Monday, December 30, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: Don't forget

Why I Disappointed My Daughter This Christmas

A devotional by Voni Harris

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14 (NIV)

I don’t like to decorate for Christmas. My daughter hates that I don’t like it. Sorry.

Wait! Let me defend myself here. These are my reasons why:

· Real life keeps happening, even in December. I don’t have time or energy to move around furniture and hoist up tree and decorations. We didn’t really have space to do so up until the last few years, anyway.

· Besides that, we had the tradition of spending the day at both of hubby’s grandparents and hubby’s parents. Or we traveled to spend time with my mom out-of-state. This is not quite applicable any more since our move to Alaska. Some Decembers, yes, others we stay at home. Still undecorated, most years.

· I do not have the money to make things look beautiful as they are on TV and in the community (see below). Plus, I’m only 4’6” tall, so putting up lights…eh, not so much.

· We do have Christmas money, of course, but it is focused on gifts. I love gift-giving, but I’m bad at it, no matter how much I love the gift recipient. Sorry about that, friends and family.

· In our community, we YoungLife volunteers “babysat” during the Kodiak Area Native Association Christmas party, throwing the kids their own Christmas party. There is always a Dickens Christmas community event with a true-hearted live Nativity. We walk every other day or so with our grandson to where our neighbor has given the gift of Christmas fun via outdoor decorations, tons of them. Caroling. The Harbor light-up with decorated boats. Our church’s Christmas Eve candlelight ceremony. Christmas movies. Party at a friend’s house …

In other words, there are a ton of community events, and they make my heart glad. Family and friends and community. Sharing Jesus. Sharing each other. I love it! Who has time for decorating?

I focus on the new year every December, ready to make my coming trip around the sun glorify God. Little brain space to decorate our house is left.

It means a lot to simply put up the Christmas cards we get. They make me smile whenever I walk by. Secondary true confession: I’m no good at Christmas cards, either. See the previous reasons for that, too.

None of these is a deep reason for my non-decoration tendencies. The truth is that the only truly meaningful Christmas decoration we have is our manger scene. If another breaks we just say “Aww” and throw it away. That’s it.

We currently have two manger scenes. Our plastic one plays songs and lights up, with a narrator telling the Christmas story. Perfect for our toddler grandson. We had a beautiful carved wood Christmas tree hanging; the carvings told the Christmas story. It is no longer with us, because, well, we have a toddler grandson.

Our main Nativity scene is still with us, though. It melts my heart putting it up; the reality of Jesus’ birth is there in front of my eyes when I do.

Christmas glitters with decorations and warms the heart with event and cards and presents. The real magic of Christmas, though, is the rise of your heart when you pause long enough to think of the birth of God’s son. Jesus. That’s what I love about Christmas: the birth of our Savior.

God’s son came in a manger and died on a cross, forging an inextricable link between Christmas and Easter. All prophesied. All completed. God is truth. He makes promises and He keeps them. He can be trusted with your soul.

I don’t want to hurry and scurry to make Christmas happen, and in the process forget.

Author Bio:

Voni Harris writes from her family’s home on the rain forest island of Kodiak, Alaska.

A legal-eagle husband, a breathtaking daughter, an adventurous grandson, and two enthusiastic dogs all conspire to keep her from spending too much time at the computer.

She holds a Radio-TV degree from Drake University, and her short story “The Wedding” was published in Heart-Stirring Stories of Romance.

Voni's novel Nothing Hidden won the 2013 ACFW’s First Impressions contest and the 2015 Daphne du Maurier unpublished inspy suspense category. It was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis finalist.

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