Friday, December 7, 2018

Writing at Christmas by Melinda Viergever Inman

Melinda Viergever Inman

Writing at Christmas

Writing our typical content is often difficult this time of year. We have more to do, and our schedules fill quickly. Presents must be purchased, wrapped, and shipped. Projects are often readied for launching in the new year, giving us pressing deadlines. Christmas plays and presentations keep us busy on evenings and weekends, rather than allowing us to recharge.

But, best of all, and maybe also inspiring the most frenzied of our efforts, family arrives, taking us completely away from our work to enjoy an even higher priority—our relationships built on love and commitment.

This is the season to prioritize the Lord, your family, and your giving.

To do so, step away from extra duties, activities, and appointments. Skip that party if you can. Avoid that loud event that will send you home with a headache and regrets. Maybe even dispense with Christmas cards. Minimize your shopping. Stop the craziness.

Focus on the reason—Jesus himself. Spend time with the Lord, concentrating on his Word and prayer. He is what our celebration is all about, and from him flows all else.

 Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus

The main event took place in the lives of an obscure young Jewish woman and her betrothed. It happened in backwater portions of the land of Israel, first in Nazareth and then in Bethlehem, villages void of crowds and noise until taxation forced throngs of people onto the roads and far from home. This created a time much like our own celebration. It cost a lot. It required much.

This most important event was proclaimed by angels, bringing shepherds to their knees. It was accompanied by magi showing up after a journey of many months. It brought the anger of a vicious king and the slaughter of innocent children. This most significant birth brought death and the miraculous, foretastes of what was to come.

When we pare away the unnecessary and focus on Christ, our families, generosity in response to his generous giving of himself, and whatever words, insights, and truths the Lord impresses upon us, we come away recharged spiritually.

We come away in awe. We come away inspired.

You may find yourself writing a different kind of content, words that flow from your heart in adoration of our Savior, rather than marketing, writing goals, and manuscripts. If so, lean into it. Go with the words the Lord impresses upon you. Allow yourself to be refreshed in this season.

In the frenzy of the season, you may find inspiration, as you contemplate the chaos of the young couple battling the crowds to get into Bethlehem—Mary in labor, finding no place to give birth but a barn, most probably a cave under the noisy inn. Imagine birthing, perhaps alone, painfully, and with no idea of what would happen next. Take time to feel the paralyzing terror of the shepherds as they’re floored by the angelic host proclaiming the glory of God. Experience the wonder of the magi as they make their way across the desert in search of a colossal prediction.

Consider those predictions, the first one given at the moment of humanity’s fall. Ponder the foretelling woven all through the Old Testament, culminating in the arrival of Christ, with more to be fulfilled at his return.

What will this teach you? How will you be present in the moment to absorb the lesson the Lord has for you? For, he will indeed have a lesson, and it will be specifically for you.

Will you slow down? Will you pause in the moment when he impresses this truth upon you? Will you take the time to allow him to touch your heart? Will you look up and see Jesus there with hands outstretched, a gift especially for you?

Year by year, day by day, he wants us to experience even more of himself. What gift of himself does he have for you this year? Will you find it by seeking him with all your heart?

Melinda V Inman, Author of Refuge; Fallen; and No Longer Alone

Raised on the Oklahoma plains in a storytelling family, Melinda Viergever Inman now spins tales from her writer’s cave in the Midwest. Her faith-filled fiction illustrates our human story, wrestling with our brokenness and the storms that wreak havoc in our lives. Find her weekly at To find her work and to be notified of future published novels, follow her at