Reichart Ramblings
The Thoughts & Travels of Shane & Amanda Reichart

Read This Before Stressing About Christmas

Nov 27, 2023 - Amanda Reichart

Things just shifted! Did you feel it too?! Suddenly the busyness of Christmas is upon us! Buying Christmas presents, going to parties, trying to fit work in before a visit to see family, and eating and watching ALL the Christmassy things before they’re gone! Less than a month is all we have left to take in this season before the start of a fresh new year claims our attention.

Our busyness doesn’t always leave a lot of time for reflection or even enjoyment this time of year and amongst all the parties and holiday cheer there can also be a lot of pain, stress and striving. Things from our past we miss or regret, unhealthy family members you feel the need to interact with, things you’ve been waiting for that have yet to come or finding the perfect present for everyone on your list. While Christmas time can be fun and exciting, it can also be overwhelming. It’s easy to get caught up in the doing and forget about just being present in the moment.


This topic seems to be coming up a lot for me lately. God is much more concerned about who we are becoming and much less concerned about what we are doing. Our whole culture, however, is results oriented! We want tangible proof of success, whether that be the number in our bank account, on the tag in our jeans or a title or position affixed to a door. And while none of these are bad things to work towards, it’s all too easy to place all our focus on them and neglect the most important things in life.

There’s one sentence in the story of Jesus’ birth that has captivated me for years. Luke 2:19 says, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” How overwhelmed Mary must have been! She had just given birth for the first time away from family, away from her home, and lying in a barn! This is not where she saw her life going! Her whole world was forever changed. THE WHOLE WORLD was forever changed! I imagine her wrapping up her tiny child. Holding him close and then just staring down into his newborn face taking mental pictures in her mind of each movement he made, of every noise that escaped his little lips. Trying to grasp the magnitude of everything that had taken place over the last nine months to culminate in this moment. How often did she go back through these treasured memories? How many more did she accumulate over the years as Jesus grew up? Were those the thoughts that bubbled up as she watched her son endure the cross? Did they somehow carry her through the days after his burial before his resurrection? Did the moments she spent just being with, just reflecting on her son and her LORD carry her through the darkest parts of her life? Did they help her with her waiting, with her grieving?

I have no doubt Mary was changed by her time spent with Jesus. In her waiting for Him. By waiting on him and being with him Mary became like Him. Because when you interact with Christ you can’t help but walk away changed.

This Christmas season I hope you will take time to stop and reflect. To gather up memories in the presence of Christ like treasures. Set the doing aside and instead spend some time just being. Be with your family. Be with your friends. Be with Jesus. Set your work, your phone, your stress aside and focus for a moment on who you are becoming. Not what you’re giving or getting. Because he is in the waiting.

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