Saturday, December 24, 2016

Why I Celebrate Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. It's also somewhat controversial. 

Aside from the politically correct trying to make sure everyone says or doesn't say the wrong things during the winter holiday season, working to remove nativity scenes from public displays, etc, just among Christians, you'll find plenty of controversy. 

Should we, or shouldn't we, celebrate Christmas? Given the history, the origins of the Christmas, should Christians even participate in this holiday with such obvious pagan roots? Are we being duped when we think any of the traditions of the season have anything to do with the birth of Jesus?

Growing up, my family opted out of Christmas most years, based on the history and origin of the season. White-washing the tree, saying Jesus was born at this time of year when historically, it is highly improbable at best and pretty much proven couldn't have been, and replacing the pagan feast days with a "Christian" holy day/season that swallowed up many of the pagan symbols and claiming them for Christ- all this pointed to and proved that Christmas had nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. It was an invention of men to get more followers into the Catholic church, making it easier for people to accept a new way of life, a new religion. Santa replaced pagan entities, and even eclipsed the place of Jesus in the celebrated season. How could this be something true followers of Christ should participate in and be duped by? This was obviously a clever scheme of the enemy to trick God's people.

Or, was it?

I would never attempt to deny the pagan history and origin of the Christmas season. I fully recognize it. It's history.

So, why would I embrace the celebration of the Christmas season? Why would I teach my kids about it? Why do we have a tree we drag in and decorate? Why do we hang our stockings up?

Because I believe Christmas represents a victory of the light of Christ over the darkness.

The pagan feasts kept during the winter solstice were times of fear, pain and darkness. Debauchery, lewdness, sexual immorality, public lawlessness, etc. were the norm, the 'joy' of the celebrations. Sacrifices made to the pagan god, Saturnalia, were made in fear and hope that the sun would return, that there would be hope in the world. 

Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, the promised Savior, the Light of the World and the One to set all mankind free from the darkness of sin and death. His life, death and resurrection, made true peace between God and man. To those who believe in Him, He gave the power to become the sons of God, entitled to eternal peace and joy.

The gospel, the good news of Christ came to the pagans. In Rome, through the process of several hundred years, Christians went from being fed to wild beasts in the arenas for the entertainment of the people and dignitaries, to finally being accepted as the personal religion of the ruler of the land. Eventually, Christianity spread to all the Roman Empire. Pagan traditions were replaced, the gospel began transforming the people, the culture, the government. 

Were there problems? Yes. I'm not here to defend the actions or traditions of the Roman Catholic church during those times or since. The history shows many troubling and disturbing times, actions, etc. Much is appalling.

Despite all the controversy, the bottom line is, today, and for many, many years past, the Christmas season has shown the power of the gospel over the darkness. The light of Christ, the true Light of the World, has shown into the darkness. The cultures of the world were changed from traditions of evil to seeking to do good, looking out for the weak and the poor, seeking to remember the Gift, the sacrifice who ended all sacrifices, who took away the fear of darkness, replacing it with an eternal hope, joy and peace. Jesus brought peace and hope to this time of the year. It became a time to seek holiness rather than sin. I call that a win!

If symbols and traditions that used to represent bondage and darkness are now used to proclaim Christ, the hope of the gospel, the Light of the World, I am not outraged. I'm elated. The power of the gospel was shed abroad. Jesus prevailed and set people free. 

Why do I celebrate? Because Jesus was born, lived, died, rose from the dead and lives forevermore. Because the power of the law of life has set us free from the law of sin and death. Because Jesus is Lord over all. Because every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that He is Lord. Because He loves us and came to save us. Because I am free.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Adrenal Fatigue and the Trials of Resting

I always feel bad when I think about how long it's been since I blogged over here... Random writings seems to be what I do best.

Just living up to the name of my blog.  Ah, well... 

Been a long lull in the action on the blog and here I am again. Back at my little blog.
So much has happened in the months since I made a post, or thought of it... But most of it doesn't matter right now.

In June, I had a health crisis and landed pretty flat in bed with what we later found out was adrenal fatigue. Flat meaning, I couldn't drive, text, read and stick with what I was reading, or even check facebook. (That's when you know it's FACEBOOK?)

I was freaking out on my family- my nerves were all out of wack, so any normal chatter, questions, issues, movement, etc just sent me over the edge. Embarrassing then and now, but totally real and impossible to deal with. I'd have to just keep away from everyone most of the time. David was ok, Keilah or Jakin at times, other than that.... I felt so bad but just couldn't help it. (Making jokes about my "poor nerves" in the midst and when I could, apologizing for not being able to be there for them more has seemed to at least keep feelings from being done in, but it has been hard on everyone else, too...)

I was also swelling all over. That was concerning and I didn't know what was going on.

I finally got help from Dr. Patterson in Abilene. I was so thankful to find him. He determined I was dealing with adrenal fatigue and started me on supplements right away to start gently supporting the adrenals. After 2 weeks, I was able to drive. I still had to rest, rest, rest but began being able to text, facebook, and make phone calls. After 4 weeks of treatment, I was able to attend the L'BRI convention, something I thought I was going to have to miss.

I've been back and forth a bit, some days are better than others, but for the most part, I'm gaining. 
Rest is my main prescription and taking care of me by taking my supplements/meds and...... doing as much of nothing as possible. Sounds simple enough, until... you realize you have to figure out how to not go crazy just laying in bed...

Some days, when I feel like it, I can take a walk. And then rest. Staying down is not easy for me, but it does pay off. I can feel it helping. And sometimes, I don't feel it helping, I just have to know it is. 
I've had times I needed to rest before, like after a baby. Nothing before was like this. Resting is a verb, like I wrote about before, fighting to rest, only this time, it is fighting me, Nichola. And it is the way I have to fight to stay sane, keep and regain my health.

I don't feel like I need to rest. With 6 kids and a business to run, it sure doesn't feel like I can do this.

They need me.

And that is why I have to. This is war.

My family needs me, and the best way to give myself back to them is to let them handle everything right now as much as possible.

So, I'm fighting to rest. Fighting by leaving them to it. Fighting by sleeping in. Fighting by enjoying movies by myself.

Now that I feel like it, fighting by blogging.

I'll be posting more here in this season. I've got a bunch of blogs just aching to pour out as I lie here. Adrenal stuff. Family stuff. How we're making it work stuff. Stuff I'm learning about.

If you read all this thanks. If you think about it, I appreciate your prayers.

If you have something going on in your life I can pray for, I'd love it if you'd leave me a comment. If you prefer to email me, peachfarmerswife (@) gmail . com is my email. (You'll have to put it back together, but writing it in code keeps spam bots from picking it up.)

I'll see ya soon with something random.

Nichola http//