Our oldest daughter came down the stairs with a thoughtful look on her face; it was clear there was something on her mind. She sat down next to me, perching on the footstool of my favorite oversized chair and took a deep breath.
“All I want for Christmas from you and dad, from Santa, from Grandma and Poppy, Grandma and Poppa, and Auntie is money. All I need is $3,000.00 and I could buy a horse and the saddle and halter and harness. And, then I could work at the farm to cover boarding it there. I don’t want anything else – that’s it.”
I smiled at her naiveté and earnestness. She had no idea of what a horse and all it’s gear and boarding would cost. And, she wasn’t even considering vet bills. I was thinking it would be a true miracle of Christmas were she to get a pony, let alone a horse this year. I didn’t put my thoughts to words. You could see the dreams floating around her eyes and she was already considering names.
“I will muck out the stalls and groom him. I will help clean up the barn. I can do it, I know I can.”
I love that she did not see the impossibility of it all. She dared and hoped enough to ask; unbound by reality or practicality. A horse or pony of her own would indeed be a miracle; one she was willing to ask for and work toward.
The Miracle of Christmas
What would it take for you to believe in the miracle of Christmas? What would need to change for you to expect and eagerly anticipate the hope born of a virgin?
In the midst of Christmas concerts and parties, long lines to see Santa, and mounting expectations, it’s hard to remain focused. We struggle to even acknowledge the miracle of Christmas.
Let's abandon the hurry and flurry of the season for the true miracle of Christmas. Click To Tweet
Oh come all ye faithful
Joyful and triumphant
Oh come ye,
oh come ye to Bethlehem
Come and behold Him
Born the King of Angels.
(Oh Come All Ye Faithful, Frederick Oakley, John Reading)
Our hearts and minds spin from the constant activity; barely able to center ourselves in the midst of the flurry. When the calendar turns, we are so often left to wonder:
Where did it all go?
Why must it be like this?
The truth is it doesn’t have to be this way. Somehow, things slip out of our control, the days fill moving faster and faster, almost as if of their own accord.Let's not spin from store to party, juggling bags, and quickly brushing kisses on checks in greeting. It's hard to see the light of the world when we aren't looking for it. Click To Tweet
3 Gifts that will help you see the Miracle of Christmas
You won’t find these gifts in a store or delivered with two day shipping (courtesy of Amazon Prime). In fact, they fit in everyone’s budget and don’t even require an exclusive membership to get them.
- The Gift of Permission. Not mine, not your spouse’s, and especially not that of your kids. The gift of permission is one you give yourself and maybe one you didn’t even realize you needed. This December lay it all down, and maybe in a few weeks you’ll turn around and pick some of it back up. But not today, not tomorrow and certainly not December 25th. What is it you need to lay down? The expectations, reasonable and otherwise, the image in your mind of whatever it is that makes a good wife, mother, boss, employee, friend, sister or daughter at Christmas. If we spend all our time looking for what should be, we will never see what is. We will miss the virgin mother, the humble stable, and the Heavenly host.
- The Gift of Time. Our time is the most valuable of gifts and yet we often leave very little for ourselves or for God. Each day has 24 hours in it; no more, no less. And, while it’s impossible to add more hours to the day, it is entirely within our control to decide how our time is used, and what receives our attention. Without margin in our days, without room to breathe, process, and reflect on all that has occurred how can we ever expect to make time for the miracle of Christmas? How do we expect to see the Son of God when we are constantly watching the clock and preparing for that next thing? Trust that there is enough time to do all the things God has planned for you to do.
- The Gift of Pace. You may be wondering what the difference is between the gift of time and that of pace. Let me explain, choosing how we spend our time has to do with how we fill our days. The gift of a slower pace speaks to how quickly you move through those days. This December, can I encourage you to slow your pace? Don’t worry about moving quickly and efficiently through each day. Stop and sit. Listen to Christmas music until the cup of tea in your hands has grown cold. Watch Christmas specials with a child or two in your lap, stare at the tree, and spend an evening wrapping presents. Cuddle up with a blanket and a Hallmark Special. Allow yourself to give over to the wonder of the season. Read the Christmas story and share it. Sit before the fire and allow yourself to wait, to worship and to hope for Emmanuel, the miracle of Christmas.