The last bit of snow is slowly melting away after what can only be described as a magical & rare occurrence. If you are from any of the states that were affected by the recent Winter storm, then you know things like this only happen every decade. Friday, after much uncertainty and back and forth over the weather forecast, we woke to a white wonderland blanketing the entire South. My prayers from the night before had been answered! I prayed that if it be the Lord’s will that He would send snow so that my little ones could experience it for the first time in their lives and boy–did he show out?! I admit it. I became a child again..at least for a weekend. There were snowmen made, snowballs tossed, and the cutest rosy cheeks you’ve ever seen! Have you ever seen a one year old try to walk in the snow? It’s by far one of the cutest things in the world!
Besides making lifelong memories with my family, the best part was the breathtaking beauty portrayed in everything around me. There’s something so peaceful in the stillness of snow falling upon the Earth. As my babes slept in the next room, I sat and watched in awe as my yard was transformed into a scene from a Thomas Kinkade painting. Before, I was only dreaming of a white Christmas but miracles are known to happen during this season if you believe.
As I sat alone and watched the snow fall –no television, no phone, no noise- I thought about what it truly meant to be present in the moment we are in. I encourage you to pause and let your senses be filled with all of the wonderful sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feels. this season of giving brings.
What does Christmas look like to you?
In my opinion, Christmas is the most visually appealing holiday there is with the gorgeous light displays and sparkling trees. You know it’s almost here when you start seeing Black Friday advertisements. Then, there’s the big guy in the red suit whose face has become the official mascot of Christmas. But lets look even closer at Christmas time. I see tired and weary parents searching for a place of rest. Their journey has been long and they haven’t been successful in finding shelter for their newborn babe. I see the worried look on Mary’s face and the despair in Joseph’s eyes. I can see the relief once they place Jesus in the manger. Although, not an ideal crib for a baby to sleep in, it would serve as a perfect place with a divine purpose. I see the rough, worn wood of the manger and the thin cloth that is swaddling the little one. I see the star illuminating the way for men bringing gifts to the Lord. I see the real meaning of Christmas..the birth of a Savior.
What does Christmas smell like to you?
One of my favorite things about Christmas is the smell of fresh cedar. I love cutting my own greenery and using it in my home. Then, there’s also my favorite Christmas Cookies candle that makes my mouth water just by lighting it. Lean in closely for a second..Can you smell the scent of the newborn babe? I’ve held my own children right up under my nose breathing in that newness of life. There’s no sweeter smell in the world than that of a newborn child. Moms wish it was something that we could bottle up and keep forever. Now breathe deeper. Do you smell the hay that our precious Savior is resting upon??
What does Christmas sound like to you?
My radio stays programmed to the Sounds of the Season station from December 1-December 26. I look forward to holiday tunes all year. It’s a sure fire way to get yourself into the Christmas spirit. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the sounds of Christmas? Jingle bells? The excitement of children? Wrapping paper being torn? While all of these are wonderful..listen even closer. Do you hear the sound of animals breathing as they lie closely to the newborn King? Do you hear the soft coo of baby Jesus as he spots his mother, Mary standing over him?
What does Christmas taste like to you?
At Christmas you’ll always find the best pies, candies, and baked goods wrapped up for giving. Some spend hours slaving away in the kitchen preparing the perfect feast for loved ones. One of my favorite traditions is Christmas Day brunch. My husband and I wake up early to watch our boys open gifts and then proceed to fix the best brunch of the entire year. While we look forward to these festivities and take great delight in the food during this season, our appetites are still never fully satisfied. We can’t be genuinely content in this world because we were not made for this world. Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Let’s indulge in His word and fill our hearts with His goodness. Allow yourselves to hunger more and be open to receiving His blessings that are waiting to be poured out on your life.
What does Christmas feel like to you?
When does it start to feel like Christmas to you? When artificial trees start popping up in shopping centers and big inflatables greet you in passing, it’s a good indicator that the holidays are creeping up on us. Every year, I hear people say, “It just doesn’t feel like Christmas to me.” Well, what is Christmas supposed to feel like? One word: exciting. For children, there is nothing..I repeat..nothing as exciting as Christmas morning. As we grow older, that excitement starts to change. Not because we are losing the spirit of Christmas but because our hearts are being stirred differently. As we mature, we no longer anticipate the same things we once did as a child. Jesus wants us to feel JOY just as those who bowed before Him did the night on which He was born. He wants us to feel ENAMORED in His precious presence. Let yourself be AWESTRUCK by the birth of our Savior.
This season is more than tinsel and lights. It’s the greatest story ever told. This year, use all of your senses to experience Christmas. Be captivated by His SIGHT, inhale His sweet SMELL, listen to His lovely SOUND, TASTE His goodness, and FEEL Him stimulating your heart. Let’s all follow the star to Bethlehem and celebrate the birth of Christ!