It came and went, now what?!

Whew! It is a lot of work creating the "perfect Christmas" for your family. After all the cooking and cleaning and wrapping; I now know why my mother was always so tired on Dec. 26th. But at Loulie's (much delayed) bedtime tonight, she asked to take Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus to bed with her along with a few sheep. She said "I take Baby Jesus to seep wiff you." Of course we agreed and at 10:30 she was still singing "Happy Birthday to Baby Jesus" from her crib. It was truly one of the best worst things ever! So even though I've spent the better part of my week leading up to Christmas doing beyond ridiculous preparations, I couldn't help but think "SUCCESS" yesterday when Loulie asked me when the Hoy Night was gonna happen. Because the one thing Bert asks for at Christmas is a house full of peace and happiness. Not stress and last minute preparations and a mother in a bad mood. But that we all celebrate Christmas for what it is--a time to be together praising God for the gift of our Savior.
I am ashamed to admit that I have spent a lot of time this season trying to create a festive atmosphere for my family and friends and not near enough time giving to those truly in need. That I have gotten caught up in the tasks of parenting and buying gifts and decorating and not done some of the things for others that I intended to. But a friend of mine says that God can be glorified in any situation as long as your heart is in the right place. So though I haven't been to a homeless shelter and the make a wish tree was empty by the time I got around to picking out a child, I do feel that our advent season has been one of anticipation. Of celebration. And of praise!
That glory can be brought to God in a room full of kids dancing and laughing and singing praise songs.  In a mother so thankful to have her child next to her helping to prepare dinner for their family. In a wall full of Christmas cards filled with pictures of loving families. In a family together praying around the dinner table. That glory can be brought to Christ through all types of preparation. And that the anticipation of advent doesn't end on Christmas Eve. 
That it is not too late to show the love of Jesus to others, to spread his message and to proclaim the good news. Tonight as I finally sat down and looked around at the unwrapped presents and leftover food, I admit that I thought "Now what?" But isn't that the question! Christ came for ALL people and the countdown of advent doesn't end Christmas day. It creates a beginning--that Christmas is a reminder that God loved us so much that he came down in flesh. A friend posed the question today "What if Christ hadn't been born?" I am thankful that we don't have to know the answer to that question.
I am also thankful that because of that gift, there is a new beginning. And that the answer to the question of "Now what?" is to go love on the unloveable, proclaim the Christmas story and continue to anticipate the coming of our Savoir!
Merry Christmas!

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