I have found myself quiet around these parts during Advent.
It’s not holy, really. It’s more about the fact that the work required for a mom at Christmas times increases exponentially, the math equation of which would look something like this:
Free Time / (12 dozen cookies + three classroom parties + one ornament exchange +one first grade play + hosting twenty-five for dinner + stacks of Christmas cards + stocking stuffers + teacher gifts + coach gifts + Santa) EQUALS recipe for disaster.
And I don’t want to hate Christmas. I don’t want to be stressed by it, I don’t want to complain about it or stay up too late every darn night. I don’t want to be the mom hustling around the kitchen and ignoring the fact that this moment and this month is about Jesus.
I want to sit in the waiting. I want to look at my Christmas tree and remember every story behind every homemade preschool ornament. I want to eat too many cookies and laugh too loud and hug my friends and family tightly. I want to spend more time–yes more time!–reading the Bible so I can be reminded every day that it’s all about Jesus.
And somehow, in the midst of that, God’s Word brings me back to the magnitude and glory of Jesus’ birth. Because without his birth, we wouldn’t have the cross. Without his birth we wouldn’t have promises like these:
He set us free through the Son and forgave our sins. (Col 1:14)
God made you alive in Christ (Col 2:13)
We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1)
Christ is our peace. (Ephesians 2:14)
Without his birth I wouldn’t have access to his peace.
I would hate Christmas without Christ.
Without Christ, Christmas would be a massive list of obligations and to-dos. It would be a little goodwill and a whole lot of greed. It would be transitory peace found in a sugar coma or a pretty light display or a brief moment of entertainment.
But with Christ, it is everything.
and so, I hear in the inner parts of my heart, the place where Christ dwells, these reminders:
That’s enough. I am God. (Psalm 37:1)
The Lord will fight for you. You just keep still. (Exodus 14:14)
So I embrace the stillness even in the hustle. I thank the “I AM” that He is always enough, that he’s fought for me (and WON). And I keep rest, knowing that “to us” God sent his Son.
And that makes all the difference.
O Come, O Come Immanuel. Because you yourself are my peace.
Nicole Unice is a fresh voice for the next generation. Part bible teacher, part community organizer, part busy mom–Nicole has the uncanny ability to relate to people in all ages and stages of life with her “keeping it real” approach to ordering a life around God’s word. Her latest book, She's Got Issues, explores the ordinary issues that are keeping you from the full and free life you were meant to live. You can read more about Nicole at her website, www.nicoleunice.com.