Beneath The Ribbons And Bows

I was crushed. The second the words left her mouth, on an already emotionally hard morning, my spirit broke. No matter how hard I tried, I didn’t measure up, and I wasn’t enough. The truth had settled deep in the pit of my stomach. Her words were clear, and and they were like daggers to my heart. I. Was. Not Enough. The words kept coming at me as I desperately tried to compose myself. I. Was. Not. Enough. I never was, and I never will be.

No amount of trying, and no amount of striving for perfection could hide the truth. Just like no matter how many laws were upheld or religious rituals were honored, it is never enough.

But Jesus.

It was early October, and the weekend before, we were shopping for pajamas for our 3 year old, Charlie. Displayed on a corner fixture were Christmas outfits. It was a reminder to me that we needed to get the kids their Christmas outfits before they sold out.

The next morning, as I was driving to work, I was talking to my cousin and talking through what outfits we were going to get the children, and joy began to well up in my heart that Christmas was coming so soon. This was a joy that was beneath the pretty outfits, the ribbons and bows, the gifts, the trees, and all of the preparations. It was the joy that entered the world one stary night in Bethlehem in the form of a baby, born of virgin..

This got me thinking, it wasn’t even Halloween yet, is it too early to start preparing for Christmas?

No. If Christmas outfits are going to be sold out before Halloween, than the answer is NO! And it’s not too early to begin preparing our hearts for the Christmas season either. However you still won’t catch me listening to Christmas music until Thanskgiving Day!

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
Galations 4:4-6

I think of how easy it is to get caught up in seeing ourselves as not enough, and focusing so much on our imperfections can be drowning. But one thing that I have been learning is the need to take my eyes off of myself and turn them to the One who is more than enough. Jesus. So, even now, I am preparing my heart for Christmas. Beneath plans of the ribbons and bows, the presents, the trees, and the preparations for the season, I am making room in my heart that knows it’s not enough, to remember the One who entered the world as a baby to bring peace to the wrestless heart. He was born to live, and die, then rise again from the dead to redeem us from a law we could never fully uphold.

A couple weeks ago at church as I was worshipping I heard this nagging voice in my head saying Who do you think you are worshipping Jesus? You are unworthy to worship Him. The voice was right. I had to stop singing for a few moments to compose myself, before asking Who is my Jesus that He should be worshipped? The One who is more than enough. Son of God. Wonderful Savior. Blessed Redemer. God with us. And that is enough for my troubled heart.

Maybe you are feeling how I felt just a few weeks ago, like you can never measure up. I want to encourage you to pray this prayer with me, and turn your eyes onto Jesus, who is more than enough to fill your unsettled heart.

Abba, Father, the truth hurts and can feel suffocating, but I am not enough nad no amounth of striving or trying for perfection can make me enough.. But I know You are more than enough to crush my fragile failures and inadequacies as I make room in my heart for You. So, as I begin to prepare myself for the Christmas season, may I remember that You bring joy to my troubled heart, and peace to my restlessness. May I sit at your feet in humility as I remember Your worthiness. And may You always remind me when I am feeling unworthy of the true beauty of this season that can never be wrapped in a box. The beauty that you came from heaven to earth to reveal the power of Your love. In His Precious name. Amen.

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