I always want to find December magical. I dream of wandering round Christmas markets, hot chocolate in hand. Wrapping presents in front of ‘Love Actually’ and munching a mince pie. Watching in delight as family members open thoughtful gifts. Spending time reflecting on the meaning of advent and giving it space.
Instead, I’m generally rushed off my feet! Scrambling around to find last-minute gifts for people, whilst trudging through puddles in wet shoes with a snotty toddler, and racing off to yet another church event, begrudgingly. I find myself wondering if it really is the most wonderful time of the year!
But my word for 2019 has been Philippians 4 v 8-9:
"you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things good, true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse…And God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies."
So this season, I’m lowering my expectations of myself, and I’m working on finding the beauty in what is, instead of resenting what isn’t. The privilege of having people in my life to bless with gifts. The joy of time spent around a table with friends and family and food filled with cinnamon, regardless of the mess hidden behind the cupboard doors. The value of a church family seeking to serve a broken world at the time of year when people are most ready to listen. And the wonder of God most high, wrapped in human frailty because he wants to know me!