A New Year, A New Challenge

Well, it’s been a while! My, oh my, the Christmas season is busy! No matter how you slice it, this time of year rushes by so quickly. We’ve been intentional the last few years about having one full day for just our family. Otherwise, we find that our family time gets squished in here and there and there’s no joy in it.

I remember years where we would rush the kids to open their gifts from us so we could get out the door to the next Christmas get together. They’d have to rip off the wrapping, look at their gift, and then set it aside. No time to play or enjoy it. I really didn’t like that and I know they didn’t either.

It’s not always the same day in the Christmas season but we make sure there is one. This year it was Christmas eve. We had the whole day to spend together! I loved it. For the extrovert teenager it was painful :). Oh, to have to spend a whole day with just my family! How awful!

I take it in stride though. I remember those years where I wanted to be with friends, not family and I came back around to a healthier balance. I know he loves us and he did have fun after all.

We played games, went to a movie, opened gifts and then enjoyed them and had time to play with them. Then in the evening I set the table with a red and white snowflake tablecloth, candles, and Christmas dishes. I made my Oma’s famous lasagna and we turned out the lights and ate by candle light. Sounds fancy and almost romantic, right?

Well, you have to remember there were 10 kids around the table! So, blowing lightly to see if the candles would flicker, spilled milk and water, whining about what was served, hopping up and down from their seats, and general chaos was involved. But for a moment, it was beautiful. Andrew and I glanced at each other in the midst of it and the look said, this is good, this is beautiful, this is right. (Of course, the chaos didn’t allow me to even think for a moment about snapping a photo of it!)

Whatever your Christmas brought you, I hope you found a moment of peace, a moment of pure joy, in the Christmas season. I hope that, as our pastor shared, you were surprised anew by the reason we celebrate. Even in the midst of busyness, chaos, or even pain, Jesus can break through and give us that moment of peace. He can give us the reminder that it is good.

As usher in a new year, my hope and prayer is to seek more of that peace and goodness from Jesus. I am challenging myself this year to look more at Him and less at the world around me. I am challenging myself to dig more into His Word and Truth and find my contentment there. I extend that challenge to you as well!

We are going to begin a year long chronological Bible reading with lots of other believers! I’m so excited to have a plan to really get into the Word everyday. I know I’ll have days I fail but I’m determined to jump back on the wagon anytime I fall off. Come along for the ride! Everyone is welcome!

Go over to my friend Becca’s blog, http://www.joyfullybecca.com and read her latest blog about this Bible reading! It’s going to be a great journey!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

4 thoughts on “A New Year, A New Challenge

    • Jillian, I think there will be some get togethers at Life 21 throughout the year! I’ll let you know what I hear. A friend from there started this while idea. It’s going to be great! I’m glad you are doing it too!


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