The Grinch Can Steal Christmas Because Jesus is All I Need

December 15, 2014 Andrea Y., Christmas 1 Comments

I love Christmas.

I confess I play Christmas hymns year round. They are hymns people. Hymns. They work all the time — January through December.

It’s truly my most favorite!

I also confess I decorate well before Thanksgiving. If you follow me on Instagram — I was totally annoying you with my holiday decorating mid-November. My sincere apologies.

I confess – I have one too many trees in our home. Just a hair less than 10. But let me explain… every child does have one in their room — and it’s a child-size tree… so there’s more than half our trees accounted for right there— and half are pint size I promise.

I just love almost {wait for the “almost”} everything about this season — the baking, the Christmas carols, telling stories from our traditional Jesse tree each night. Everything feels so miraculous as we focus on the miracle of Jesus — and in quiet moments I also find myself wondering all the things Mary might have also pondered in her heart.

I marinated on that one thought for awhile last Christmas “all the things Mary might have pondered in her heart” and I ended up painting a canvas in my quite time as just thinking about a mother’s heart about her child and the foretelling scripture Mary did know… the hard things that would happen one day to this babe — must have been almost too much to bear.

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And then — there’s Joseph.

Being a family that has been built through adoption — I also love thinking about Joseph and his relationship to Jesus as an adoptive father. Reflecting on some of the anticipation he might have felt—but also embracing the unique loss that adoptive parents some times also feel… mixed with awe that although those eyes aren’t his eyes — they are the eyes of God in the flesh… can you even imagine?!

From afar — this story looks beautiful. And truly… it is.

It’s miraculous.

It’s breathtaking.

It’s redemptive.

It’s good.

BUT. Here’s the almost…

As I reflect more and more on the story… and really go to the heart of each person in the Christmas story —

Mary… a young woman…who would believe she was a virgin and also pregnant? I can’t imagine the conflict that this stirred in her personal relationship with Joseph for more than some time.

Joseph… so much to lose and already so much lost. He chose to be committed to a woman that looked anything but faithful. He wanted to leave – but an angel asked him to do otherwise. This would mean diving in to hard together — and leaving his people and everything he had poured his life into thus far.

The shepherds… leave their places of leadership and honor — and cross deserts and many countries on camel and by foot… a journey that would be exhausting and last almost a year just to see and worship Him.

And Jesus… leaving the Father — something we can never imagine the magnitude or loss in. All for us.

Remembering each of these most sacred people in this holy story… it “was anything but easy” is the phrase comes to my mind. Just for a moment — it might feel like all was stripped away – too much for everyone called to be part of this story.

BUT – they have Jesus… the long-awaited for Savior.

And having Him — changes everything.

I think about our own personal stories.

Christmas does something to this momma’s heart. I look at those stockings hanging from my chimney of my children. Several Christmases I would see those stockings and I would cry because my long awaited for child was not home — instead waiting in an orphanage some times in reports not sounding so healthy… on the other side of the world.

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I had done everything in my power to speed up their coming. But there was nothing I could do but wait. I don’t know how I could have waited without Jesus — truly. I couldn’t be there with them when they were on the other side of the world — but He could. I believe His presence was with them as I prayed for Him to be with them. He was certainly with me as I waited — and having Him — changes everything.

And when they came — the transitions some times were anything but easy. But He has been with us — and having Him — truly does change everything.

Mary was called to something completely radical — to carry the Son of God. And Joseph – he was called to completely radical to be the adoptive father of the Son of God. Standing beside Mary would mean disapproval from his family. For both it would mean living several years hiding in a different land for safety. It must have seemed there were so many hard things all around them — but HE was with them… and having Him present in their lives — truly, truly had to change everything.

Our children come with hard stories — and walking through those… some times seems like we are being called to something radical and too big for us too. But I believe He comes with us — walks among us — and wants to walk with us through these hard things too. Many of our children lose so much before they come to us — yet I believe having Him will change everything about how they heal and how we are given grace to walk through each moment with them.

The last few weeks — I have been reflecting on how at Christmas — the lights, the trees, the music and parties — all these things I also love around Christmas — are STILL just things. Truly He is all we need.

Yes — He is all I need this Christmas — and every day before and after. I even sat down this weekend to do a little online shopping for gifts — to have my card rejected. There’s 10 days to Christmas — “We need to get this party rolling and see what the problem is!” I thought. I was very aware of what should have been in our account, and we discovered a few hours later that someone had stolen my husband’s checkbook — and every penny in our account after multiple checks cleared from a thief — was gone.

“Oh no!” you might be thinking! “That’s awful. And how in the world does this tie in with this story?”

Besides the fact this just happened and is obviously on my mind as I creatively think how I’ll come up with case in the morning without a check card — it very much applies to all of this…

In that moment, I realized God was doing something… because even in things He doesn’t love (in the hard little and big stuff) He is at work, and I couldn’t help but smile. After we called the bank and they assured us in 60 days it would be worked out — we knew there was nothing we could do. Sure we could try to move money over from savings or this or that so we’d have something for Christmas — or maybe — instead we just sit right where we are in thanksgiving — realizing that really — we have everything we need.

Because there is no saving Christmas because really — Jesus already did that.

I don’t feel I need to scramble or fuss at our bank to hurry up and fix it — or anything at all. Because, really, we have everything we need.

Our stockings are hung… and the names on them are upstairs asleep. (And if they were not — we could trust that God would be with them.)

We have a safe home — a sweet home — filled with lots of laughter… even if one refuses to potty train at almost 4 years old — he is here with us… home — and I can run up and look at him any time I want. Thankful. Thank you, Jesus!

Everything I dreamed as I waited for my children is truly a reality. Sure we have medical bumps and hard days — but they are here — and they are happy… and He is with us.

Truly, my children wouldn’t notice the difference in a “big” or “small” Christmas… I think it’s me that really is the only one that knows the difference — and I think it’s me that my Father in heaven is asking to change perspective a bit this Christmas, too.

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And this Christmas — I needed to be reminded that really, having Him and learning and believing that God here with us is more than enough. His presence truly changes everything. It did for Mary — for Joseph — for the wise men — and for us. His presence and being God with us truly is the greatest gift of all.

Wishing you a most Merry Christmas as you rest in what you have already been given.

“Our faith isn’t all the things we say we believe, it’s everything we do next.” Bob Goff

 



One response to “The Grinch Can Steal Christmas Because Jesus is All I Need”

  1. Jenny Marrs says:

    Oh, Andrea. This is so beautiful and poignant and just exactly what I needed today. Thank you for sharing this… Merry Christmas, my friend!

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