Whew, We Made It

It is finished! 

Can I confess that when the calendar rolls past 12/25, I sigh with relief. 

The pressure is off to send one more card or shop for one more present or bake one more cookie or attend one more holiday gathering. Curiosity is satisfied and expectations were either met or disappointments have been dealt with. 

It is finished and I’m grateful.

Unexpected emotions.

How did your holidays go? Maybe this year your Christmas was unexpectedly different. The death of a loved one left an empty space at your table and in your heart so vacuous that facing the cheerfulness of the holiday was nearly impossible.

Military families with service men and women serving far away from home secretly hoped for a surprise visit like something out of a television commercial. (I know I crept downstairs on Christmas morning hoping to see an Eli-lump on the couch. Sigh. Just throw pillows.)

Empty nesters sleep in on Christmas Day, missing the pre-dawn promptings from children eager to open the presents under the tree.

Snowbirds celebrating Christmas in the south are unexpectedly melancholy, feeling lonely in their quiet abodes, silently missing the noisy falderal of family traditions, and even the cold and snow.

College students back home for the holiday are more excited about reconnecting with friends and time away from studies than celebrating Christmas. The childlike wonder and surprise is missing.

Christmas is over, but Jesus remains. 

The monumental expenditure of creative energy and resources can bring out the crazy in the best of us. I’m guilty of losing sight of Jesus in the crush and sorrows of Christmas.

When the shepherds were told of Jesus’ birth, there was a good deal of excitement. Anticipation of seeing the Messiah demanded spontaneous travel plans, making arrangements for the sheep, getting cleaned up and their hair done (presumably) deciding what outfit to wear (perhaps), baking and creating gifts to bring to the party (maybe)? Ok, that’s a stretch.

Wonder and Joy

What we do know is the shepherds were filled with wonder and joy. A wonder and joy that could not be contained. The Bible says, “When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  (Luke 2:17-18) Enjoying the Presence of God will fill you with wonder and joy, too. All. Year. Long. 

Following the example of the shepherds, I’m going to seek Jesus every day so I can experience the wonder and joy all year long. In spite of changes and losses and angst about what next year holds, I’m going to be purposeful to encounter His wonder and joy. 

What’s next?

This week, I hope you’ll ponder and remember Jesus is the reason for Christmas and for celebrations all year long. All the traditions and parties and gifts remind us that Jesus was born and He came to be with us.

Sit in Jesus’ presence and be filled again with His wonder and joy. Find Jesus in your Bible study. In your prayer closet. In your dreams and at your church. Where will you look for him first?

Leave me a comment where you connect best with Jesus to recapture your wonder and joy. 

Verse for today: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Prayer: Jesus, you are Immanuel, God with us… then, now and forever. Thank you for your gift. Amen.


  1. Jean Schneider on December 27, 2021 at 12:13 am

    Hi Robyn,
    My Christmas was very different than I expected. My teenager’s girlfriend who is just eighteen, has been living with her adoptive parents and siblings, one of which is her blood brother, and foster children in a very controlling and emotionally abusive environment for sometime and this Christmas was the breaking point for her and God put it in our hands to take her in and give her the love and support her parents were never going to give her. The situation she was in was not safe and for a young woman (bi-sexual) with mental health issues and so much mental abuse at home. I felt the Lord calling me and my husband to take her in. We invited her into our family with the love she deserves and I have 2 friends in the church who will be helping her get on her feet independently. Praise God! Scary, but feeling blessed to share my love of God with her.
    Blessings to you and your family,
    Jean Schneider

    • Robyn Dykstra on December 27, 2021 at 6:23 pm

      Wow, Jean. I so admire your submission and obedience to God’s directive. I particularly admire your gift to love her where she is. Well done. We can and should love ppl where they are, as they are — without condoning their behaviour or decisions. It’s a balancing act but keep asking the LORD to guide you.

  2. Jennifer Bowdish on December 27, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    My Husband filed for divorce the week of Thanksgiving. He has been keeping it a secret how he truly felt about my depression for years and just played the role of a devoted husband. We had one difficult weekend where I was angry (under a ton of stress) and he snapped on the night I was going to apologize and talk it out. He started the conversation with I think we should end this marriage. He never had those words in his mouth. He told me in the past divorce was not an option he was committed for life. He let me live in a house that I thought I was safe to express myself but I wasn’t. He had been thinking about this for years. I am looking to Jesus this year to try to understand why this is happening. I pray that I will figure out what it is that God has planned for me being a divorced woman. I am thankful for Jesus and the salvation he provides and the fact that he is the same yesterday today and forever. He is what I need right now but I am learning all over how to live this life. There are days that I can’t stand it.

    • Robyn Dykstra on December 27, 2021 at 6:20 pm

      Oh my, Jennifer. This is terrible news. I am so sorry.
      I pray you find peace in the midst of this mess and the support and help you need to navigate this time. I pray for reconciliation and for your healing from depression and anger. Jesus come! amen

  3. Anita McIlveen on December 27, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    At night when I lay my head on my pillow and the house is quiet, I often think of those who need prayer and I lift them up to the Father. I also pour my heart out if something is troubling me.

    • Robyn Dykstra on December 27, 2021 at 6:18 pm

      This is so wonderful, Anita. I’m sure many of your prayer recipients are completely unaware of the protection and provision your prayers made possible. Love it. What a deep and personal relationship you have with the LORD.

  4. Teresa Narspzzi on December 28, 2021 at 12:44 pm

    The gentle words of scripture “Mary pondered these things in her heart” have left an impression this Christmas. I hope to spend more time in the Word, being still with Jesus, not to study or read commentary, but just to ponder His faithfulness!! May 2022 bring us closer to the One who is worthy of our praise!!

    • Robyn Dykstra on December 29, 2021 at 4:22 pm

      Amen to that, Teresa

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