Christmas Eve Ponderings

Its hard to believe Christmas is tomorrow.  Some years I feel excited and have great anticipation but other years, like this year, it seems to have snuck up on me.  Out of all the Christmas’s though, I am the most “prepared” compared to other years.  I’ve also had the most responsibilities this Christmas as well.  I’m growing up!

This year we are home for Christmas and I wanted to make it as special as possible and start some traditions, so I planned and prepared.  That’s hard to do with three dear ones following me around and undoing things and wearing me out even more than I am already worn out!  Tonight I planned that we would do a gingerbread train with the kids and we would watch a Christmas classic show.  And we did!  We watched Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman.  Well, I watched it.  The kids watched in intervals with Joel paying the most attention.  When we were done, Paul showered the kids and I cleaned up the downstairs (again).  I pondered how empty I felt.  The dream land of Santa and elves and a talking snowman is just empty.  Meaningless.  I haven’t watched these shows since I was probably 17 and I have fond memories of watching them Christmas Eve at my grandparent’s house and running for more treats during commercials but I guess a lot has changed in the last 9 years in my heart.

After the kids were snug in their pjs, we read a Christmas devotional and the Matthew account of Christ’s birth.  The devotional was about Jesus being Christ’s greatest gift to us and how Christ coming to earth as a child and dying for us as a man has given us eternal life with God.  Ah!  It was so refreshing and life giving!  The message that God loved us so much that he gave us an amazing gift, before we were friends with Him!  All other gifts pale in comparison.

The presents are wrapped and under the tree.  The ham waits in the fridge to be put into the oven tomorrow and the other dishes await to be put together.  Cinnamon rolls will be popped out of their packages (maybe someday they will be homemade!) and will be put into the oven for our breakfast.  Our tree glows prettily.  We enjoy these things and I love planning and preparing.  But I’m thankful that that’s not all there is.  I’m thankful there is a joy beyond a perfect Christmas.  I’m feeling disappointed that not all my housework is completed, I mean, nothing says “Happy Holidays” better than cleaning the bathroom right?  But I had to stop and laugh.  Christ came to serve.  Surely I can serve my family by willingly and cheerfully cleaning up the kitchen, making sure the bathrooms are clean, and sweeping the floor for the third time that day!  I can deal with my children’s sins knowing that Christ has come!

Tonight, I looked at my children and longed for them to know this joy.  They were antsy and distracted.  I have no idea how much they heard.  Oh I pray that they come to know Christ’s love.  I wish I was a better example for them.  I am a miserable show of God’s love but there also is grace.  God still works through me in spite of my own sin.

This season,  I rejoice in Christ’s humility and willingness to shed his glorified body and to be raised as a humble mortal.  As the new year approaches and I look back over the events of this past year, I rejoice in God’s goodness and  I pray he works a heart of servant-hood and humility in my own heart.  I pray that this coming year, I will be a better example of Christ to my children and others around me.