Christmas is Over, Now What?

I love Christmas! I love celebrating the birth of my Lord and Savior and I love everything that goes with it. It is a hectic time of the year, but full of family traditions and time with family and friends. After it is over, there is a little bit of a let down. As I look around my house this morning at all of the decorations I need to take down and put away, I am feeling a little of the after Christmas let down. The gifts have all been opened, Christmas baking finished, wonderful Christmas Eve service over and there seems to be a lull in the calendar.

It seems like the time between Christmas and New Year’s seems to fly by each year. I always remember Christmas and New Year’s Eve, but not much in between. This year I want to make good use of these few days. I am blessed to have my daughter home from college, my high school senior is off of school and my husband off of work so we will be able to spend lots family time together.

 It is a wonderful time to look back over the past year and spend some time recognizing all God has done for us. Some of those things have been wonderful blessings and others have been challenging times. 

Our lives are busy and we go from one event to the next, from one day to the next with barely any thought to what has happened. We get so focused on what is happening tomorrow that we have trouble appreciating what is happening in the moment, let alone taking stock in the blessings over the past year. 

Growing in our faith is one of the things I pray for each year for each member of my family. Spending some time looking back over the past year and seeing how God was with us in the good times and the bad ones is one way to reaffirm our faith in our Lord and to give Him praise for all He has done.

I want to challenge all of my readers to find some way to look back over the past year and see where God was active in your life. Right off the bat, a few things come to my mind. My daughters have had great first semesters of school, I was blessed to speak to women in India and Singapore, had my first book published and my husband and I are part of a new church plant. On the more challenging side, we lost a dear friend to ALS, we survived the college application process for my older daughter, my father had complications from eye surgery and  we left our church of 13 years. In all of those challenging times, I can look back and see where God was working and remember feeling His presence and His peace. What about you? How has God blessed you and comforted you in 2012?

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11 thoughts on “Christmas is Over, Now What?

  1. Great challenge. It’s hard to see God’s hand in our day to day lives. My dad used to say, “Hindsight is 20/20.” Looking back allows us to see what God was doing each step of the way. Thanks for helping us to use this “lull” in the year to reflect on what God has done.

    • Thanks, Chris! I love the “hindisght is 20/20” because it is often only after the fact that I can look back and see what God was doing in the midst of a situation. Hopefully taking stock in what God has done in 2012 will strengthen our faith as we enter 2013.

  2. I love the thought of reviewing all God’s blessings over the past year. It shows us how rich we really are.
    Thank you for your post.

    • Julie, I think we all need to take time to look back over what God has done in our lives this past year and this seems like the perfect time. Recalling all God has done for us is the perfect way to start 2013. Blessings!

  3. I love this subject because it causes me to think about how great this year was. I used to think it was my worst year, until now. I started 2012 believing for breakthrough. I received them, but not like I thought. Most were very painful. I went to a church ran by demonic spirits like jezebel, pride, etc. Our pastor and wife are blind to those spirits and allowed them to run the church which caused so many to leave. Others came, but with spirits themselves. A false prophet came and said that we were better than Jesus. So many blindly followed that man and gave Him money; thinking that was the answer to their problems. Some were promised houses, cars, more money, financial breakthroughs. But they were all lies. The Lord told me to leave that church and gave me 2 Corinthians 6:17 (Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.”). He told me if I stayed any longer I will begin to act like them. That is what caused me to act. The best and hardest thing was leaving that church. I had to leave my husband there because he is blind also. So many may think I’m out of order because I’m not where my husband is. I did also. But the Lord taught me about a woman in the Bible who followed her husband’s ungodliness and received the same punishment he got (Ananias and Sapphira). Knowing all this did not make it easy; but my soul was at stake. The Lord told me I could do more for them being separated from them. That was one of the best things I did. I have learned about the true God; the true Savior. I learned about God’s true Love and His truth. I learned persecution by those you loved. I learned the loneliness of walking with Jesus. Through it all, I learned His faithfulness to us and through prayer I’m seeing what He said to be true when He told me I am doing more for them being separated. I learned to die to self. I learned to die for the brethren. Those I separated from are still my brethren. I learned forgiveness. I learned to say “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing”. I learned to say “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge”. I learned when people reject Jesus don’t command fire from heaven to kill them (Luke 9:54-56). I learned humility. I learned to not gloat when God dealt with my enemies. I learned to pray and love my enemies. I learned to pray for my brothers and sisters that are on the battle field. I learned to not be concerned just for myself, but for others. I learned Jesus; I learned His Love… So this was a good year. Be blessed in Him…

  4. I wanted you to know that I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. http://ichosetolive.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/very-inspiring-blogger-award-nomination/The link will lead you to the guidelines if you would like to participate. Thanks for being a great inspiration, not only to me, but to many people that visit this blog. God Bless!

    • FaithNHopeAlways, thanks for the kind words. I am really enjoying blogging and it is wonderful that God is using it to inspire you. I hope He continues to use it to reach others for Christ.

  5. Hi Shelley, wonderful blog…thanks for dropping by also to read mine. it’s great tp know there are people like you, people who love God and pursue His plans over their life who are also in the blogosphere to declare His word 🙂 keep it up 🙂

    • Richavady, Thanks! I will definitely check out your blog as well. I am new to blogging but love the idea of being able to share God’s Word with people all over the world. It is great to see how He is working in the lives of His people through their blogs. Blessings!

  6. Hi Shelly, Thank you for visiting “Beautiful, Courageous You”! I am inspired by other writers… like yourself. It gives me great hope to know there are other women pursuing the heart of God. I have often felt like giving up on my writing ‘journey’ but you have given me a fresh inspiration – thank you x

    • Beautifulcourageousyou, I was encouraged by your blog as well. May God continue to use your writing to bless others.

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