Tag Archives: Christmas

Keep First Things First, Choose Peace

“What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” –Dr. Suess, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

I could feel it starting. The season of shopping and crowds and parties and crowded stores and more traffic was upon me. I woke up after Thanksgiving break and felt anxious as I wrote out my to-do list. It was a mixture of emotions really. All day prior I had allowed myself to soak in the Christmas season as I played Christmas music I don’t want to just get through each day. I want to truly enjoy this Christmas season. I so desire to feel God’s peace regardless of my circumstances. I want to be all in- present and accounted for! I want to savor these memories- even in the hustle and the busy- because let’s be real, there are just things we need to do. I believe we can have peace even in the midst of busy. It’s easy to have peace when everything is going well and you aren’t feeling overwhelmed. But to carry a peace in the midst of the hustle- that can only come from God. You can’t order it or will it to happen or pretend to have peace until you do- it can only happen if you spend time with Him. No shortcuts.

First things first. Waking up, lighting that candle, brewing that coffee, putting the phone in a drawer to avoid distractions, and sitting in that favorite chair and picking a book in the bible you want to go through this month (and perhaps a little journaling too)…….

To finish reading this article, please click here at Peacefully Imperfect where I was honored to share this piece! ——> Peacefully Imperfect, Celeste Barnard

The Christmas Story- Week 1

Greetings December! I decided to do something a little different this year on my blog for the Christmas month of December. Each Monday I will read the Christmas Story and discuss via video. I will also post other pertinent information regarding the passage and maybe something to go along with the reading like a music video or perhaps a poem.

Journey with me, as we read together the details surrounding the birth of our Savior and pull out nuggets for our every day lives! (**Please note: this is in no way an exhaustive study!)

Here’s our reading schedule:

December 4th- Matthew 1:18-25

December 11th- Matthew 2:1-12

December 18th- Luke 1:26-38

December 25th- Luke 2:1-20

Here’s the video for Week 1

Don’t be afraid… God is with you!

The reading today is focused more on Joseph’s point of view. Today we’ll close this segment with a song from Michael Card called Joseph’s Song.

I Thought I Wanted New

His presence

I thought I wanted new
A house with perfect walls
A place never touched
by other peoples falls
I thought I wanted new
an outfit with fresh colors
A new look for me
that’s better than the others
I thought I wanted new
A change in scenery is good
a new bedspread would be perfect
As women, it’s understood
Freshen up these walls
and change the decor a bit
That will make me happy
well, I’m just sure of it
I thought I wanted new
I thought I wanted new
A new appliance in the kitchen
then my dinner they would no longer be a’ pitchin
that would change my family life
and then my cooking would be suffice
But then the walls got dirty
And the trends faded fast
The colors in the bedspread
well, I should have known they wouldn’t last
The new picture frames and art decor
began to collect dust
and bills came in that I couldn’t pay
because I thought these things were a must
And that new appliance that was suppose to change my game?
Well, it’s underneath my cabinet And yet my cooking remains the same
and I have come to the shocking realization that
no matter what I have
that I thought I wanted new
When it really boils down to it
All I really wanted was You!

Mathew 6:21- Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

We seek and we search. We see all the things we must have. We peruse the mall with all the things we think we need and so desperately want. And these things, in our mind will fill us with happiness and joy. Our hearts shout, “If I just had ______” The upbeat Christmas music is playing. Everything is covered in red, white, and green bling. We walk by the Bath & Body Shop with the cinnamon vanilla scents calling to us, “Smell me, buy me!” and we need it, right? The extravagant Christmas decor makes us think, “If only my house looked as pretty as this display, it would be filled with warmth and joy.” And everyone, with their shopping bags full, is looking so gleeful, so content with their bags. Is it an illusion? A moment fading as quickly as the sun sets?

I tell you dear ones, there is no package that can bring you joy. There is no box that can fill you with peace. There is no gift that once put on the walls will be the end of your search- to calm the chaos in your heart.
There is but one thing, one Person, one holy and amazing Savior. Yet, we search. We look everywhere else to have our needs met. When only One was meant to fill that every need, every longing, that eternal thirst for more. And that, my friends, is Jesus. It is Him and time spent with Him. It will cost you nothing, He paid everything.
If you find yourself this holiday season thinking more is the answer, well, you just might be on to something. But before you jump in the car and run to the mall to let everyone know what you need, might I challenge you a bit?

You do need more, this much is true. When you find yourself searching, and more just isn’t enough, look up. Stop. Be still. Be quiet before your Maker. You, my friends are standing on holy ground. Your heart is hungry and no gadget will ever meet its every need. No appliance will ever stop that longing for peace. The new outfit won’t get you out of the corner at that office party and stop that loneliness you feel in large crowds.

The more places you rush to, the harder it will be to hear that still small voice that whispers, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” (Jer. 29:13) “Here I am,” He whispers. Before you head out looking for the next thing that is sure to bring you peace, stop. Enjoy Him. Allow him to fill your empty places. Marvel in his Word. He is your more. And then go out already filled to enjoy and celebrate the wonder of His amazing birth. The gifts He has for you will never rot or collect dust. Their very value has only eternal worth.

Oh my Lord, how I long for more of you. How I desperately desire to be filled by you. The things of this world are fleeting. I hold my hand open, holding these things lightly, yet clinging for dear life to you- because you are life. These temporary desires at times try to lure my thoughts and affections. Forgive me. It is you that I seek after. It is you that my heart is hungry and thirsty for. You are my treasure and I desire more of you. It is because of you that we celebrate another Christmas season. Help me to remember the best gift ever given- your Son. Truly, only you can satisfy.

Matt 6:33~ But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Twas The Eve Before Christmas

Twas the eve before Christmas and all through the earth
Not a creature was stirring, nor knew of His birth
The hearts were all settled in their beds with their cares
In hopes that Jesus Christ would soon be there
Mankind was unaware of what was ahead
The desperate need for a Savior
Brought many to dread
And me in my bed all snuggled and warm
And daddy laying there, not knowing of the storm
When out from the stable there arose such a clatter
The wise men sprang from their rest
To see what was the matter
Away to the barn I flew like a flash
Tore open the barn doors and lifted up the hatch
The star up above gave a glow to the night
And all of mans heart was at peace at the sight
Wondering eyes but what should appear
But a miniature baby and a mom with a tear
I knew in a moment it must be Jesus Christ
This little one was born to be our sacrifice
More rapid than eagles, his worshippers came
And whistled and shouted and called Him by name
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
For truly God is with us…
Now their hearts were all filled with no greater joy
The promised Messiah was born as a boy
So this Christmas, our gift from above
May we remember a Savior who God sent with His love
To save us all stuck in our sin
This baby made a way that we might worship Him.

Celeste Barnard

The Heart Of Christmas

Christmas Heart : Portrait of a styled professional model: St. Valentine day, angel, love,  Stock Photo

With each present we buy and open, let us always remember to seek your presence

With each gift wrapped, help us to remember to use the gifts you have given us for your glory and to further your kingdom

As we see the Christmas lights illuminating in the darkness, let us remember that it was your light that broke through the darkness in our own hearts

As the stockings are hung, let us be reminded that you hung on the cross for us

As we look at that perfect Christmas tree, let us be reminded of the tree that you shed your blood for us on Calvary

Christmas is all about Jesus. And the next most important thing is whats around your Christmas tree on Christmas morning. No, silly- not the presents. But the presence of the family that the Lord has blessed you with.