“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” goes the 1963 Christmas song by Andy Williams. By 2018, a sizeable number of us have also realised that it’s also the most overwhelming time of the year!
Your to-do list, which was a mile long the first eleven months of the year, now stretches to “infinity and beyond” (to quote a famous make-believe astronaut from Toy Story).
If you’re a mom, the season seems to come with glitter, magic and a whole lot of extra pressure. The “have-to’s” are exhausting – have to bake cookies for the kids’ teachers, have to make sure Christmas is magical for the kids, have to buy presents while they’re on Amazon’s Lightning Deals, have to create Christmas traditions so the children remember family times, have to involve the kids in outreach so they understand that Christmas is about giving, have to get us all red jammies so we look cute for Christmas morning pictures…
It’s as if the pressure on moms ramps up to an all-time high during the holidays.
But, perhaps, this Christmas, it’s time to simplify things. Under all the Christmas wrapping paper and the teetering tower of delivery boxes and the mile long to-do’s and the endless trail of cookie crumbs, let’s uncover what the season is truly about – especially for you, as a mom.
At the heart of it, Christmas is about Emmanuel, God with us.
If there’s one thing to be overwhelmed by this Christmas, it’s that astounding truth: That the God who put the stars in place and flung the planets into motion, would come as a helpless baby to make His home with us.
Christ came for you, mama. He came to pick up all those broken pieces, all those lies of the enemy, all the overwhelmed bits of your heart, all your guilt and hurt and failures - and to transform them into something extraordinarily beautiful.
This Christmas, let your focus not be the immediate, but the Immanuel.
God is with you.
He came to make His dwelling in you.
He came to make your heart His home.
He came to give you His peace – even in the midst of the rush.
This Christmas, let your focus not be lists, but listening.
Listen with a quiet heart. And you will hear His quiet, reassuring voice. You will hear Him whisper that He sees what you’re doing, He sees how much you try, He sees what lies beneath the surface. And He sees you as His beloved child.
This Christmas, remember that the best possible gift to unwrap is His presence.
His presence refreshes your tired heart, mama. His presence breathes calm into the chaos. He is waiting for you to lean into that truth.
He is waiting for you to see that it’s the most wonderful time of the year - because you have the gift of a Wonderful Counsellor.
He is God with us. He is with you, mama. He is Emmanuel.