When your holidays aren't as magical as you'd hope...

The holidays in America are so dreamy! I think of the movie Miracle on 34th street; the lights, the joy, the giving and receiving of gifts, all the fun activities, family time, company parties, yummy food, friends getting together, ugly sweater parties, the sentimental music, the shopping, the smells, the flawless/happy perfect family photos... and most of us are able to enjoy all these things. They are fun and help us create sweet memories.  But what if, due to some circumstances, part of the fun of Christmas is taken away and you're to look at Christmas at face value, without all the hype. Without all we have added to it?

This holiday season due to sickness, I was in a sense, forced to do just that in a small way. Dec. 6th, I caught pink eye. The type of pink eye you see on those horrifying google pictures. The achy-oozy-puffy-bright red- someone-is-scratching-your-eye pink eye. The pink eye that people stop and ask if you're okay, pink eye. I went to the minute clinic dec. 7th, got antibiotic drops, and in the next few days my pink eye worsened. All the while trying to take care of two precious babes. My pink eye continued to worsen, then moved to the other eye, around the same time, my husband gets the flu and is knocked out in bed for 6 straight days. I go to a different doctor and get eye drops, find out they don't work either, so we're moving into week 2 with no relief of pink eye. For a social person like me, this is torture. At this point we had missed 3 Christmas parties. This was hard for me. I had to face the fact that if I believe Jesus is the reason for the season, then when I miss all the parties and all the things that CAN make Christmas sentimental, I should be just fine because it's not about all that stuff. It really is about HIM! 

But the problem was... I saw in my
heart that I find a lot of joy in the stuff/parties/fluff! Not only was I learning some hard lessons about being a mommy and being sick at the same time, I was also learning how much of my heart was in the things that I was missing out on. Also, we have M and L this season again (such a gift!), and so we were planning on doing professional Christmas photos (you know, like everyone does!), but every time we scheduled the photos, I had to cancel due to sickness (3 times to be exact). So needless to say, I didn't get my professional family photos that I was dreaming about. I had to face Christmas at face value without all the stuff/fluff/fun and parties! 

Don't get me wrong, I don't think all the fun is wrong at all. Hello, I love the parties and the get-togethers. It's sweet when the parties are centered around Jesus and the community that honors and worships Him. But when it becomes about all the parties and all the stuff then I do think it can become idolatrous and dangerous. Having to face my true hearts stance this season was tough! It's easy to talk the talk, but walking the walk is another story. Something I have learned with Jesus is that He is always sanctifying me from talking the talk to walking the walk.

The beautiful thing is I found so so so much comfort in God's word and His people throughout those first 3 weeks in December of sickness. I was reminded through the Word that Jesus was born in stable. In the cold. There wasn't room for him at the comfortable Inn. I mean can you imagine? In this day, some mother would probably get CPS called on her if she gave birth to a child outside in a stable. That is not comfortable or fancy or completely sanitary place, yet Jesus (our Lord and King and Savior) was born there. Thinking through this humbled me and my view of Christmas. I had to ask myself, am I going to let this (missing adult parties with babysitters and sickness and no professional photos) ruin my Christmas? Let it ruin my worship of this awesome season to glory in Him? And of course there was nothing in me that could possibly say yes... I had to let it go, humble myself before the cross. I had to go back to ground zero. To the cross... the stable. Jesus came to die. For us. This is what we celebrate at Christmas. Not all the hype. Jesus, the humble One, who came down from Heaven and left all the glories to save us. This is what it's about. I then, can surely lay down my "earthly" view of Christmas for His gloriously humble one. 

Thankfully around Dec. 20th, my eye started healing a bit, enough for me to comfortably go out. I was so happy to finally get out with my babies and husband. We had some baking fun at Nana's house... it was a blast! 

 

 

 


Then we enjoyed Christmas with my parents... and my mom got a photo of all 4 us that looks like a professional photo but it was taken on my iPhone!😂 (Hey! God is so sweet though- He gave me the desire of my heart to have a sweet family photo. It ended up just being by His means, not mine!) 



 

We went to the Christmas Eve Eve service at church! 
 
Our Christmas Day was pretty special too, just being with the kids and enjoying family. I am thankful that God allowed us to be well enough to enjoy Christmas day together!
 
 
 
Happy Birthday Jesus!

Right now as I type - Jan. 5th, my eyes are still not completely healed yet. I will be going to the optometrist tomorrow; it seems to be a mixture of bacteria and allergies, but I'm not sure. Thankfully, God in His mercies allowed me to partake in the true sweetness of Christmas with my family after it was all said and done. I have lessons though that I won't forget, hopefully! I also know of families who had loved ones in the hospital during Christmas, and many people that the Christmas season brings forth feelings of sorrow and reminders of losses. It's so good to have a humble view of Christmas. A Christ-like one. A stable-type one, in order that we can make sure and give people the right view of Christmas!

To anyone out there who had a hard Christmas, or the holidays didn't go as planned, be encouraged; Jesus is familiar with suffering. He's familiar with uncomfortableness. He's familiar with the lowly and the downtrodden. He's in the hospital with the sick, He's comforting the poor and feeding the hungry, He's clothing the naked. He's near during the hard times of the holiday season and into the new year as well! When hard times come, it's an opportunity to LEAN into God and His Word find reassurance there! He is FAITHFUL! And earth is not our home! Heaven is our home! What great news!

Finding hope, strength and joy in Him, 
Lindsey 



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