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 http://MelindaInman.com/blog/. To find her work and to be notified of future published novels, follow her at http://bit.ly/MelindasBooks/.

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12 comments:

  1. Great reminder! Never lose sight of The Reason. Blessings!

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  2. Melinda, this is exactly what I’m experiencing during this time of year. And that’s a good thing. I had to do a rewrite of book 3 in my current series and time with family, friends, and other commitments are slowing things down. For which I am so thankful. Book 3 will be so much stronger, but even if it isn’t, the time I spend with the blessings (people!) God has put in my life is so worth it. I was painting a China cabinet for my wife today, when I could’ve been writing. I am about to head out the door to attend a company Christmas party, when I could be writing. But I honestly don’t mind. I painted today with earphones in, listening to worship music as I restored the China cabinet left to my wife by her father, who passed away two years ago. It was a holy time. I expect the rest of the season to be like that. And I look forward to it. I am so blessed.

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    1. I don't see the reply I posted earlier to you, so I'll reply again. I'm glad this was timely for you. It's so easy to get busy with the mundane, rather than to live intentionally and in the moment the Lord has for us. I'm glad this was an encouragement to you as you seized the moments the Lord gave you for this day. God bless you, brother.

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  3. Thank you Melinda - it is so so easy to get caught up in the wrapping and forget the real present.

    This paragraph hit home for me today

    When we pare away the unnecessary and focus on Christ...., we come away recharged spiritually. We come away in awe. We come away inspired.

    Thank you

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    1. It’s a temptation we all experience at this time of year, no matter the temptation. Thanks for commenting.

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  4. Melinda, I so needed this reminder right now. I was stressing because I am way behind my list, my son is daily disappointed the tree is not up yet, and have the added burden of caring for my parents - both of them down with unexpected health issues.

    These are the very questions I need to stop and reflect on:

    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?

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    1. That’s the solution. By the grace of God, we must stop and connect with him or we aren’t realky experiencing the joy of Christmas at all. It’s a struggle we all face! Thanks for commenting!

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  5. Melinda, thank you for this invitation and reminder to draw near to the Lord and rest in Him long enough to hear His lesson. So much to experience with God. I don't want to miss it! God bless you and yours and Merry Christmas!

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    1. I may have responded earlier. If so, I don't see the comment, so I'm responding again. It's a reminder that I need myself. The Lord calls us to focus on him. Bless you, sister.

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  6. Thank you Melinda for this reminder. I have to admit that I get overwhelmed with the frenzy of this season--the decorations, shopping, Christmas cards. Part of it is that these are things that do not come easily to me and I don't necessarily find enjoyable which just adds to my stress. However, I can focus on Jesus and the celebration of his first coming. That I can definitely do!!

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    1. I say, eliminate the parts you don't enjoy. They are burdens you may not need to carry. Ask the Lord about it. Put it before him, and then follow his leading. Do whatever you must do to keep the top priorities at the top. Jesus is the reason. Bless you, sister.

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  7. Dear Melinda!

    I can confirm what you're saying in your first two sentences.

    During the last couple of days, I've done something that required that I reached out to a lot of Christians. (I often do that) but I have experienced A LOT MORE OF STRESS among the Christians I've reached out to during December.

    As you say; this season should not be like that; it should be a time where we recharge, but that's not the case for the majority, far from.

    This spoke to me:

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

    That's what Christmas is about.

    As always when you write something, I come away inspired and encouraged.

    Blessings!
    Edna Davidsen

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