Yes, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I’m sure you’ve noticed … but until last week, I had been in denial.
But that all changed, when I arrived at our shopping centre to buy a new toaster. As I innocently stepped from the car park and into Myer, I entered what felt like another world! The tinsel, the decorations, the sound of Christmas carols and of course, many shoppers on a mission to find that “perfect” Christmas gift. I just stood and stared at it all. Wow! Gosh … yeah … silly me … of course … Christmas is coming!! And, shock, horror … it’s only a few weeks away! Oh my goodness, I am so far from being ready for this!
I stared at the whirl of activity for quite a while … and then pulled myself back into reality.
I told myself “Carolyn, just focus on the task at hand. Go and get the toaster!” It was excellent advice. So I headed in that direction. But then (unfortunately) I stopped at the book section to look at the books. (BIG mistake). I picked up a cookbook which was on display and opened the cover. That’s when read the most frightening words “How to make the PERFECT Christmas dinner”. I was intrigued of course, so I read on pouring over every “perfect” page. “Wow, this looks amazing” I thought … “but oh no … I don’t have a table cloth like that … or one of those dinner sets … or those place mats … or coasters … or wineglasses … Oh what a shame … sigh … so how can my Christmas table ever look like this?? I was beginning to get very disappointed. (the marketing was working, right??!) And then I had a thought … “Maybe I need to buy a new dinner set”???
Now fortunately, I began to get a grip! And I said to myself “Carolyn! I’ve already told you … Just go and buy your toaster and GO HOME!” (does anyone else speak to themselves like this??)
And so, I did.
Arriving home, how pleased I was to find a large quantity of left overs from the night before in the fridge! Sitting down to tuck in, I set to work with my notebook to make list of “Things to do before Christmas.” I knew I needed to get organized – immediately!
My notebook began to fill up … and up …. and up ….
And my list grew and grew …. and grew … and grew … and grew …
Wow. There was so much on my list! And that’s because I like to do things perfectly. (This is not something I’m boasting about … what a trap this trait can be!)
So when eventually … I couldn’t think of anything more to put on my list, I finally stopped writing.
Phew. I took a breath. A VERY deep breath!
Then I thought “Wow!!! Carolyn, you are going to be busy … sooooooo busy …. if you are going to do ALL the things on this list”.
I agreed with myself. Yes, you are. You really, really are…..
And it didn’t feel good.
In fact, I felt overwhelmed … and I began to feel TIRED … and then exhausted just thinking about everything I would have to do! Sigh ….
And I took another big, BIG breath … and exhaled slowly ….
And then …
Something AMAZING happened …
I came to my senses!
I said to myself “Carolyn … Are you really going to do this to yourself?
Is this really how you want your Christmas season to be???
And then a light-bulb moment happened …
I realised that it wasn’t. It really wasn’t!
And then, I began to think of Jesus… wonderful Jesus…
And I said “Jesus, you are the true and the ONLY reason for Christmas. It is ALL about you. And Jesus, I have just made a decision. YOU are going to stay right at the very centre of my Christmas.
And right there, at my kitchen table … I let go of perfect…
And then … I let go of busy …
“Jesus, YOU are what matters most to me. I choose you. I fix my eyes on you. You are my treasure. And you are my JOY!”
And then …. I began to smile. A VERY BIG smile.
And laughter filled my soul.
And then … I put on a Christmas record (yes we have those not CD’s)
And I sang “Joy to the World, the Lord has Come!”
And I sang and I danced! (no one else was home which was good).
“Yes! Jesus – I sing Joy to the World. Because you DID come! Thank you Jesus, that you came for me and for this world – and for every human heart. You brought to us all your LOVE and FREEDOM and PEACE and JOY.”
Then … I danced and sung some more … and then some more …
“JOY TO THE WORLD!”
So … this is where my blog ends today … the declaration that Jesus set me free from the pressure build up I had in my soul (and my head). Instead, I swapped it for His JOY and FREEDOM and now … I am really, really looking forward to Christmas! Yippee!
I hope my experience encourages you too. With Christmas only a few weeks away, whenever there is the temptation to take on “perfect” or “busy” … let’s be wise and just . . .
Let it go
Quieten our hearts. Choose His presence. And smile, smile … SMILE!
Because sharing HIS love with others, is all we really need, to make this Christmas perfect!