December 03, 2010

Your Christmas Focus

I used to expect the holidays to be perfect - to be this ideal image of caroling, smiles, everyone and everything magically falling in to synchronized step... and every year the human element (flawed) of the holidays would break my heart.

Someone angry,
crowds unruly,
parking spaces illusive,
finances failing,
traffic jams,
sickness ....

...and the bruised heartstrings from family dynamics that just don't add up to a Christmas archetype.

Christmas rarely (if ever) looks - or feels put together 'perfectly' - like the cover of a magazine or the perfect scene on a greeting card. 

Tears come on Christmas.

Pain comes on Christmas.

Last year, I got in really close with my camera - the tree (which represents the small cross we bear) and the problems all became the bokeh in the background of the image. The real focus of Christmas became clear through my lens. This child. This chance. This gift which eventually cost everything He had.

Christmas is not about perfection.

A stable full of animal stench is not perfection.

Labor and delivery pains are not 'comfortable' and smiles are saved for ONLY AFTER the contractions.

Christmas is about giving of yourself - of your life. Giving the gift you are given away.

The gift of forgiveness.
The gift of sacrifice.
The gift of a needed embrace - a shoulder to cry on...

Christmas is an IDEAL in the flesh... in the stench of human brokenness.

The 'holiday atmosphere' is all about what you focus on. How closely you have your eyes on the real meaning of the season..

... and whether you can take a deep breath while the world spins with glitter around you... and know that you are truly loved.

Then you can share that love with someone else.

That's where meaningful memories begin and broken expectations end.

That's Christmas.

*This post was a comment made on Blissfully Domestic's Hallmark Holiday Moments Giveaway. I figured it merited repeating since all holiday memories are made based upon how we perceive each moment we are blessed with. My prayer is that God can show us how to make the most of each second of this December, and to see through His eyes, the potential if only our attitude and heart are in the right place.

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revisedexpectations said...

Too long since I've stopped by here! We've been so busy with school and travel. :) Great post, Heather! ~K

Sandpiper said...

Thanks for the reminder! Christmas is, after all, just another day & yet we often expect things to be just so.

Sprittibee said...

I needed this reminder myself. Funny how those lessons that mean the most to your own heart make for the best blog posts. :)

TexasLea said...

Thank you Heather. This post was so right on target for me. I love stopping by your blog, you always seem to have something so relevant to say! No pun intended, you just seem to know what to post at the right time for me. It doesn't matter if it is an inspirational post like this one or if you are talking about the kids and housework, it's just what I needed to hear when I needed to hear it. Blessings to you!

Gwen Toliver said...

You're absolutely right - Christmas truly is about sacrifice and giving. Somehow this basic concept gets totally lost in the materialism. Thankfully, this year with the craziness of moving (we're finally in Dallas!!!) we are able to focus on simpler things. A very basic Christmas tree - completely decorated by the children. Quiet evenings singing carols around the piano and reading Scripture. And almost nothing on the calendar!

Tracy said...

This is the first year ever I will be away from my child on Christmas day. She is an adult now and will not be home from college on the actual day.
But I know now it is not that one particular day but the day we will have together to celebrate the season.



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