Being Still, Christmas, Five Minute Friday scribblings

Only: What Was It Like?

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—ONLY. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. We write for five minutes on a given word. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out the Five Minute Friday website. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

ONLY

What must it have been like for Joseph and Mary that first night of Jesus’ life? Before even the shepherds came? Before townspeople began to whisper? Before the wise men visited?

When they were the only two beholding the Savior of the world wrapped in dirty cloths, nestled in their arms?

Did awe overwhelm them as they gazed into His perfect, tiny face? As they watched his lips twitch and pucker for sustenance?

What must it have been like? 

To be the first to see hints of what this baby boy would look like?

The chilly night breezes . . . the earthy scent of animals nearby.

How was it to be the only ones with Jesus, before angels announced His birth?

In the quiet of the stable, Joseph and Mary must have adored their baby. Perhaps gazed in wonder that the essence of God who created everything could be captured into the body of one wee babe.

What must it have been like to sense God’s presence hovering over them in the stillness of the night?

When I think about the chaos that now accompanies “Christmas,” I wonder if we’ve lost that sense of awe, the beauty of stillness.

What if we were able to focus only on Jesus? If we let the cacophony of the malls slip away, even for a little while, and sat in His presence . . . could we know His presence?

I have not been great about being still and giving my heart only to Him. I have let the busy-ness of preparations creep in and distract my mind and spirit.

But maybe, in the days that remain, I can spend some time only with Jesus.  Sitting in awe of this God-man who shed heavenly robes to put on rags and walk among mankind.

Maybe I can worship Him as I listen to Christmas songs and sing them.

He is the only one worthy of our worship. When we set our hearts on worshiping Him—on acknowledging the gift He gave—maybe we can re-discover the joy-overflowing that comes when we’ve been with Him.

What about you? How do you worship Jesus in the middle of the busy Christmas season? What is one of your family’s favorite Christmas traditions?

This will be my final post until the new year. I want to take time to bed fully present with my family and simplify my schedule for the next few weeks. Know that I cherish each of you, my readers, and I will pray God meets you wherever you are and reminds you that He is truly “God with us.”

Click to Tweet: How was it to be the only ones with Jesus, before angels announced His birth?

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday—Only

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26 thoughts on “Only: What Was It Like?”

  1. One of our favorite family traditions involves a mouse…but that’s the subject of my next blog post…so you’ll have to wait to find out. Merry Christmas my friend.

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    1. Thank you, Annette. I’m being more intentional about not being too busy this season. For the most part, it’s working. 🙂 I hope you find moments of beautiful stillness too, friend!

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  2. Well, my favourite Christmas tradition involves reruns of “I Love Lucy”, a few six-packs of beers, and an extremely large revolver…and Boxing Day usually is given over to doing some hole-patching on the walls, and perhaps a window replacement or two.

    Too ill this year, which may be as well.

    I do enjoy the stillness of the predawn hours of the Advent season. I’m awake anyway, and simply enjoy the quiet, the dogs breathing and snoring and sometimes chasing the UPS truck in their dreams. That aspect might not be all that different from part of what mary and Joesph experienced.

    Do you know the song, “The Friendly Beasts”? It tells the nativity story from the animals’ viewpoint. Here, it’s sung by Garth Brooks.

    Looking forward to the wisdom of your blog in 2018!

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    1. “I Love Lucy!” Such a fun show. THat’s what you watch when you need to laugh and cleanse the spirit a bit. 🙂 When I’m up in the pre-dawn hours, I love the quiet, too. It’s got to be soothing to you to hear the doggy breaths and snores. I haven’t heard that song, but I’m going to look it up now.

      I’m praying for you, my friend. And I look forward to hearing your thoughts on next year’s blogs. Gentle hugs!

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  3. Jeanne,
    I love thinking about being the only ones there with Jesus before all the clamor and clatter began. What must it have been like to be the only ones with this wee babe that would eventually save our souls? Wonderful imagery and food for thought this am.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. I’d never really thought about this idea of those moments before everyone came to wonder at the baby Savior, until last night. As I asked God to give me words for the post, that was the idea that came. I am so thankful that we can have our “only” time with Him, uninterrupted by all the demands and obligations. We just need to purpose to sit with Him. Thank you for stopping over here, sweet friend!

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    1. Julie, thank you for your kind words. I just began picturing what it may have been like. May we both have those times of stillness in the midst of our preparations to celebrate Jesus. I hope your Christmas is merry too, Julie!

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    1. I know it’s impossible to ignore or not do some of the “Christmas stuff.” But, maybe if we focus more on Jesus and less on everything else we can come to Christmas morning with peace and joy, right? May we both focus on Him in every moment, every activity, every preparation. 🙂 I so appreciate you stopping by! I hope your Christmas is wonderful!

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  4. jeanne, i loved your post today. that scripture about Immanuel has been coming home over and over to me this year. thinking about what it was like b/f everyone arrived at the manger has been helpful:)
    hope you have a wonderful xmas:)

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    1. Martha, Immanuel keeps coming into my days too. I think God really wants me to know that He is with me this season. “God with us” . . . what an amazing promise from God. I hope your Christmas is wonderful too!

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  5. Hi Jeanne! I think the body of Christ has lost its sense of awe, the beauty of stillness. For a good sum of years now, my family and I haven’t decored or become preoccupied with the chaos and noise of preparing for Christmas in the traditional sense: the cacophony of the malls, the trimmings in and out of the house, the colors and ornaments, the trees and tinsel. By God’s grace, He’s shown us how to sit in His presence, how to be still in his company, how to avoid being cumbered about like Martha…

    I’m glad you are going to intentionally take a break to be fully present with your family this time of year. I pray for you too that “God meets you wherever you are and remind you that He is truly is God with us.” May your family be blessed and nourished by the still small voice that only the Spirit can provide in the midst of the season!

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    1. Erendira, I think that you’re right. In general, life seems to move so fast that we forget the beauty and the peace stillness with God gives us. I love that there are so many ways to honor God during this season. I pray that your time with your family this season finds you making wonderful, laughter-filled memories, and especially drawing close to the One who loves us all the most!

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  6. Have a wonderful peaceful Christmas Jeanne! I’ve kept Christmas quite simple over the last few years and thankfully do not have to navigate the busy parking lots and malls. There’s a stillness to Christmas Eve that I always have felt since a young child. Maybe it was His loving presence I feel due to be so focused on the birth of Him? And my hope is that many feel it, His loving presence at Christmas and all throughout the year! Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thank you, Lynn! There is beauty in simplicity, isn’t there? I’m glad you have that stillness with the Lord, especially on Christmas Eve. I’ll join you in your prayer that many can feel that stillness that God offers, that we all sense His amazing love for us, offered in the gift of a child. Have a glorious, peace-filled Christmas, my friend.

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  7. Jeanne, such a sweet, thought provoking post. What was it like for them to reflect on this gift given to them? They had know idea all that was to come as he grew. So what does it mean for us to reflect simply on the birth of Jesus?

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    1. Thank you, Stephanie. We never know all that will come as our kids grow, do we? But I imagine this was especially true for Mary and Joseph. I hope we both have time to reflect on Jesus’ birth in the next couple of weeks. Thankful for you, friend!

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