09 January 2009

The Epic Story Continues...

Truth be told, I’ve been down lately. Blah. Tired. Low. Blue….I have the post-Christmas blues. My New Year’s energy has evaporated and left me dull and sad. (Sigh)

I want Christmas back!! The days ahead now seem so…ORDINARY.

This Advent and Christmas season was the richest, most joyful, most meaningful I have ever known, and I so desperately didn’t want it to end. I don't want to lose it. I crave perpetual Advent and endless Christmas.

I just want to continue marveling at Mary’s trust and faithfulness, Joseph’s gentleness and obedience. I want to go on rejoicing over the unspeakable gift of ALMIGHTY GOD in a sweet-smelling, chubby-cheeked, sleepy baby I could almost feel in my arms when I closed my eyes in prayer.

I long to keep the excited skip in my heartbeat just thinking about a sky glowing with heavenly angels singing praises to God.

I want to always be humbled and amazed by this miracle called Emmanuel. GOD is WITH US!

Lately I have felt as though I’m waking up from a blissful dream and I’m fighting tooth and nail to drift off again and reenter that dream. Oh please – can’t I just stay there at the manger? Can’t I just lay on the hillside hearing all of heaven singing? Can’t I just live forever in this joyful phenomenon?

Well, yes and no.

The calendar says the days set aside to celebrate and remember Christmas are over, and “normal” life has been making an unwelcome comeback for many days now. It’s dragging me (kicking and screaming) back into the usual crazy routine.

But surely I can live each day of the year with that miraculous joy in my heart, can’t I?

It doesn’t have to fade away at the start of a new year, does it?

Emmanuel is still with us…still with me…so why shouldn’t the awe and wonder remain? They can, they should, and they will as long as I continue doing what I did this Advent – making room each day in my heart for the infant King.

I can still behold this wondrous Child and cradle Him in my heart. I can still turn my mind each day toward the knowledge that GOD stooped toward a sinful world with love and became like us so that He could save us.

That’s the point. He came to save us, and that’s why I can’t exactly have perpetual Advent and endless Christmas. The manger was only the beginning; the means to the end. Without that end, it might be reduced to just a lovely story or a fairytale.

But remember, even fairytales have dragons,

and ours had to be slain and destroyed forever.

The baby in Mary’s arms made the dragon tremble with fear;

the Man would vanquish the fiery beast for all eternity.

It is no fairytale. It is our miraculous victory.

It is our salvation…the true story of Love.

I can’t just sit dreamily beneath my Christmas tree all year because this Love story doesn’t end there. And thank God for it!

Emmanuel came, He grew, He lived and loved and healed and taught and laughed and cried. And finally, He died. For you. For me. I need to keep turning the pages of this epic in order to see my own character become who I was written to be. I see the first glimpse of my own becoming at His crib; I see it more wholly at the cross. I have to follow Him to the cross.

Yet I still long for the purer heart I experienced this Christmas to remain with me, even as I see the joyful season fading. The tree must now come down, the lights put away, the decorations back in their boxes, and the remnants of the holiday swept up.

Except, I think, for my nativity scene.

This year I think I may keep it up. (Visual aids!)

These ordinary days can seem so uninspired. Thus I intend to keep starting at the beginning. Purposefully and decisively, my heart’s aim will be to carry the infant Jesus within me, with all the joy and awe and wonder that surrounds Him,

even as I continue walking through the rest of the amazing story. It may not be easy, but I want to keep Christmas in my heart.

What about you?




Sandy at God Speaks Today said...

Hi Jennifer!

I'm sorry I didn't pop over here to see this beautiful post sooner. Wow. You are such a good writer...deep thinker...creative woman...lots of wonderful things.

I love the message of this post. It's lovely.

Hope you have a wonderful, not-so-ordinary day today!


Aussie Therese said...

Beautifully written. I really like having the Christmas lights, the nativity and tree. I love seeing all the house lights shining each night. I really love the music and songs we have at mass too. You are right. Advent and Christmas are very rich.

I have passed an award onto your blog. See my blog for details.

ConversationsWithACupcake said...

Oh, I love this. I love that you had a remarkable Christmas. I love that you don't want to let it go.

I don't think it's any coincidence that we get to celebrate Easter shortly after Christmas. An opportunity to celebrate all through these lonely winter months, and warm our lives with the grace of God and His goodness.

This year, I've resolved to keep "first things first" based on this quote: "Are there so many fascinating, exciting things to do or so many challenges pressing down upon you that it is hard to keep focused on that which is essential? When things of the world crowd in, all too often the wrong things take highest priority. Then it is easy to forget the fundamental purpose of life. Satan has a powerful tool to use against good people. It is distraction. He would have good people fill life with “good things” so there is no room for the essential ones. Have you unconsciously been caught in that trap?" ~Richard G. Scott

Perhaps part of keeping the spirit of Christmas alive is keeping Christ at the center of all our daily celebrations. Not letting Him take a backseat to the other "fascinating, good, non-essential" activities that would otherwise distract us.

I say--CELEBRATE! My secret? Pandora's KENNETH COPE radio station. Have you discovered this little gem of a website? Totally free radio, where you decide the station and it finds other music to soothe your soul. AMAZING!

May God bless you in your continued walk in His paths. You inspire.

Ruth said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.




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