photo by: Shirley/Missouri/December 2017
Reality Check
originally written & 
posted 12 Dec 17
I'm in a season of unnatural quiet.
Even in the lack of pressure and chaos, a time of peace, I feel guilty because the rest of the world is in a manic race with time to get it all done NOW. I haven't done the things I normally have done by this time but I'm strangely okay with that...and wondering what I'm missing. 
What am I forgetting? LOL

I've had a lot of time to ponder that this calm 
is precisely what we have been missing all these years. 
Christmas is a special treasured time together with family and friends...
…and the pressure to make sure everything is perfect for everyone is REAL. 
But if we have to trade in love and peace for glitter and glam, 
have we really gained anything?
I LOVE moments shared with others who have a gift for decorating and presentation. I don't have that same gift and, for once, I'm okay with that. 
I can enjoy their efforts honestly and not feel like I'm less. 
It’s not wrong to want to make things pretty for those we love when we are trying to make them feel special. However, if that effort makes us too stressed out
to enjoy this season of joy, setting nerves and emotions on edge,  
we might need to take a second to breathe and rethink things.
TIME together is far more valuable whether fancy or plain. 
If I had to choose between frenzied preparations and calm reflection, I'd rather pass a bucket of chicken around with a roll of paper towels among people who love each other than be frazzled about things not turning out the way I expected them to happen because I was trying too hard to make everything "perfect" for everyone.

The King of the Universe was born in a stable
full of smelly animals for crying out loud! 
Why do we think we HAVE to have everything perfect and fancy
in order for it to be a "real" Christmas? 
God is Love. 
He gave us the best gift that can never be topped, 
LOVE in a tiny package that would grow 
to become the atonement sacrifice we needed desperately.
Everything else is just gravy.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
  I will be exalted among the nations,
  I will be exalted in the earth.”
The LORD Almighty is with us;
  the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46:10-11

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Matthew 1:23

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