Monday, December 17, 2012

I Believe


Sunday night our church had a beautiful Christmas musical.  We usually do a large singing Christmas tree, but we are in the process of searching for a minister of music, so our interim had a fantastic special evening of songs.  One that touched my heart is "I Believe". If you have never heard this amazing song, click the link here to listen as you read this post.
This is a time of year when many of us think we must decorate every inch of our homes, ending up stressing over what needs to be done. Years ago, I was humbled to be asked to be the guest speaker at our Women's Ministry Christmas dinner.  I prayed and prayed that God would give me the words He wished for me to speak.  I am the "write it on the wall" type of girl, often wondering is that really His voice answering me or my own thoughts?  As a counselor, I had also had a very difficult first semester of school.  One precious little girl that I worked closely with had passed away and it seemed as though so many children walked through my door bravely bearing their souls as they told me of the unwanted touches that signal abuse.  My parents asked if I would like to get away for a few days and my sweet husband thought it was a good time for me to take a break.  I also thought the trip would give me time to prepare for my speaking engagement.  My nature is to mix humor with the serious and I prayed for a suitable topic.  It seemed everywhere I looked on our trip, I saw signs that said "Live Life Simply".  Small ones, large ones, even a few on billboards! I finally laughed as I realized that God was literally giving me my "sign".  
 Once I came to the realization He was speaking to me, it all fell together fairly quickly.  An evening a few weeks later, I spoke to the women of our church about creating a Simplified Christmas Season.  We had a wonderful dinner followed by songs and finally my presentation.  I spoke of the "Martha Stewart" Christmas Syndrome. Don't get me wrong, I think she has some great ideas, but goodness...what pressure!  I told of a true Martha Stewart failure on my part.  I had been given the task of creating a special cookie for my youngest son's kindergarten class.  What looked like a wonderful, vanilla laced cookie shaped like a pretzel and topped crystallized sugar turned out to look...these are my husband's words..."like something the dogs would leave in the yard"! At 10:30 pm the night before the event, this is not what you want to hear.  I ended up making another cookie, but my son's teacher said she wanted to see the pretzel cookies as well.  I sent them along with the individualized pretty sugar cookie Christmas trees I had labored over until 2 am.  Imagine my surprise when my youngest came home and told me that everyone loved my original cookie because..."no one had ever eaten reindeer poop before"!  I was the hit of the party!  Don't stress over the small stuff!

When I think of the birth of the Christ child, I see a humble setting, but yet one filled with unfathomable beauty and splendor all within the simplicity of the manger. If you find yourself stressed during this Christmas season, stop and think about the simplicity and beauty of His birth. Dwell on the greatest gift of all and that this gift is not only free, but it is also a gift for everyone.  
Don't allow the materialistic view of Christmas to become your burden.  Matthew 18 28-30 tells us to "Come unto me and I will give you rest".  Make this Christmas one where you and your family focus on Him and not the glitter, wrappings, and decorations.  Turn down a few party invitations, make hot chocolate in a thermos and put the kids in the car and go look at the lights, have a Southern snowball fight (with mini marshmallows), don't worry if your little one places all the ornaments on one branch, don't rush the days and the hours, read the story of "The Three Trees" to your family, believe..

"I believe in a cross, I believe He came for one, He came for all
Heavens child became a plan, gave His life for me
In spite of all I am, I believe, I believe, oh I believe

Christmas lives in me
I believe"

Christmas Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse

Linking to...
Debbiedoos Graduate Party!
Brambleberry Cottage
Marvelous Mondays 

Tomorrow is a day of silence in honor of the sweet, precious souls who are now resting with our Lord.

6 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post!!! I need to hear those exact words! I am so glad you are my "unofficial sister"!!

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    1. Thank you! I am happy to be your "unofficial sister"!! Merry Christmas!

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  2. What a beautiful post!

    With a big laugh at the end; reindeer poop. I just about choked on my morning coffee cracking up at that one! :)

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    1. Hi Debra! Glad I was able to give you a good laugh. Laughter is a great stress reducer! Happy New Year!
      Blessings from Still Woods

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  3. I am reading this after Christmas. Oh, how I wish I had read this earlier.
    It took this post to tell me to look to the simple surroundings of our Savior's birth.I tried as best I could to write posts about downsizing this year....making things simpler. As I grow older, I see the frantic goings on during the holiday season. Trying to achieve perfection.Thanks for this timely post.
    Happy New Year,
    Balisha

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comments! Even though I often talk to people about ways to reduce holiday stress and stress in general, I do not always follow my own advice! Maybe we all can work at a less stressful Christmas next year and focus on what is most important.
      Happy New Year friend!
      Blessings from Still Woods

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