If there's anything I need to hear after the Christmas season this year, it's MORE of the Christmas season.
I'm not talking about hearing more requests for every single toy under the sun from my children, or more 'Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,' or more hilarious quotes from Elf, as much as I enjoy (some of) that stuff during December. OHHH NO! Along with the rest of America, I'm so over that version of Christmas now that it's January.
But what I desperately do need to hear, deep in my weary soul, is more of the message of Christmas as I move back into my regular post-holidays routine: Immanuel, God With Us.
I desperately need to hear 'God With Us' as I switch back into the daily grind of my first year of homeschooling my two girls.
I desperately need to hear 'God With Us' as I look around the mess of a house that just went through Christmas and a trip to West Virginia, and I know the hours and effort it will take to get it all back to normal.
I desperately need to hear 'God With Us' when my natural tendency is to let my patience run thin with my children.
I desperately need to hear 'God With Us' when there are things in our marriage that I'd rather just ignore, but my husband and I need to talk out.
I desperately need to hear 'God With Us' when I don't understand what's going on inside of me, and I feel overwhelmed by my emotions.
I read a devotional thought from Paul Tripp a week or so ago that resonated with my need to know that Immanuel, God With Us, is still with ME, today, in the middle of the everyday things that threaten to overwhelm me:
“Jesus is named Emmanuel, not just because he came to earth once, but because he makes you the place where he dwells every day. This means he is present and active in all the mundane moments of your daily life.
In these small moments, he is delivering every redemptive promise he has made to you. In these unremarkable moments, he is working to rescue you from you and transform you into his likeness.
By sovereign grace, your Lord will place you in ten thousand little moments that are designed to take you beyond your character, wisdom and grace so that you’ll seek the help and hope that can only be found in him. In a lifelong process of change, he is undoing you and rebuilding you again - exactly what each one of us needs!”
I love that thought, that the things that overwhelm me, are not necessarily my fault, or something that I should change and fix, but I can, instead, view them as graces from Immanuel, God With Us. He is intentionally and graciously bringing me to points where I am "beyond my character, wisdom and grace"...so that I look outside of ME...to HIM.
So that's what I really need to hear after the rush of the holiday season: MORE of Christmas.