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I had broken our family “Christmas code” and begun blasting the Christmas music in the van with the boys several weeks before Thanksgiving. I justified my actions because we had some early snow flurries and mostly because the creator and the only one who cared about the “Christmas code” (i.e.no decorations or Christmas music before Thanksgiving was my handsome, rule following…”you should never eat any food past the expiration date” husband) I love him so much but we couldn’t be more different.
To me Christmas should start whenever you get that “feeling”…you know…the one when you see a first snowfall…or for us Texans…any snowfall….that feeling is what beckons us all to Christmas…because Christmas is supposed to be a time of expectation, a time where we believe that miracles can happen…because the greatest miracle did happen the first Christmas. God became man and dwelt among us so we could have communion with God and life after death, freedom from our bondage.
The first Christmas song to reverberate through our van was “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and I realized that my 4 year old and 2 year old would have no idea what Emmanuel meant. I thought for a moment how to explain the longing of this song and convey that to my cutie pants toddlers. “Hey guys,” I said, this song is talking about Jesus. Emmanuel is another name for Jesus and it means “God with us” Its saying “Come Jesus, Come, We need you Jesus!”
Ever explained a concept that seems complex to a toddler? I find when I break down what can feel overwhelming and confusing in my 30 something mind to the level a toddler can understand….I find a lot of clarity and breakthrough. See coming, longing, wishing wanting, and waiting are all things we as humans can relate to.
The cry of the Israelites oppressed by a Roman government 2,000 years ago is essentially the same cry of our world today….there is oppression and injustice all around, there is a heart cry in every person acknowledged or unacknowledged for a rescuer to come and deliver us from our fears, our sickness, our hopelessness our depression, our exhaustion, our brokenness.
Last week I found myself searching for a pair of socks that met my toddlers standards of “not scratching or sliding.” I wasn’t exactly sure what his issue with his socks was, all I knew is I wanted this special footwear edition of “What not to Wear” with one tyrannical and picky toddler to be over. I was desperately attempting to find a 10 minute uninterrupted period of time to do a core exercise series, because I’ve had 3 babies and I am unsure if I have a core or an abyss rivaling the depth of the grand canyon.
In the midst of the 3rd sock change I found myself internally losing it…all I wanted was 10 measly minutes to do these exercises and I was constantly being interrupted because of SOCKS.
It wasn’t really about the socks of course, it was about all the “sock interruptions”…the diapers, the sippy cup spills, the fits…all you Mamas know…for whatever reason that day I was about to explode if one more tiny human approached me with their crises…usually involving the apparent approach of the apocalypse because I had bought the crackers with cheese instead of the ones with “budder.” Obviously I am a cruel creature.
The phrase “O Come O Come Emmanuel” came to mind and I whispered it while searching for this mystical pair of unicorn socks which would provide the perfect harmony of grip and smoothness. I continued to whisper it as I put another pair of socks on my toddlers feet and felt an instant change in my spirit. Where there had been frustration, I felt compassion, where there had been a fuse about to blow…I experienced peace. It was so simple, it took a second…All I had to do was stop and ask Emmanuel to come…and He did.
As we approach the beginning of the Advent season, you may find yourself in one of 3 places:
- Struggling with hopelessness, with no expectation that this Christmas season will bring anymore hope and breakthrough than the past year or past difficult season has brought.
- Hopeful, waiting and longing for a breakthrough, but maybe you are tierd of believing God for something you have prayed and hoped for so long.
- Busy & Exhausted with life in general or the obligations of the Christmas season
Wherever you find yourself on this spectrum or whether its in a completely different place than mentioned, I believe God has something powerful for you this Advent Season. A season meant to be marked with Holy Expectation for Him to move in powerful ways.
I want to invite you on an interactive adventure with Jesus this Advent season that will awaken your heart and mind to believing with God for what He wants to do in your life this Christmas season!
Every week starting next Monday morning, I will send you a short devotional that includes encouragement, a scripture to reflect on, a song to listen to and guided questions to talk to Jesus about.
The devotionals will all culminate in an ACTION STEP for the week that will help you find HOPE this CHRISTMAS season. If you would like these once a week Advent devotionals delivered to your inbox. SIGN UP HERE!
P.S. If you are already subscribed to my email list you will be getting the weekly devotional. Not sure if you are subscribed? That’s ok, just SUBSCRIBE HERE to confirm!
Want some Advent Extra Credit?????? Here ya go….
HOW YOU CAN PREPARE FOR ADENT
Practice saying “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” whenever you feel hopeless, discouraged, stressed, anxious or anytime you are facing a hard situation. When we say “O Come Emmanuel” we are simply saying “God come be with me!”
LISTEN: Lauren Daigle’s O Come, O Come Emmanuel