In the United States, Christmas is our favorite holiday by far. Who doesn’t have a great memory of a cherished time with family during this season? While some memories are sweet, others are funny or even sad. I have so many wonderful memories from my childhood. But Christmas joy isn’t limited to children. As adults, we can experience the joy of the season as well. We can feel overwhelmed and stressed by the season for many reasons: financial difficulties, too many activities, family members who don’t get along…the list goes on and on. Joy seems elusive and we forget the reason we celebrate this season: Jesus.
This Christmas season, I’m joining The Kids Did It blog and The Mommy Island blog to participate in the Winter Is Coming Giveaway Event, which runs from December 6, 2017, to December 21, 2017. The winner of my first giveaway this Christmas season will receive a $15 Amazon gift card.
Enter through the Gleam form below for your chance to win!
One entrant will be selected to win a $15 Amazon gift card. Open for entry in the Continental US/Canada Only, 18 years and older from 12/06/17 thru 12/21/2017 at 11:59pm EST. Winner will have 24 hours to respond to notification email to claim their prize or a new winner will be selected. See Gleam form for official rules. Event hosts and participating bloggers are not responsible for fulfilling prize obligations from sponsors or self-sponsoring bloggers.
Echoes of Joy: A Daily Devotional for Christmas
Echoes of Joy: A Daily Devotional for Christmas is the second volume in the Echoes of Joy devotional series by author Staci Mauney. Containing 25 devotionals, this book will inspire and encourage you during this busy season. Each devotional contains a Bible verse and prayer along with a story from the author’s life or a lesson learned that will point you toward Jesus.
From playing an angel in a Christmas program to struggling through the holidays after divorce to finding hope in unlikely places, this book features stories from the author’s own life as she explores the lessons learned at Christmas which apply all year long.
During this time of year, we find that emotions are magnified – both good and bad – and that our busy schedules rob us of our joy. The short entries in this book will allow you to focus on Jesus and remember why we celebrate this season. You will find messages of joy, hope, and perseverance throughout this devotional written with you in mind. As you look toward Christmas and into the New Year, let the messages contained inside this book move you into God’s presence.
Hustle and Bustle
“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.” (Ps 62:1)
I crossed my arms over my chest as I stared at the calendar. December 12. Almost halfway to Christmas, and I still didn’t have the tree decorated. I had a strong urge to give up on Christmas that year and just forget about participating in the trappings of the holiday.
Each year, I check my list twice so that I don’t forget anything. Decorations in place? Christmas cards in the mail? Gifts purchased and wrapped? Christmas plays attended? Christmas candy made? Not to mention going to work and caring for my Yorkie. My list of tasks continued to grow to the point where I didn’t want to do anything at all.
I needed to take a step back and reevaluate my reasons for celebrating the season. I realized that much of the reason I felt overwhelmed was that I had difficulty saying no to people. I didn’t want to let anyone down. I kept saying yes to good things, but the accumulation of too many good things meant that nothing – and no one – was getting the attention it deserved. Decorating the house for Christmas that year was the last straw for me. I was overwhelmed and stressed, and I had lost perspective – Godly perspective – on the season.
That was the year I finally understood I didn’t have to do everything or be everywhere. While I had always known that, I had difficulty putting that knowledge into practice. Over the years, I have cut back on activities so I can spend more time just being and less time doing.
When Jesus became overwhelmed by the crowds and constant needs of the people, he went off by himself to pray and spend time with his father (Mt 14:23; Mk 1:35). By spending time alone to recharge, he showed us how to reclaim our energy when life threatens to overwhelm us.
When we become so busy that we forget to slow down and enjoy the spirit of the season, we miss out on a blessing from God. For without the blessing of the Savior’s birth, there would be no reason to celebrate this time of year. Christmas would be just like any other holiday. It doesn’t matter whether or not I complete any of the tasks on my list; what matters is whether I turn my heart in praise to God for the gift of his love through Jesus Christ. This is the reason we celebrate this time of year, and we should never be so busy that we can’t take time out to share this gift with those around us.
Dear Jesus, thank you for showing me that spending time with you is a good thing. Help me to remember at Christmas time and all year long to stay connected to you. Amen.
Buy the Book!
Thanks for stopping by and reading a little of my Christmas devotional! Remember to visit the other blogs listed below that are participating in this hop and enter to win more wonderful prizes! Good luck!