Tuesday, December 27, 2016

With Us


Can I hear a big sigh of relief from every Mom out there who celebrates Christmas?  This is the craziest time of year for anyone who has a child under the age of "I still believe."  (Whatever age that might be for your kid/s.)  Even after your kids "get it," the fact remains that there are still gifts to buy, wrap and put under the tree ... Preparations.  Parties.  Baking.  Cooking.  Shopping.  Work.  Don't even want to look at the credit card bills.  Sigh.
Our Christmas tree.  It's a little lopsided at the top, but I think it's super pretty this year.
This song seriously wraps up how I feel in a little more than three minutes:

Just Breathe by Johnny Diaz

Third cup of joe just to get me through the day.
I want to make the most of time, but I feel it slip away...
♬ ♪ ♩ ♫

My son's birthday is December 13, which added a whole new level of crazy to the month.  Even though my kids are still home, they are grown / growing up.  We don't have to attend 15 different Christmas parties anymore.  And...I don't have to go with them everywhere.  It's a huge sigh of relief. 
Love the lipstick...and the Snapchat filters.
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I used to say that December 26 was my favorite day of the year because FINALLY it was all over.  I seriously hated the stress.  How I kept it together, I don't know.  I do know what I do now and it has made all the difference for me in making the Christmas season truly joyful.
This is me today, as I write this blog.  No makeup.  Messy hair.  Listening to Youtube while my son has his friends over.
How Can It Be by Lauren Daigle is currently playing.  I so enjoy this time after Christmas to find myself again.
Christmas music all day every day.  Yes, from Thanksgiving until Christmas, it's nothing but Carols all day.  Our local radio station plays nothing but Christmas music during that time, so I'm tuned in all the time.  At work, I play a variety of Christmas tunes on YouTube.  I'm a little slow to the uptake, but I found that YouTube has a mix of different songs that are comparable to what you chose and it plays pretty much all day.  Go ahead and give it a try.  Search for your favorite song on YouTube and on the right side bar, there are other suggestions.  Towards the top, it says, "50 videos +" and "Mix -" with the name of your song.  Click on that and you can listen all day.

It's been so relaxing for me while I've been working.  I heard this song last week:

Light of the World by Lauren Daigle
The world waits for a miracle
The heart longs for a little bit of hope
O come O come Emmanuel

O Come O Come Emmanuel is probably my absolute favorite Christmas song.  I love the depth of it, the broad spectrum of the notes.  It touches me more than any other song.  So when I heard this one, with the "O come O come Emmanuel" as the refrain and "Glory to the light of the world."  I was moved.

Why do we even sing, "Emmanuel"?  What's the big deal?  In the Bible, Isaiah prophesied:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign:  
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14
In the New Testament, Matthew repeats this prophesy and explains that Immanuel means, "God with us."  (Matthew 1:23)

God with us.  

Jesus was born to be God in flesh, to be with us and live here with us.

But that was over 2,000 years ago.  Jesus died.  Really?  God with us?  

Yes.  He is with us.  Even today.  In the hecticness of life.  In our pain.  In our joy.  In our sorrow.  He is with us.  God is with us.

O come, O come, Emmanuel.  

We sing this familiar Christmas carol, calling, "Come, be with us."  He is not just with us at Christmas.   He never wants us to live a rat race life, let alone spin ourselves into such a craze to celebrate His birth.  I guarantee that.  In fact, with all the secularism of Christmas, the exorbitant shopping and lack of peace we experience during this holiday season, one might say we actually remove ourselves from Him for the sake of celebrating His coming, His birth, His return.  

As you wind down into the New Year, think about this.  God is with us.  He is with you.  Sometimes it's hard to feel it.  To know He is here, by our side.  But in the stillness and quiet, he is as close as you allow him to be.  Close your eyes.  Listen.  

God with us.



Questions for you...(Answer in the comment section below.)
If you celebrate it, do you love Christmas?  What's the best part?   Are you still listening to Christmas carols like me?

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