Christmas is my favorite. If you know me even a little bit, you’re already laughing because you know how true that is! This year, more than others, I’m struggling to be still. Yes, our holiday schedule is wacky, but it’s more than that.
I could give so many reasons for not having the time to be still: my husband and I are both involved in College Park’s Christmas concert, we have a one-and-a-half-year-old who is only still when sleeping, we’re traveling for Christmas, those gifts aren’t going to purchase and wrap themselves, there are humans that live in my house that need to be fed. It’s exhausting! But it’s also sounding more and more like an excuse.
Don’t get me wrong, all those things are valid and real. The overwhelm and stress that my to-do list causes is valid. If you, or someone you know, is in the same boat, I’d like to invite you to join me in my search this Christmas.
I am searching for the still, quiet moments. And I am resolving to treasure them, to let them seep into my soul, and to find rest.
I’m searching God’s Word for those still, quiet moments, and I’m searching my days for those moments, too. As I read through Luke 2, a couple moments stand out to me. “When the angels went away from them into heaven…” (Luke 2:15a) An angel and a multitude of heavenly host just finished praising God! (Luke 2:13) The silence that was left in their wake must have been deafening. But in that silence, the shepherds were moved to action (Luke 2:15b). In the silence.
Luke 2 also mentions that Mary “treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). I tend to imagine Mary, up in the middle of the night with a hungry baby Jesus, thinking through all the things treasured in her heart. In the silence, pondering.
God calls us to “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). God knows that we need to be still. To be quiet. To listen. If we can’t be quiet, how can we listen? I’ll be the first to raise my hand to say that’s not easy for me to do.
I recently came across a journal from one of the darkest seasons of my life. In it, I found a prayer that I wrote down that I’m clinging to this Christmas: “Lord, give me the quietness of spirit to receive your joy and delight in me.” The heart behind it is this: I need to calm my heart and spirit in order to be still, to be quiet, and to listen. Without that, it’s awfully hard to receive the joy, delight, teaching, discipline, and leading of God.
I am looking for those still, quiet moments. I’m intentionally looking for them: in the quiet moment right before stepping onstage, for the millisecond my little one snuggles, in the stillness of a baby sleeping in the car, in the joy of loving and serving my family through meal prep or wrapping presents.
I’m on a treasure hunt this Christmas: to find God and the joy of Christ’s birth in every still, quiet, sometimes crazy, moment. Will you join me?