This weekend I am relishing having all our children with us for 4 whole days. I am blessed not only with a good and gentle son, a passionate and loving daughter, also a caring and kind son-in-law. A mother can't ask for much more. (And their dad/my husband is pretty special too!)
So, I had this idea just under a year ago that I would endeavor to live Christmas every day. . . great idea. Good goal to set. Not easy, though. And at some point in the year - I'm pretty sure I remember when without checking my blog archives - Christmas stopped being my focus.
I had just about come back around, deciding that I could at least spend the last couple of weeks prior to December 25 really focusing on the true meaning, not getting caught up in the hype and the materialism. Determine to remember that family and love and a tiny baby born over 2000 years ago are the true reasons for celebration. Then . . . 20 school children were murdered . . .
But to be completely honest . . . it would have/ could have been something else that deterred my good intentions. And throughout the past year there have been many people, situations, events that have captured my time, energy and attention. I have been disappointed more in this past year than I can ever recall. Disappointed. In general. About many things. That's a sinful state, isn't it!?
I'm not going to say all those things we're supposed to say about my many blessings and how I have no right to complain. I've done plenty of that this year too. I know what my attitude is supposed to be!
"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV).
I know what my attitude has been.
“We have heard of Moab’s pride— how great is her arrogance!— of her insolence, her pride, her conceit and the haughtiness of her heart" (Jeremiah 48:29 NIV).
I'm human and fully accept and understand that I am flawed and frail. My faith falters, though I believe I have deep faith, it's often not practiced enough. In spite of my best intentions, the frailty of my human heart and the imperfection of my faulty human brain cause me to veer off track.
As this year winds down, I choose to look back on the ways God has blessed me. On countless occassions he sent angels/ the Holy Spirit to protect me, minister to me and interve in the earthly realm for my sake.
I have had enough evidence of that to be convinced that, " No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:37-39 NIV).
My prayer for you this Christmas and in the coming year: "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7 NIV).
Blessings on your journey,