Words Of Encouragement | Jesus Is The Reason For The Season

img_8020This is really deep. When I read this post that was put on Christ Quest Ministries’ Facebook page, it made me stop and think. The word “mostly” made me smile when I began to digest this more and more. Actually, we can ABSOLUTELY be only thankful for God.
We have heard the phrase “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” Yet, it is so easy for us to move about “the season” acting like everything else is the reason. Shopping and spending money (that we don’t have sometimes), baking, wrapping presents, putting up the decorations, listening to Christmas music, attending parties are a few of the things we find ourselves doing at this time of the year. Yet, we fail to include Jesus.
This year, our kids and family all came home for Thanksgiving instead of for Christmas. Because of this, we gave their gifts in November instead of December. I also went out of town right afterwards for about a week which led to the decision to not decorate our home for the holidays. I have gone back and forth on this decision, but it has made me reflect a bit on the true meaning of Christmas. Now, I am definitely not saying that the above-mentioned things are bad! I am only listing these because the lack of doing them this year has opened up my time and allowed me to view some things that I normally have not been able to reflect upon.
While we do not know the exact date of Christ’s birth, December is the time most have chosen to celebrate. I have found myself thinking if my birthday were celebrated in this manner, would I feel honored? If everyone I knew were running around doing things for everyone else, getting stressed out on my behalf, going into debt, gaining weight, being over-achievers, staying up too late, getting up too early, etc. etc.; it would ruin my birthday.
However, if they were including me in the decorating, the shopping, the baking, the party-going, etc., that would make a HUGE difference. I wish I could go back and help my mom more with the celebrations. I have very few memories of me helping her bake, decorate, or any other preparations. I do remember going to the store first with my dad and later with my mom, with a certain allowance of money, picking anything we wanted to get for gifts! I even remember some of the items I chose! It was the TIME I had with them that meant enough to record the memory into my brain. I remember my dad reading the Christmas story to us, we painted ceramic houses which we placed each year new masterpieces around our tree, and I remember going to our grandparent’s home where we played with our cousins. I remember opening gifts on Christmas Eve with only the Christmas tree lights on and the time with my parents being close to me in my heart.
I am challenged to be more thankful to God for EVERYTHING. It is because He created this amazing planet and placed spectacular things all around for us, that we get to see Him in everything! He put our family and friends into our lives as a gift to us! He had authors record His story in the Bible for us to read and learn from so we can feel Him in our lives! There are so many amazing and awesome people to read about their lives and how God used them to reach others. He allowed us to birth little babies and watch them grow up. He gave us relationships to have someone close to us, allowing us to understand how His heart longs to have a relationship with us.
During these days before and after Christmas, let us re-evaluate our time. Oh! to include Him is ALL things. Can we slow down and be thankful? Can we really make Him the REASON for the season? What ways can we do this? Here are a few ideas:
Don’t forget to make that appointment with Him each day.
Talk with your spouse about what your budget is for spending. Begin a savings in January for the following Christmas.
Make wise choices of what you put into your mouth.
Decide what days are for family and what days are for parties and church functions.
Pray with your family and read the Christmas story when you are done decorating; perhaps if you find your family argues during the decorating time, that dad sits down and prays before you begin!
Find ways to help. Mom gets very overwhelmed during this time as she usually gets the full load of all the details. Encourage family time; making it a joy…not a chore.
Reflect each evening what the next day will look like; plan together as a family and communicate with all family members.
Play games together as a family!
Plan down-time like coffee dates, talk times, prayer times, and other regrouping/recharging moments.
Have a Thank You jar for the whole month where you put notes with what you are thankful for each day; read on this Christmas day.
Think of ways to introduce Jesus to others. Find a place to serve. It is so easy to make the holidays all about ourselves.
Make Him the REASON for the season!
Happy Holidays! May you be blessed immensely!

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