It doesn't matter how many ornaments are broken in the excitement of decorating or are pulled out of the box broken from not packing them well enough last year. It doesn't matter if the Christmas lights work or not. It doesn't matter if some of our decorations are lost in the abyss of our garage, so we don't put them up. It doesn't matter how many times my boys get distracted and wrestle by the tree, threatening to knock it over. It doesn't matter when my boys decide to army crawl under the tree just for fun, really threatening to knock the tree over.
It always feel magical.
It is a place where Jesus shows up in our lives. We feel the Holy Spirit in the room reminding us of how important the true reason for the season is.
I don't know why it is a moment in our lives when Jesus' presence feels strong. After one really stressful Christmas, my husband and I learned to say no and made some decisions to take the holiday stress out of the season. Maybe that decision made room in our hearts where the stress used to be for us to better notice the One whom we are celebrating.
Because we see Jesus show up in the holidays. He shows up big. Through giving. Through all the big love. Through celebrations. Through joy.
Jesus promises to get our attention in life. He says: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me" (Revelation 3:20, NIV).
I love that the verse says He stands. He doesn't leave. He waits for us to notice and invite him in. He wants an invitation in to our lives.
I gave my life to Jesus as a little girl and have walked with Him since, but I still need reminders that He is there. I need reminders that He is the Lord over my life and He loves me more deeply that I could ever imagine. I need reminders that Jesus can speak to me daily, in ordinary moments.
Because sometimes I think for Jesus to speak to me, it has to be through something big. Like how God used a burning bush to get Moses' attention. (I love God's reply to Moses once He gets his attention. “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground” (Exodus 3:5, NIV). To feel God so strongly that you take off your shoes. Breathtaking.)
When God shows up in the big moments it is heart-stopping, but His presence is not reserved for only the big moments.
In the ordinary, Jesus shows up.
He daily knocks on the door of my heart and reminds me He is there: through a pressing on my heart; through a stirring thought in my mind; through a conversation with friends; through joy; through the grace that people show me; through the wisdom people share with me; through a good book; through scripture; through working out a situation I thought impossible to work out; through restored relationships; through the consistent support and unconditional love of family and friends; through seeing His strength in other people; through watching other people freely give their talents in service of Jesus; through a moments where I am able to let go of the stress; through comfort in the hard; through looking back on my life and seeing how God guided me despite feeling like He was silent when I was in the moment; through church; through gratitude; through a whisper to my heart; through a belief that He can use my life and the lives of those around me to do big things for Him....
Jesus shows up in big moments, but He also shows up in the monotony of our daily lives. He is always there. I often just need to pause and notice.
May you also see Jesus and feel His crazy deep love and joy this Christmas season.
And for those who follow my blog, thank you. You show big love to me. I don't know when this blog became so important to me, but it is. So, thank you for being a part of it. From the bottom of my heart, Merry Christmas.
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