Friday, December 03, 2010

Finding the Joy in Christmas

Yes, it's that time again! Christmas. If you're feeling like me, you're scratching your head wondering where the last year went. For me, a pretty good year turned into a fantastic one with the celebration of my first book contract a month ago. I'm approaching the coming year with much excitement and anticipation, ready to face the challenges that come with being a published author.
Yet I know many of you have not been so fortunate.

You may feel you don't have a lot to celebrate - perhaps it's been a hard year financially or personally. You may be staring down the calendar right now, wondering how on earth you're going to afford those presents or how you'll manage to get out and about to the places you're expected to be when all you really want to do is crawl into bed and hide under the covers.

May I ask you to take a forced time out?

Just a few moments or a couple of hours, whatever you can spare. Spend some time really reflecting on what this season is all about. Who are we celebrating?

Many of us will barrel through this hectic season, going from party to party, maxing out the credit cards, eating and drinking far too much and swearing you'll never do that again...even though you know you will. And far too many will ignore the real reason behind this holiday we call Christmas.

Presents, parties and parades have crowded out The Prince of Peace.

To be honest, I'm a little leery of writing these kinds of posts. I don't like to get up in anybody's face about anything, that's not my style. But each year, as the craziness that has become Christmas takes the world by storm, I feel a gentle tug on my heart and a need to share what I believe.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

This is what we're celebrating. Whether you believe it or not, this is the joy found in the reason for this season. And the best part is, it's not just a fleeting feeling found on Christmas morning or during a Christmas Eve service while singing your favorite carol. Jesus is for always. For every day living. For ever.
Perhaps you've never thought about it. Perhaps you've buried your faith under years of heartache, bitterness and unanswered prayer. Perhaps you're doing fine on your own, you don't need God.
But maybe you're feeling something right now that you weren't prepared for. Maybe you're hearing a Voice you haven't heard before or have shut out for far longer than you care to admit.

Would you listen?

Whatever your response to this post today, I'm glad you read it. And I pray that you'll take some time to think about it. It's never too late to make a change. Life may not get easier, but it will be worth living.
That I can promise you.

Merry Christmas!


Joanna St. James said...

Merry Christamas to you too Catherine

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I'm going to take time today.

Thanks for this post.

Just what the doctor ordered.

Congratulations on your stellar year!
~ Wendy

Keli Gwyn said...

It's so important to remember the reason we celebrate CHRISTmas.

I think it's awesome that you got an early Christmas present in the form of your first contract. What a gift!

Britt Mitchell said...

Thank you for the forced time out. Merry Christmas and thanks for coming by my blog.

And congratulations on all your successed and up-and-coming successes.

Rhonda Schrock said...

What a wonderful Christmas gift - a contract! And a good reminder for the rest of us. Thank you.

Katie Ganshert said...

Beautiful reminder Cathy!

Heather Sunseri said...

I love meditating on the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Wonderful reminder today, Cathy!

K.M. Weiland said...

Great post! Christmas is definitely my favorite part of the winter. But it's way too easy to get so caught up in the bustle and the glitter of the season that we lose track of what we're *really* celebrating. I'll second your call to a forced a timeout. Hark the herald angels sing!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Merry Christmas - and peace to you and yours *smiling*

Julie Gillies said...

Hi Catherine,

What a striking photo! And thank you for the reminder to listen. The last thing I want to do is to be SO busy with Christmas festivities that I have no time to listen to the One we celebrate.


Audrey said...

Merry Christmas! As my sister would say those were Bermudiful words. (hugs) Love from Audrey in Elliot Lake, Canada. said...

I have just stumbled on your lovely blog and this post which I have enjoyed reading. I am now following you. Looking forward to reading more.
Carol from