The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Halloween is over (and all the mamas said...Amen!) which can only mean one thing. It’s Christmas time!!!! Now before all you “give-Thanksgiving-its-due-time”-ers stop reading and unsubscribe from this blog, just know that I married one of your kind, so I am only allowed to celebrate Christmas in my heart prior to Thanksgiving. And...also in my car because he can’t stop me there! Ha! Eh hem, anyway, as you may be able to conclude already, I am what my husband affectionately refers to as an early celebrator. The days after Halloween have me making lists of all the Christmas-y things I need and want to do. Presents to buy, decorations to bring out of storage and hang (with glee!), events to attend. I. LOVE. IT. ALL. Store decorations and Christmas music and holiday parties and my children’s programs. Lights and Advent services and cookies and Christmas movies and presents and all of the Christmas things just make my heart so very happy. I love the whole season and truly look forward to the entire month of December (and November because if Hallmark says it’s Christmas, then by golly, it’s Christmas!). 

Like a kid who never really grew up, I wait in eager expectation on the Christmas season to arrive. I make plans of what I’ll do and who I’ll spend time with. The little squares on my calendar are quickly filled with places to go and people to see. My wrapping paper bins (yes bins, people, this is serious business) are stocked and ready to wrap those little treasures and place them underneath the tree. I’m sitting on go, so when Jonathan gives the “go ahead,” I’ll Christmas this place up in no time. In short, I’m ready. 

But it occurred to me just the other day that I wait in excitement and anxious expectation for the holiday which celebrates the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ...but do I wait as expectantly and as excitedly on the Lord Jesus Himself? Do I expect to experience Him daily or see the work of His hand? Do I make plans centered around what the Lord might do in or through my life every single day? Do I “sit on go” - ready and willing to spring into action with every nudge from the Holy Spirit? Do I wake up each day in anxious anticipation of what big thing the Lord might do that day? 

If only I chose to celebrate Jesus the way I celebrate Christmas. If only I spent as much time making my heart ready for Jesus as I do making my house ready for the holidays. What if I spent my time planning and preparing for an encounter with Christ Himself the way I plan for Christmas company? Now please don’t misunderstand me. Jesus is the source of my love for Christmas. Celebrating the miracle of His birth and the glorious gift of hope that entered the world with the sound of a baby’s cry from a stable is what fills my heart to the very brim. But then what? What about after the presents are opened and the decorations are packed back up. What happens on December 26 and for the rest of the year? 

Oh friends, it’s the desire of my heart that we would seek out Jesus in the every day. That we would begin to expect to hear Him speak and see Him move on a regular basis. That our excitement for the “every days” with Jesus would far exceed any seasonal delight. May we, like David, be able to proclaim: 

Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in Him, because we trust in His holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in You. Psalm 33:20-22

Yes, Lord. Our soul waits for You. Give us eyes that see and ears that hear and hearts that are glad in You and You alone. Seasons come and go. Christmas will come soon and then will be over. The parties and songs will end, the lights will fade, the decorations will come down and there won’t be any Christmas cookies left. But we will still have Jesus. And because of that, we can still wait excitedly and hope expectantly. Because of Jesus our hearts can be filled with peace and joy every single day. 

Because of Jesus, every day can be the most wonderful time of the year. 

Megan Woodham