I have subscribed to a blog by a Christian writer, Bonnie Gray, called Faith Barista, for some years. I always enjoy her writing and view on life and am fortunate to have a copy of her book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace. In the run up to Christmas Day, there was time to look at her blog. Christmas Eve was entitled Come. Rest Your Heart. It's Christmas Eve.
Brilliant invitation. And as I read of her visit to her son's kindergarten to tell of how her family celebrates Christmas, her words touched those deep places in my heart.
As she shared her little nativity set and the candles which represented the hope of the star, the peace of the angels, the joy of the shepherds and the love of the magi, she commented: "If we always have Jesus in our hearts, we will always have Christmas."
And of course I agree with that, just as I am encouraged by Nanette Elkins to make room for Jesus in my heart so that I could keep him at the centre this Christmas.
So, on Boxing Day, as I reflect on all the busyness of Christmas, I realised that these wonderful women have sown seeds which did indeed help me do that.
I wasn't consciously focusing on the person of Jesus as I wrapped presents and prepared meals, but the fruits of his presence were evident. Cooking a large roast dinner is something I only do once a year: at Christmas. A challenge to coordinate and have everything ready on time. Would the turkey be overcooked and dry? Could I manage to get the vegetables all ready at the same time? Would I remember to do everything?
With Richard's help in organising the kitchen, laying the table and serving drinks, and the visit of dear family and friends, stress was absent.
Yes, I was slightly anxious: but not stressed.
Yes, I was busy: but not rushed.
Yes, I was abstracted: but there was always time and energy to talk.
All calm and bright, indeed.
|Adele and Jonny - dearest daughter-in-law and son|
|Karyn and Garth - dearest friends for many years|