorite things right now is the book, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It encourages a heart of gratitude, helping me to fixate on thankfulness and not problems. 3. We can limit time on social media and fix our hearts on prayer. Unfortunately, some of the time we spend scrolling can, but not always, invite comparisons and perpetuate the sense that our Christmas is missing something. For some reason I never see ginger bread men that look like my ginger bread blobs on Pinterest? All the bows are perfect, and the glitters sticking in all the right places. The trees don’t sag, and the faces I see are rarely missing smiles. I think I need to limit my computer and phone because I don’t want to miss a thing God might have for me.
God is the Great Fix-Her-Upper…This world of ours is hurting. It was hurting when Mary sang a song of praise and pronounced, “He has performed a mighty deed with his arm…” (Luke 1:51). She sang her song before Jesus was swaddled that first night. Did she have any idea what a deed the Son of God would perform as his arms stretched wide on the cross? We do. We can know a Savior who saves those who can not save themselves. A God who never disappoints, and fixes the unfixable. He is the best gift, we don’t want to miss. May you know Him this Christmas and forever!
Merry Fix-Her-Upper Christmas!!