What Matters Is Immanuel

by | Nov 18, 2014 | Love God

I’m thinking about Christmas this morning.

Maybe because it snowed Saturday, or because I purchased our first Christmas gift over the weekend.

I love Christmas.

I love it in June, I love it today (yes, even before Thanksgiving), I love it all year long.

I heard a beautiful rendition of “Mary, Did You Know?” last week, and my heart about melted. Video is below.

There are many reasons I love Christmas, but the main one? Immanuel.

Immanuel:  God with us

This is me, and as far back as I can remember, I’ve been this way.

So, just because I sometimes decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving, that makes me wrong?? That makes me love and appreciate Thanksgiving less? I love Thanksgiving too, and my intent is certainly not to skip over it.

I’ll never forget a few years ago, the weekend before Thanksgiving we finished our Christmas decorating, and I shared my excitement on Facebook. I received mixed comments, but the one I remember the most is, “You can’t do that. It’s not Thanksgiving yet.”

I can’t do that?? Really??

Just because this person chooses to decorate after Thanksgiving, that doesn’t mean I have to.

believe ornament edited

Christmas happens in the heart.

I choose to believe in the miracle of Christmas all year long. The miracle of God coming down to dwell with us, His people. The miracle of Baby Jesus, the Savior of the world, born to a virgin in the most humbling way, in a stable.

Why wouldn’t I want to celebrate that every day, all year long? Why wouldn’t I want to decorate to celebrate my Savior’s birth, even if it is before Thanksgiving??

Yes, Christmas has become terribly commercialized, and it saddens my heart that the focus of this special holiday is put on less important matters. The beautiful celebration of Immanuel, has become filled with stress, debt, unrealistic expectations, and finding the perfect gift and going to extreme ways to get it.

My prayer is for this year to be different. My prayer is for us to return to Immanuel. To return to the miracle of Christmas.

May we begin to prepare our hearts today.

And really, it doesn’t make a difference when we decorate, or if we do at all.

What matters is Immanuel

What matters is Immanuel.

Merry Christmas, my friend.

Julie

 

It’s a blessing to link up with Holly Barrett for Testimony Tuesday.

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15 Comments

  1. Betsy

    Hey, I’ve been glad to see you linking up with Holly and also with Brittany, friend! I love Christmas too. I’m going to prepare my heart for Emmanuel with Thanksgiving. 😉 Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but I don’t decorate much for it. I love to celebrate Advent, the whole December long, and Emmanuel is part of that.

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      The link ups have been such a joy for me. It’s been wonderful to see you there too. I love learning Thanksgiving is your favorite holiday. Do you celebrate in a special way with your family? Thanks for being here today.

      Reply
  2. Helene

    I love that video! And I am buying presents and enjoying the snow too! I have a semi-secret radio station on my smart phone even playing some Christmas tunes when my husband is not home! He’s a NO-Christmas-till-after-Thanksgivng guy!

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Semi-secret radio station… love that Helene! Isn’t it fun that we are all wired differently, and appreciate different ways of doing things?? Glad we share the love for Christmas. Thanks for stopping over today!

      Reply
  3. Sheila Kimball

    I choose to believe in the miracle of Christmas all year long. I do too, Julie. And while we may wait till after Thanksgiving to put up the tree I am with you that it is a personal decision and one which doesnt detract from anything. Keeping Christmas in our hearts everyday, in a paraphrased quote of Ebenezer Scrooge, is exactly what Immanuel would like as His Birthday Gift. Blessings…

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Keeping Christmas in our hearts every day for Immanuel’s Birthday gift… I like that, Sheila! Great thoughts come to my mind through your words. There’s a post in there somewhere! What a beautiful truth today, and I’m thankful you shared it here. Bless you!

      Reply
  4. Kim

    What a beautiful version of that song! Personally, I am a decorate after Thanksgiving person, though the music can start Nov. 1. But, I leave it all up until Jan. 6, Epiphany. That being said, going into others homes who have decorated earlier does not bother me. It sort of gets me slowly more into the season.

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Yes, Kim. I enjoy how we all have our own preferences of how we celebrate the season. I’m thrilled you shared what you do here. Thank you! I like the music too. That can start any time. Bless you, friend!

      Reply
  5. Beth S.

    I actually said to my husband today that I wanted to start decorating for Christmas. 🙂 My heart is so happy that he will be home this year but also still sad because we will be missing our eldest son. It will be the first time in his 24 years that he will not be home. Oh that’s just hard for this mom. But my heart is so full of gratitude for how God has loved on my family this year that I want to fully embrace this season and all it means. Thanks for the inspiration found through your words. Much love. xoxo

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Beth, I imagine it’ll be a bittersweet Christmas for you and your family. Praise God your husband is home and what a blessing it’ll be to celebrate this year together. I’ll be keeping you in my prayers over the next few weeks. How long is your son away? Much love to you, too!

      Reply
  6. Jen @ Growing in Faith

    First, isn’t the Pentatonix version of “Mary Did You Know?” simply amazing?

    Also, I’m one of those “You can’t do that?!” people…but I find myself changing. I’m already listening to Christmas music and ready to decorate. And I find myself care far less for the commercial side of thing since I returned from living in Africa. A shift of perspective, and a change in heart, I suppose.

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Jen, you made me smile. I used to be a “you can’t do that” person too. I can only imagine what a shift in perspective you have after returning from Africa. That’s life changing. The commercial side of Christmas means less and less each year for me too. And I’m very happy about that. Enjoy the music, my friend!

      Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      And yes, the Pentatonix’ Mary Did You Know stops me in my tracks. Love it!

      Reply
  7. Holly Barrett

    Immanuel is my favorite of Jesus’ names. What a blessing we have in a God who would come to be with us. Thanks for linking up for Testimony Tuesday and enjoy your decorations, friend!

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      It’s one of my favorites, too. Some decorations are going up today. 🙂 Thanks for hosting Testimony Tuesday… one of my favorite places! Blessings on your weekend, friend!

      Reply

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