It’s Almost Christmastime

almost christmastimeMy fingertips are cracked. The weather is cooling, and winter is coming.

The gloom.
The wait.
The ache.
The longing.

I wonder about the Israelites looking for their Messiah, wondering who it would be and if it would happen in their lifetime. I wonder how they felt in exile and what it must’ve been like to be one of those who returned. Does God still mean what He said to us long ago? Do His promises still hold? Is He with us now as He was then? 

I wonder about the heaviness of the silence before the Baby was born- how the older generation mourned the olden days while the younger generation couldn’t even imagine what it had been like, and no one could have imagined what life would be like with the coming Savior.

I wonder what it was like to be Mary, to hold the Promise in her womb, and to be the one who brought Him into this world.

The Light.
The Joy.
The Love.
The Hope.

It’s almost Christmastime, and I wonder how many of us are in the gloom, in the wait, in the ache. I wonder how many of us are hoping for new life and light, how many of us are longing to be saved out of our pits, out of our ruts, out of the loneliness that sits heavy in our hearts.

It’s almost Christmastime, but really, it’s already here. A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoicesHe has come. He is with us now. Take heart, dear friends. He is Immanuel, and He is coming again soon.

Make Room

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I was cleaning the house on Christmas Eve, and a phrase came to mind- make room.

When we first looked into buying a home, there were two things we had on our hearts- 1) that it would be a place where we could raise a family and 2) that it would be a place where others could come and be blessed. We found the right place, the babies came after some time, but inviting others came to a near stop. We had nap times and bedtimes to keep, and I didn’t have the mental and physical energy to care for anyone else while tending to two littles. If this is where you are now, remember that there are seasons for everything in life, and each season brings its opportunities and difficulties. Don’t fret that you’re not doing enough.

As I got into some sort of groove as a mama of two littles, I started finding pockets of time to meet with people and to invite them into our home. It was natural at first since friends with babies wanted to have playdates, but over the past couple of months, I’ve become more intentional about making room for people, and it has been changing me. It has been stretching me in uncomfortable and good ways and leaving me wanting to know more of Jesus and His heart for people.

I was reminded that Christmas Eve morning of this hymn-

Joy to the world, the Lord has come!

Let earth receive her King

Let every heart prepare Him room…

As I cleaned to make the house ready to receive guests, I realized that when we make room for others in our lives and homes we do so unto Him. He is the ultimate One who is invited in, and what we do to the least of these we do so to Him. I pray that our hearts, our homes, and even our wallets would be more open as we enter the new year and that He would be more seen and glorified in our lives.

A Thrill of Hope

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Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

I’m a huge fan of the holidays. The music. The lights. The food. There is so much fullness and joy to be experienced. But over the years, I’ve become more acquainted with pain and grief and the reality that this season is often full of aching, loneliness, and emptiness. It’s all around us, and it is unbearably heavy.

BUT, Immanuel. God with us.

I didn’t understand the depth of this name before, but in my loneliest times, what I wished for the most is for someone to be there with me. In my silent pain, I longed for someone to see and understand my aching and be with me. So now, ‘Immanuel’ means so much more. God became flesh to be with us. He came into our mess. He became light in our darkness. He is the hope that we all need. He is there.

The brightness of Christmas means something more to me now. The music, the lights, and the merriness remind me that Jesus is the bringer of all those things in my life but that He did so through pain, death, and incredible love.

Are you aching? Are you mourning? I pray that hope would fill you and comfort you this season.