Monday, November 30, 2009

Kicking Off Christmas With Time Well Spent

Well, Thanksgiving is over, and now my family can stop telling me that I cant listen to my Christmas music every day because the holidays are officially here!

I love Christmas, it is my all time favorite time of the year. There is not much I dont love about the season (except paying the holiday bills of course!), but even that comes with the joy of giving.

This weekend my husband took me and the kids on a fabulous weekend in the mountains to pick out our Christmas tree. We enjoyed the ride up the steep, curvy mountain roads and oohed and awed over the scenery. We stayed at a great resort with a picturesque view from our balcony, gobbled up some pizza at a local restaurant, and cozied up by the fire while we watched The Polar Express. The next day we ate a yummy breakfast at a little country store, and spent the rest of the day picking out the perfect Christmas tree from the side of the mountain. Then we tied it on top of the car and drove home a couple hours and spent the evening listening to Christmas music, making spagetti, and decorating the tree. And this morning - we were all exhausted! But a joyful kind of exhausted.

As I think back over the weekend, one thing comes to mind. It was not about where we went or what we did. It was not about where we stayed or what we ate. It was not even about which tree we picked out.

It was about time. We had a weekend of time. Uninterrupted, unscripted, unscheduled -time. And trust me, it was much needed time, since our family has been stretched thin over the past few months running from one sports or school activity to the next, all being like passing ships in the night at times. Even though we enjoy devoting our time to all the things that fill up our life, sometimes it is important to make time, just for us.

If you ask me, that is what Christmas is all about. Its about spending time with loved ones, and taking time to focus on the One who made time possible.

It is so easy to get so caught up with life, or with the holiday season, and forget to take time to spend with the ones, and the One, who matter most. I am the first to admit that, as a professed Christmas-aholic, I can pack my schedule with all sorts of important and fun to-dos this time of year, like shopping, cooking, singing, decorating, visiting, socializing, etc. So I have to make a commitment to myself, to not let my time with God slip to the back burner.

This morning as I spent some time in prayer, I already found myself apologizing to Jesus for not talking to Him in a few days. I was too busy, being busy! What a wonderful blessing that His mercies are renewed for us each day. He still loves us, even when we are too busy for Him! And even when we are enjoying the blessings that He gave us, including time! Now that is love for you, if you ask me.

All this month, I plan to devote my posts to spending time with Jesus. To help us do that, I want to focus on four priceless gifts that we are given at Christmastime. No, not gifts from a store. And I dont just mean the manger scene, the angels, the joy of the Christmas season. But the most valuable of all gifts - gifts that all of us are given, but so many never unwrap and enjoy.

For today - I want to encourage you to kick off your holidays with a focus on time for Jesus, and with Jesus. You see, time seems infinite, but it can never be gotten back. Time is something we take for granted, but precious nonetheless.

So lets kick off our holiday season by thanking God for the time that we are given, and consider how we are spending that gift every day.

In fact, today might be a good day to spend some of your time in a little state of personal reflection, to get your heart ready for this most important time of the year. Think about where are you spending most of your time, and if your time is being well spent? Are you devoting time to family, loved ones, friends, and Jesus.... or is your time being saturated with things that pull you away from those things?

Have you taken time yet to thank God for this season?

I am looking forward to unwrapping some gifts with you in the coming weeks! So come back soon!

(If you want to see some more pictures of our special family time weekend, just visit me on Facebook!)

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~Grace and Peace said...

Christmas is my favorite time of the year, too! I love everything about it - the smell of the Christmas tree, the Christmas lights, the Christmas songs. Being a Christian heightened my love for the season even more because of my Jesus and how He came to the world to save us. For that I am thankful.

I also want to thank you and your friend for the treasure box of verses idea. I have given them to two people and they both love it. Thank you so much for sharing that.

Kim Pittman said...

I love Christmas, and boy do I love Christmas living in Charlotte! Growing up in MD it was sometimes hard to find joy and love when I went out, but it seems to abound here - my home sweet home. I'm thankful for Jesus and for all He's given me, especially the wisdom that life isn't lived unless we're living like Jesus. Can't wait to see your posts this month Tracie!