By: Amy Dalke
There is a whole lot of hustle that needs to be done around this house. (Since Christmas is upon us and all.) Bustle wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.
Because I have an elongated to-do list, an equally extensive to-buy list (as in, I haven’t bought a single thing yet), and a tedious stocking stuffer list. There will eventually be a grocery list, but The Menu requires brain space I can’t afford to lose at the moment.
Seriously, you guys: December can steal some joy; and unless we deliberately pursue the holy in this season, we’ll buy the lie of all the hurry.
If you’re anything like me, you tend to slip-slide your way into the Hustle and Bustle when your mind isn’t anchored on the truth. Since I’m bound and determined to savor the joy of Jesus this December, I’m reminding myself of two things every single day:
1) I can’t make Christmas happen. Because God already did.
One sign that you may think Christmas is your responsibility, is that you’ve experienced a minor mental breakdown in a retail environment. (Mine happened to be in Pier One this year…when I discovered All These Wonderful Things I needed to add to our Christmas decor.)
Let me assure you that having the most beautiful deco-mesh wreath on your street will not save Christmas for you, nor will spending two months’ salary on outside lighting. The superfluous expenditures could actually have the opposite effect you’re seeking, especially if your other half
watches spending like a hawk has significant input about the household budget. (Not that I know anything about this.)
Beyond the overuse of burlap and snow-capped garland, I’ve also been known to crowd the family calendar with every possible Christmas experience. You know, so that I can make sure Christmas is experienced.
But I’ve learned that dragging two males to one of those Drive-Thru Light Things…is not going to turn our house into Who-ville.
Bottom line: it’s probably a proven fact somewhere that Mary and Joseph did not deck out the manger stall with red and green LED lighting. While we find lots of jolly goodness in Christmas decorations, these things aren’t part and parcel to advent.
Because perfect preparations & decorations don’t change the effects of Jesus’ birth. And we can’t make Christmas happen. Because God already did.
2) In Christ, I lack nothing. (I have enough, and I am enough.)
“Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” Psalm 34:10
For me, the haunting whispers of the scarcity mindset are mostly heard when I’m shopping (for others) during December. (Or let’s just be truthful, it’s not limited to December.) Malls, boutiques, and Target-type establishments never fail to uncover a part of me (or my house…or my wardrobe) that is somehow lacking.
Like that leopard print throw I found, which I need for the living room. Or the new jacket-style sweater that I didn’t realize I’ve been looking for all of my life. (It’s been there at Anthropologie all along! Imagine that!)
The lack can also look like tight budgets, over-crowded schedules, or loneliness. In other words, if you’re running short on money, time, or relationships…you might think this means you aren’t enough. As though you’re very worth is measured on clocks, balance sheets, marital status, or the number of dates you went on in 2014.
Jesus came to earth to fully redeem us (Ephesians 1:7, Psalm 130:7)
…to give us life to the full (John 10:10)
…so why do we feel so empty?
We try to wrap our arms around the Perfect Christmas as though the tree, the lights, the parties, and the gifts make Christmas full.
What if, this December, we open our empty hearts to receive his fullness – the wonder, hope, joy, love, and peace of Christ – instead of filling up with the expectations that some thing or some one or some plan will satisfy that hollow ring in our soul?
The world can tell us all day long that we need MORE to have enough.
But reality is – because of Christmas, we always have MORE THAN ENOUGH.
(And you can’t exactly fit that in a box.)