Learning to Embrace CHRISTmas (with Joy, Grace, and Childlike Wonder)

I flipped the calendar page from November to December and about flipped out. So many squares with so many To-Do’s. It was like a magic show. The list seemed to grow before my very eyes. Eyes that were looking forward to the spirit of Christmas. The sparkle. The essence. The joy. The birth!

But all those things I’d haphazardly penciled onto our family calendar had somehow multiplied into activities inducing major stress rather than fueling major joy.

And the thought occurred to me: I need to schedule in some non-stressful joy-bringing To-Do’s, and pronto. Or wait. Maybe I just need to carve out some time for REST through the busy season so this mama doesn’t have a major meltdown by December 24th.

You know the line from the song “O Holy Night” where it talks about the weary world rejoicing? I totally identify with that. I wanna rejoice. But I feel weary. Down to my favorite fuzzy winter socks.

And not because my job as a mom is so taxing (although it is sometimes). But because of the pile-up of all those pesky little things: Christmas cards, gift-buying, gift-wrapping, gift-giving, Christmas concerts, end of the year school stuff, not to mention the everyday mommying and working, and attending a growing number of Christmas parties. All the events. All the To-Do’s. Frankly they all sound exhausting right now. (Can anyone else relate? Please someone. Anyone. Tell me I’m not alone in this.)

I know this is a season of joy and a season of giving. This is not the season to complain. Especially with all the blessings we just finished counting in November.

But what if you’re all given out. What if you feel more like giving up. Where the heart cries: “Restore to me the joy of my salvation” because your joy feels lost.

I want to have the kind of joy that is fairly bursting to Go Tell It on the Mountain. To tell the world about the gift of love that came down to earth in the form of a baby — the Christmas baby who grew in stature and wisdom, who cared about us so much He chose to demonstrate His love in an earth-shattering, life-changing way; loving us all the way to the cross.

But if I allow myself to drown in my anxieties and wallow in my To-Do’s (versus saturate in His joy), what message does this send to the watching world about His saving grace?

And what about the Prince of Peace? I say He is dwelling in my heart, but my I’m-gonna-freak-out actions speak otherwise.

“For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of PEACE.” ~ Isaiah 9:6

So weary mother, please know you’re not alone. We’re right there with you!

And together, we can fight the rush of this season with His sweet rest.

Let’s intentionally slow down and soak in His peace here on earth, allowing His joy time to shine through our words and actions, revealing to the world the grace, the wonder, and the love of our Savior.

And as we do, our priorities will shift, our burdens will lighten, and our attitudes will find room to improve. We may even feel like singing Joy to the World again and mean every single word of it.

May the God of all peace refresh and revitalize your heart and mind as you seek Him this December.

Cheering for you and praying for us all as we embrace this season of joy.

PS – Stay tuned for Friday’s Masterpiece Weekend post on ways to spur on joy. I’ll also include some crafty Christmas ideas for the kids and fun recipes for you. Meanwhile, JOY ON!


Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family's party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won't go away.

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  1. Christina says

    I can totally relate to the stresses of the season, going so fast that I miss the Peace. I came down with a nasty cold last night but somehow relieved that it made me stay home today and take my day at a much slower pace. Giving me time to catch up with The Masterpiece Mom. I’m so thankful for the ministry you gals started and how God is speaking encouragement into my life.

    • says

      Love your perspective, Christina! And so glad that even in the midst of a nasty head cold you found time to catch up on The Masterpiece Mom. Now that’s loyalty! We hope you’re feeling much better!!!
      It is with awe and grateful hearts that we give thanks for the community God has established (and continues to establish) through this ministry. I know we’ve said it before, but moms are our kind of people! We are quite giddy to keep the encouragement coming in the new year. I mean, really. Can you ever over-encourage a mom?!

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