Thursday, December 9, 2010

Where is the Joy?

I've tried. I really have. I've begun writing in my head. I've sat and stared at a blank screen. I've laid awake at night thinking. The words just haven't come. Other times, thoughts have come to me while I've been driving or bathing the girls, and then when I've had time to organize them into writing, I've lost them. I feel like I've been in some sort of desert.

My goal when I started this blog wasn't to keep anyone updated on my family or to share pictures of my girls. I started my blog to help me stay in touch with what really matters. I wanted to remind myself that I must delight daily in God's goodness; that I must seek His face continually for Him to speak to me. I wanted to share what God was doing in my life; to journal in such a way that I could look back on it and remind myself of what He'd done.

I've experienced so much since August, that I can't begin to describe it all. I am working in a new job, doing something far outside my comfort zone. Yet, God has shown me that this is exactly where He wants me, and He's equipped me for it. I've known for a long time that my gifts lie in teaching and helping, and in this job, I get to do both! What a blessing!

This time of year though, many of us teachers start to feel the pressure of the season. The kids are bouncing off the walls most days, but some days they're in tears because someone hurt their feelings. We have kids in our classes that don't celebrate Christmas, so we often can't listen to holiday music or read our favorite books. One of our teachers even remarked, "I feel like I've lost my Christmas spirit!"

That got me to thinking. The spirit of Christmas isn't really in us, is it? It's not about us or a feeling at all. I don't have a typical classroom this year. I teach in a computer lab, and I don't have a class to call my own. I teach almost 1,000 students in a month's time. I'm not making Christmas crafts, and I'm not reading a Christmas book everyday.

And because I'm teaching in a public school again, I'm certainly not sharing the story of Jesus with my students like I was able to do the past four years at the private school where I taught. This morning on the way to work, as I listened to the radio, the announcer spoke about what it must have been like to be Mary or Joseph.

God placed this in my heart a long time ago. When Emma Leigh was a baby, He helped me see the humanity of Christmas. He helped me to understand what Emmanuel really means. God coming to Earth as a baby, a tiny helpless human being is what Emmanuel is. God coming to be with us. This speaks to me in a way that means so much. I relate to this as a parent because I know the longings that Mary must have felt as she held her baby for the first time. I know the dreams Joseph must have had for his son. No, I can't imagine holding the Creator in my arms as an infant or what it must have been like to gaze into the eyes that saw me before I saw Him.

But this morning as I listened to the radio, I became even more aware of the fact that the spirit of Christmas doesn't lie within us! Emmanuel--God in the flesh--is the miracle of Christmas! And it's the Holy Spirit living inside of us that gives us that joy!

If you're looking for the spirit of Christmas, don't look within. Instead, look to Emmanuel. Look to the tiny baby who came to Earth for one purpose only. He came that you may have life, and have it more abundantly. He came that you might have joy. The joy is in the baby!

1 comment:

Sparkz said...

I enjoyed meeting you guys and getting to talk to you the other day! I hope you had a Happy Easter!