There are only 5 days until Christmas. Are you ready? Is your tree up? Decorated? Have you made Christmas cookies? Bought presents? Wrapped them? Made neighbor gifts? Done a homemade advent calendar? Delivered Christmas food to a needy family? Hand addressed your Christmas cards?
Or are you like me? Your gifts are strewn across the living room floor. Your kids are wearing their pajamas in the middle of the afternoon. Your sink is full of dirty dishes. You burnt the Christmas cookies. You still can’t figure out what to get your father-in-law. You have unaddressed Christmas cards on your counter. And you can’t even find your keys.
Christmas seems to have a sparkly, magical glaze over it. Like it’s in a big shiny, tidy snowglobe and all the normal un-magical are just walking around on the outside. You read blog posts about meaningful traditions, perfect dinners and frugal gifts. Yet, somehow all these things seem loss in the messy frenzy of the mall, the arguments about when-where-who is getting together on Christmas Day, the whining gimmes from your kids and the dozens of events you’re expected to host, plan and attend.
Being a mother on Christmas is not very magical.
But did you know Christmas started with a mother?
Mary was a newlywed. And very pregnant. She was about 100 miles from home. She wasn’t in a hospital. Not even in a house. She gave birth in a barn. With smelly animals. And probably only a strange midwife to help. She didn’t lay her new son in a crib. She didn’t set him in a swing. She didn’t wrap him in her new Moby. She put him in a feeding trough–where hours before animals had slobbered and snorted and chewed.
The first Christmas was messier than you can imagine–dirty stable, travel-worn clothes, blood soaked hay and smelly animals. But the result? The same as your entry into motherhood–a perfect child. Worth every drop of blood.
But Mary didn’t get stressed out. She didn’t whine or complain. The Bible tells us she “treasured all these things in her heart”. She thought the mess and the craziness was beautiful.
This Christmas, will you embrace the mess? Don’t try to live up to a false standard–perfect house, perfect gifts, perfect kids. Live in the mess of Christmas–the wild ripping of wrapping paper, the powdered sugar spilled on the floor, the running to and fro, the hundreds of emails sent about times, food and gifts.
Let THIS Christmas be like that first Christmas–messy, yes. But full of rejoicing, wonder and life-change.
What will you treasure in your heart this Christmas?
|Amanda is a stay-at-home mom of two who blogs at OhAmanda.com and Impress Your Kids. In her former life, Amanda was a Children’s Pastor — overseeing, organizing and developing ministry for kids in nursery through middle school, but now that she is a mom, her “skills” are used up on her kids!|