It’s not beginning to look like Christmas

It's not beginning to look like Christmas

It’s not beginning to look like Christmas at my house.

Truthfully, it looks more like Wednesday.

My Australian shepherd missed her weekly grooming appointment so clumps of fur collect near the baseboards.The dishwasher is full and I forgot to buy Cascade despite six trips to the grocery store in the last week. It doesn’t look like Christmas at all; it looks like Wednesday, the day after Pepe Le Pew was evicted for the odiferous commotion he created under my house. So yeah, it doesn’t smell like Christmas either.

CHRISTMAS PAST

Usually I haul large, exquisitely-painted Mary and Joseph out of my walk-in attic when Thanksgiving is over. I have the desire to arrange wise men and camels on the coffee table, but I do not have the ability. Christmas is plentiful up there in the attic, thirteen stairs away. Until two years ago I relished the thought of making seventy-five solo trips up and down the beige carpeted stairs, but now I am down here where it’s Wednesday and Christmas is up there in the attic.

And I can’t get there.

MY HEART’S A WRECK TOO

This year my Christmas spirit is jealousy. Oh I’ve seen your posts displaying lavish tables, overflowing mantles and stylish trees wrapped in mesh. That’s nice. Really, I’m glad for you. Maybe the wave of nausea was caused by my medications, anyway, my own inability continues to frustrate me. Traveling delayed my infusion which flared the weakness from myasthenia gravis. Now I feel helpless and useless and selfish. I want to focus on Christ this Christmas but I can’t get the focus off myself.

Romans 7:18, “For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it.” HCSB

ADVENT

The Latin word is Adventus, which means coming. Unless you count opening foil-wrapped chocolates popped out of a December Hallmark calendar, last year was the first time I intentionally observed Advent. The Greatest Gift (Ann Voskamp) added meaning to the season, so I’m making it a personal tradition.

Isaiah 55:6, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.” ESV

COMING

This season I come with need. I need hope and joy; I need Jesus and I need strength. My desire is to come like Mary, who was full of new life, like Joseph who came obediently, like shepherds who came expecting, like wise men who came worshiping.

So I am bringing my need and my flesh and asking Jesus to come. Come and make me:

full of new life

obedient

expectant

worshipful

Come. Come Lord Jesus. Come into my messy heart.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Yes. Come Emmanuel-God with us.

Matthew 1:23, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” KJV

Come into my mess Lord Jesus #advent Click To Tweet

INVITATION

You won’t get an invitation to come to my house this week because it looks like Wednesday instead of Christmas. The lights are tangled in cardboard boxes and wreaths are still draped over wire clothes hangers suspended on a rod. Someone will have to carry my tree down the stairs and I am not sure who I will entrust with the nativity. It’s a mess, inside and out. But I want to focus more on making it look like Christmas in my heart, where it counts.

1 Samuel 16:7, “…For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” NKJV

NEEDY

This year I come empty. I come thirsty with my soul-barren self and know I am not where I need to be, but inviting Him anyway.

Come to the season needy. Is there any other way?

Revelation 22:17, “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” NIV

MY INVITATION

If you’ve accepted my invitation to join me on the porch, thanks. Writing is more fun when you read. If you want my posts in your inbox, enter your email address and you will receive it on Saturdays. Older blogs show up on Facebook every Wednesday. I invite you to join me on the porch, but please don’t come inside the house until after Friday. Thankfully, help is on the way.

21 thoughts on “It’s not beginning to look like Christmas

  1. Thanks for sharing your heart. I struggle with chronic illness and feelings of uselessness, too. You might be inspiring me to start my own blog….

  2. At times it can be so hard to see anything but self. It’s a difficult and often miserable experience of stronghold proportions. I will pray His presence apprehends you. No platitudes, just moved to pray. God is good to do that in us for others. Merry Christmas soon!

  3. I, too, suffer from chronic and somewhat debilitating illness. But, also like you, I know that Christmas is coming and Christ is with me.

  4. LORD, thank you for Vicky’s transparency. Though I’m not as I’ll as she is I have felt the same way this year. Thank You that You are able to change hearts. Change ours please.

    Vicky I love hearing from you. Keep up the posting. I wish I could write as cleverly as you. I can’t but I am with you in this journey. I’m so grateful to call you friend.

  5. Vickie, I know you don’t know me, but we have several mutual friends who do. I am retired from the Nuclear Plant and would love to help you with those 75 trips up and down those steps from your attic. Let me know if I can help!

  6. Letting Jesus be the focus of Christmas is what Christmas is all about even when life is a mess thanks for reminding me

  7. Thanks for the invitation to your porch, it is a very comfortable place to share my coffee. I like the quiet meditation and soft words. You inspire me.

  8. I don’t “do comments” on blogs I read…ever…until now. I just want to tell you, Vickie, that I really enjoy your blog and appreciate your Christ-centered perspective about life and it’s challenges. Thank you for the encouragement your beautiful, thoughtful writing always brings to me and many others! BTW, it’s not looking like Christmas yet at my house either:-)

  9. I so love your honesty, and I wish you Christmas blessings as well. I have simplified so much this year because I felt it was getting too much about the trappings and not about the celebration and purpose. It’s freeing. Maybe you just need only that nativity for a few days. Let the kids put up the tree. It will be the prettiest tree ever however it turns out. You’ll enjoy watching them do it. I’ll be glad to come give them “directions” if you need me to do so. xoxoxo

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