Keeping Christmas…

GLOW Copyright 2012 Sheila Kimball

GIFTS Copyright 2012 Sheila KimballGifts are unwrapped and all that’s left of the cookies are crumbs.

Tree glows softly in pre-dawn darkness and His Word is open in my lap as I sit in His. Stars twinkle in the sky outside, and a chill wraps itself around me so I draw ever closer to be warmed by His love.

And it’s me that needs to continually draw closer, for He never moves away.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8

I can count on Him being there. All. The. Time. If only He could count on me showing up.

For sometimes it is all too easy to choose to forget Him more, as I choose to remember less important things and give my time to an agenda that may not necessarily be His for me that day.

He is always present, yet I still forget.

Especially when I fail to still my frantic heart long enough to hear His heart calling mine to just be.

Be present.

Be quiet.

Be with Him.

Just be with Him, my greatest gift, forgetting all the burdens of life and letting His love lift me from creeping discouragement that sneaks its way inside my heart when I am not keeping watch.

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matthew 26:40-41

That was the cry of Jesus as He made His way onward to the magnificent passion of His cross, from His humble beginnings in a stable, a life lived on purpose. And the purpose is us and our salvation, and Him loving us so much it hurt. Hurt Him to the point of death.

STAMPS Copyright 2012 Sheila KimballMADONNAAnd we have just celebrated the Holy Night of His birth again, and I wonder as I wander now that the celebration is over will we gradually slip back to the daily grind, so easy to forget the reason for this glorious season of sharing God’s greatest gift, His Son, as we give gifts, and light candles, and let twinkly lights shine.

He wants our lights to shine 365 days a year and not just on the 25th of December, and it’s still His cry to watch and wait for Him, His return.

To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, I trust in You;
Let me not be ashamed;
Let not my enemies triumph over me.
Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed;
Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.

Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.
Psalm 25:1-5

And as we wait on Him each day across 12 months and not just during Advent, He will lift us up.

Up from worries, fear, stress and sin.

Up from pits of our own making, cutting the chains that bind us to our lower natures.

But we must still long enough to hear His still small voice telling us which is the way to walk ye in.

CARDS Copyright 2012 Sheila KimballBE STILLBIBLE Copyright 2012 Sheila KimballAnd His voice is His Word so let us unwrap this gift that is Him every day, opening the bible as we open our hearts.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:1

As Dearest Husband and I waited for Christmas this year, we once again enjoyed watching seasonal classics including A Christmas Carol. My favorite version stars George C. Scott, and after the visitation of the three spirits he wakes on Christmas morning to joyfully discover he hasn’t missed it after all.

DICKENS Copyright 2012 Sheila KimballHe has been Christmas gifted with a second chance to make things right. To live a life of love in such a way that it will bring glory to Him who gave His life for each of us.

God’s Word and this movie remind me to be humbly dependent on Him as I wait for Him and for all things.

And as I wait, I want to keep CHRISTmas in my heart not just during the weeks when carols flood the airwaves and church services overflow with hearts momentarily turned to Him, not just when it is convenient for me or when everything is going the way I determine it needs to be going.

But everyday, all year long.

ADORE Copyright 2012 Sheila KimballFor if we each truly keep Christmas in our hearts, keep Christ on the throne of our hearts, each and every day, what an amazing difference it would make.

In our lives.

In the lives of others.

In all the world.

And in His heart.

His heart that will smile as He delights in His children being obedient.

And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.
1 Samuel 15:22

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
John 15:14

Lord, help me to love You so much that keeping Your commands are my consistent joy. Please empower me as I pray to you these words immortalized by Charles Dickens so long ago…

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive in me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.”
Ebenezer Scrooge

And God bless us all, everyone…

~sheila

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