I still have a hard time believing Thanksgiving is over and we are almost in mid-December! I had the fullest intentions of sitting down on Thanksgiving Day and writing a blog post about the many blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us over the past year. As usual, life happened. Our sweet Lily Bug came down with a very high fever the day before Thanksgiving, and then Jack was battling sickness the next several days afterward. So I set in my mind that I would still blog about these blessings later (both for the benefit of my own heart and for the encouragement of others). However, I have already caught myself getting so caught up in the busyness of this time of year that I have already lost sight of the thankful heart I had hoped for and have even begun taking my eyes off of the true meaning of Christmas. I want to be completely transparent: my days have lacked consistent time with the Lord (and that time I have had with Him has been rushed and set aside until the last few moments of the day), and I have found myself being very impatient with whiny, tired kids (totally forgetting that WE are the ones dragging them around, keeping them up late hosting coffee nights and visiting supporters, and that they are beginning to deal with the stresses of preparing to move overseas in their own little way). I have also been caught up in making a million lists of what we need to pack, remember, give away, look for, etc., since we are packing our lives into a crate in less than 2 months! Over and over I have found myself saying “No, Mommy can’t play with you because I have to ______.”
All of this came bearing down on me pretty heavily tonight. I found myself crying out to the Lord, “Don’t let me miss advent! Don’t let me neglect this amazing time of year where so many things, places, and people are pointing me to YOU and to your incredible incarnation!” I don’t want to get so caught up in life or in the commercialism of this holiday that Christmas morning arrives and my heart is not FULL of worship and adoration and awe because I have been preparing and looking forward to this day for weeks. I hate to admit this, but that’s exactly what happened last year. Presents and schedules and finances and holiday events stole my focus so that it wasn’t entirely on Christ. I don’t want that to happen this year! I can’t AFFORD for that to happen this year because in less than 3 months our family will be taking the biggest step of faith we have ever taken! I need to be close to Jesus. I need to remember that He has been here! He has walked upon this same earth and suffered through trials and loneliness and has been misunderstood and felt out of place. Most of all I need to remember that He is GOD and that He will be with us wherever He leads us. He is Emmanuel, “God with us,” who lived a sinless life and died an innocent death to pay the ransom for my sin. I need to dwell on the Gospel and allow it to transform my self-centered, greedy, prideful heart so that this transformed life may point others to Jesus. There are so many lost moms, neighbors, grocery store clerks, friends, and complete strangers who need to see the power of a life transformed by the Gospel of Jesus so that they will know that He is God and the only Savior. Jesus is THE Bread of Life and I need Him more than anything else this Christmas, and everyday, all year long.
I don’t want to miss advent because I don’t want to miss Him!