For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas Out of Sorts

It's Christmas morning, about 10:00 am. My kids are sound asleep. There are no gifts under the tree. The stockings are lying in a pile on the coffee table. And I'm sitting here with my computer wondering what happened to Christmas.

Oh. We had stockings...
...opened gifts...
...ate dinner...
...enjoyed family...


We've ALWAYS had some Christmas something on Christmas Day.

We didn't bake for our friends and neighbors, and we ALWAYS bake for our neighbors and friends.

This year we didn't do Toys for Tots. We ALWAYS do Toys for Tots.

We didn't drive around drinking designer coffee looking and Christmas lights and singing like we do EVERY year.

Now it is Christmas day, and it is too late for Toys for Tots, gifts and all are done, we are already eating leftovers, and I'm not really keen on looking at lights after the fact.

My heart I've missed Christmas.

It feels like the day came...but Christmas didn't.

Is it just that we haven't done what we always do? Am I missing tradition? Am I missing the familiar? Surely after the last 2 1/2 years I don't suffer from that.

I think it is far simpler...and far more complex...than that. The simply complex fact is...I miss the mass of the Christ.

Christmas isn't about the gifts or the stockings or the dinner or the lights.

It isn't even about the gift of a baby in  manger. If it were, candlelight service at church last night would have fixed my melee.

No. It's different than that.

Christmas isn't about a baby come to save or a "life everlasting".

The mass of the Christ is about relationship. It's not about an aloof King who took time to walk among the vagrants, set a good example, and make promises about when this life is over.

It's about a Creator who had tried every way He could to get involved in life HERE and NOW. The mass of the Christ isn't about God offering us life in heaven. It's about His stepping into our lives here on earth. It's about a God who couldn't reach us through others, so He stepped right into the mess and the ugly and the pain and the craziness and the ways we miss Him so He wouldn't miss us.

The mass of the Christ isn't about what He wants us to be for Him. It's about what He needed to be for us.

A baby in a manger wasn't because it was the only way to reach Him. It's because it was the only way He could reach us.

The entire mass of the Christ is about a God who isn't fascinated with pretty wrapping of perfect lives but is drawn in by the desperate need of the broken.

The Christ-mass has everything to do with the people-mess, and it wasn't about making them perfect. It was about finding them in their imperfection.

It was never about getting people to follow a religion. It was all about opening a door to build a relationship.

Our shopping for Toys for Tots, our looking at lights, our baking for others, family gathering with isn't about activities wrapped in pristine hearts or memories fit for a Rockwell painting. It's about real people finding relationship, making time to reach beyond the usual space of our lives, taking time to see the needs of others...because sometimes what others need is us.

Maybe I'm missing Christmas...because Christmas is missing me.


  1. Perfectly said. He pursues us. He loved us first, chose us first, and brought Jesus to earth to continue to draw us back to Him.

  2. Thank you, my friend. So glad it blessed you. :-)