Samely, the banister is wrapped in strands of soft shimmers.
We've hung the stockings, and we've been listening to carols as well as singing them from our own lips.
But, to me, it hasn't felt like Christmas.
I've blamed the weather, citing our rainy, dreary days as the culprit for my lack of holiday cheer.
I've, too, blamed the recent bouts of anxiety I've been prayerfully seeking to lay to rest along with the stress of busyness because that only adds fuel to the fire ... and, well, shopping and searching and wrapping the perfect presents all add stress in a season that's already brimming with it.
And I've also thought that our circumstances -- having said goodbye to two babies who stopped growing in the womb this fall -- could shoulder the blame for my lack of Christmas spirit.
But when I strip down those glittery facades and leave Christmas naked, removing all of its bright clothing, it's left much like how Christmas began -- humble and gentle, beautiful and beckoning, like the Baby born into the humblest of settings two thousand and some year ago.
The hollow shells -- the snow, the gifts, the circumstances and, well, just general feelings -- that counterfitly encase the truest essence of Christmas must be peeled away if we are to experience the deepest joy of season.
For it to really feel like Christmas, I must seek the awesome gift of God born into human flesh, making a way for us to know life beyond the now.
For me to feel the awesome gift of God in the flesh, I must be a shepherd, following a bright star, seeking, searching for that baby wrapped in strips of clothes, lying in a manger instead of seeking the perfect presents and scenes and circumstances.
I must come before the King humbly, heart falling to the ground in worship of Him, mind thankful that God gave such a perfect gift to an imperfect world.
To come into Christmas any other way is to enter into the most beautiful of temples and never realize that the true essence comes from the Spirit infiltrating the the inside of its magnificent walls rather than the silver and stained glass adorning it, for a temple void of the Spirit is yet another building.
To come into Christmas any other way than by peeling away the veneer is to feel like Christmas never actually came at all.
And, indeed, Love did come down; I just must open my eyes and seek Him to feel Christmas bleed into the very center of my heart.
My Advent reading has centered around Luke 1-3 and this month's walk through Today in the Word. And it has only been through letting go of searching for the perfect gifts and weather and scenes and circumstances and instead searching for our born King that I've been able to come to feel like it's Christmas.
we come together to share the harvest of intentional living by capturing a glimmer of the bigger picture through a simple moment. Won't you join us? Share a picture, words, creation or list; just come to the table with thanksgiving in your heart.
Reflect on the blessings that were apparent to you this week.
Link up your moment at Sarah's this week. Please be sure to link to your post, not your blog. Your post must link back here or have our button in your post or the link will be deleted.
Visit at least the person linked before you and encourage her in this journey we call life.