Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Packing Up Christmas

Yes, I know today is January 15th, but I'm still packing up the Christmas decorations.

This is truly a sad day!  I really don't like putting all these decorations away.  I just barely took the lights out of the windows yesterday and I'm still singing Christmas Carols!
Obviously, I like to drag out the Christmas season as long as I can.
I love Christmas!  I love the true Spirit of Christmas and I hate to "pack it away."  As I wrap each decoration, I reflect on the Devotional and Advent Tree I did this past Christmas and pray that my heart would take the gentle, quiet Spirit I received during this time with me into the new year.
I am learning, with God's help, to slow down, to quiet my spirit and savor the moment and savor the presence of the Lord in each moment.  It's a life-long learning process, I know, and I'm signed up for the duration.
I am very mindful, as I take down the lights, put away the candles and wrap up the special ornaments, that all too often, the One whose birth was celebrated somehow gets "packed away", too!
The One - Emmanuel - God. Is. With. Us.
The One who is born anew in our hearts every day - not once a year!
He is still with us today - January 15th - 21 days after Christmas - and He will continue to be with us.
"...for he hath said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5c
But, will we be with Him?
Will we continue to be aware of His presence in our lives? 
Every. Minute. of. Every. Day.
Will we be consciously aware that He is aware of us and all we do?
Today, as I was leaving the gym, I got into a long line at a redlight and knew I was going to be there awhile.  As I slowly moved closer to the light, I noticed a car trying to swing into the lane of traffic from a side driveway.  My first reaction was -  I was here first; I am not letting you in! 
Then - I was gently reminded by the Holy Spirit that God was aware of me and was hoping I would choose to do the right thing - I did!  I let the driver go ahead of me, but I did tell God I was not happy about it! 
You know what - I don't think He really cares whether I was happy about it or not; His desire was for me to be obedient and I am so glad I was.  My true heart's desire is to do God's will, whether I like it or not, and I am so blessed that He chooses to let me know He is aware of me - at. all. times.!
I want God's presence in my life at all times and I want to be in His presence, too.
So, I pack up my Christmas decorations and put them away for another year,

but I will not pack up Emmanuel.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth."
John 1:1, 14

Let's keep the Spirit of Christmas in our hearts each and every day - the awareness that

God. Is. With. Us.

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