Weekly Devotional Series: #1
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We are at smack in the middle of the holiday season, where the frenzy and rushing and parties and one more thing to buy or add to the list has begun. Slowing down for Christmas memories is often last on our mind.
Every year I tell myself that I will enjoy the moments and the memories and slow down. I remind myself to let some things go.
We do not have to do all things every year.
I feel more pressure these years because my children are young, and I know I have only a few more years where the magic is real for them. I cherish those moments and I want them to have cherished memories as well.
Small Things Make Big Memories.
When I think back to things I remember as a child, they are seldom the big things. They are often the smallest most seemingly mundane daily things about the season that bring back cherished Christmas memories.
One of my favorite memories was decorating the tree together. It did not matter whether it was a fake tree or a real tree, or whether we fought and pouted. It did nt even matter that my mom would rearrange the ornaments after we went to bed. (I understand why now! My children love putting all theornaments on the same branch!)
None of those things mattered because we came together as a family. My mom would play Christmas records, (Yes! Real records on a real record player) and we would take turns putting our ornaments on the tree. The funny thing is, I remember we would often stop fighting as we enjoyed the moments together.
The Tradition Continues:
As I was decorating the tree with my own family this year, it brought back so many memories. Memories of my kids’ first Christmas, memories of my childhood Christmas, ornament gifts from long lost and beloved grandparents. I remember the friendships. I remember parties with friends and crafting ornaments with my children, and oh, so much more. More than I could fit in one post!
After we decorate the tree, do you know what the greatest part is!? I get to enjoy it every evening the whole season long. Since we have a fake tree, I often enjoy it long after the season as well. If I am feeling down, all I need to do is look and see my tree of memories and love.
The thing we often forget during this frantic season is the memories we share and the traditions as old as time. We forget many times to slow down and enjoy those moments.
Remembering Jesus’s Life:
Jesus knew this to be true as well. Many times Jesus would withdraw to be alone. One example is after the last supper when he was praying in the garden right before he was betrayed by Judas. (See Matthew 26:36-44)
Jesus remembered to give thanks, in all things. Even on his last days, he slowed down and had a meal with his closest and most beloved friends.
While reading Luke 2: 1-20, we see the beginning of Jesus’s life was in the middle of a probable busy season as well. Joseph and Mary were traveling for a mandatory census. They could find no rooms and ended up in a barn, but maybe that was just the most perfect and fitting plan.
Joseph and Mary were away from all the probable chaos. They were able to just marvel in wonder at this little child’s birth and the same time experience something truly and supremely majestic.
Oh to be there in that moment, you would have to be alone perhaps or at the very least slow down enough to be aware of the great things happening all around.
By slowing down, even if just a little, you make more room for love, joy, and memories.
As I watched my two children and my husband helping them decorate our tree, my heart swelled with just a little more love and joy, even admist a little crankiness. It was just enough time to slow down and revel in the memory.
Have you stopped this year to revel in the joy and memory that is the season? Remember that many times to accomplish more, you must slow down.
Consider the following quote that God has gifted me inspring this devotional:
The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.E.E. Cummings
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I pray blessings over you and your family this holiday season and that you will grow with love just a little more each day.
You may also enjoy the following:
Divine Intervention: An article on finding God in every day things.