For as many adult years as I can remember, I have been struggling with finding joy at Christmas time. I don’t know exactly when it started… Or what caused it… But each year as the Christmas season approached, the feelings of sadness and the unexplainable weight of the stress of the holidays was unbearable.
This year, those feelings started up as usual, but it didn’t stay that way. About a month ago, I had in my mind that I really wanted to be able to give the kids each a new ipod for Christmas – but upon researching the prices, we quickly discovered that doing so would not be an option for us. Yes, we could have run up debt to make it happen, but we chose many years ago not to do that at Christmas. So, I was sitting in front of the computer, feeling like I was going to cry, feeling like it was going to be another Christmas of me feeling like we couldn’t give the children good enough gifts, and another Christmas of feeling miserable and wishing that everyone would focus on Jesus instead of presents.
Somehow, I ended up on the Christian Book website, just looking around for gift ideas, when I had this clear thought – where all my worries faded and all my thoughts of my self-imposed inadequacies were silent – and all I could hear was this clear thought. When this happens, I am certain that it is the voice of God, and based on the feelings and the thought I had in that moment, I know that it was God.
In that moment of peace, quiet, and stillness, I heard in my mind, “What are you doing? Its not about money, its not about gifts, its not about out-doing or competing with grandparents to have the best gifts, its not about taking the kids’ breath away on Christmas morning. Its ALL about Jesus.” The thing that drove me crazy every year at Christmas – the whole materialism aspect of it – almost got me too! Almost! But God reminded me.
The peacefulness, calm, and quiet from that moment has not faded over the past month, but added to it is joy. I haven’t had joy at Christmas since I was a teenager, but I have it again this year. God’s gift of Jesus’ birth brought joy to the world – and the reminder of that gave me my joy back.
I know what caused this change in mindset and attitude about Christmas. One small focus change with the help of a good friend to keep me accountable – Daily Bible Study. Spending time with God, in His Word, each day has allowed me to refocus my mind and my life on God and all the other fleshly junk that gets in the way has begun to fade.
So, if you are longing for more joy in your life – at Christmas or all year long – pick up a Bible, open it to any page, and start reading. When you do that and spend some quiet time alone with God, He will be able to work on your heart and mind as well!
Do you need some accountability to help you stay on track with your daily Bible time? Let us know using the form on the contact page. Either Christina or myself would be happy to help you with that.
May you be blessed in amazing ways today and always!