by Sarah Carson—

Recently I needed to clean out my medicine cabinet. On one shelf were prescriptions from ailments past—pain medications, antibiotics, several jars of cranberry cap­sules (there must have been some sale at the pharmacy when I needed those!).

On another shelf I found a half-used bottle of anti-nausea syrup, a travel-sized tin of Dramamine, two sea-sickness bands and a bottle of Tums. It took me a few minutes to remember why I had once stockpiled so many tummy remedies. “Oh, yeah,” I remembered. It was only nine months ago that my stomach was doing summersaults every morning. The cause? The newborn snuggle bug now sleeping soundly in the next room.

Lately that “Oh, yeah” feeling has been happening often. The fog of new-momma brain is partly to blame. But even before my little girl arrived, my life seemed to be happening in fast forward. It’s been too easy to for­get things that were once all-consuming. In those first few weeks of my pregnancy, I must have tried every trick the mommy blogs touted for overcoming morn­ing sickness. Today it’s barely a memory. Who knows what I will have forgotten by this time next year?

“Advent, in an uncomfortable way, makes us mind­ful not just of its time, but of time itself,” Anna Madsen writes in this issue (p. 22). “… Advent reminds us that our time isn’t just our time, for it reminds us of the interconnection of people in time…”

The seasons of Advent and Christmas give us an opportunity to slow down and refocus, to stop our­selves from becoming swept up in our own lives, and to say “Oh, yeah” to the story that brings real meaning to our existence: the story of the birth of Jesus—the shoot coming forth from Jesse—in whom we find our hope (p. 30).

The “Oh, yeah” of the Christmas story reminds us that our lives are not about our to-do lists and our frustrations. The Christmas story reminds us that our lives aren’t actually about us at all.

“Just as John the Baptist prepared the way for his cousin, Jesus, we are called to prepare the way for the return of our Savior,” writes Kathryn Kleinhans (p. 8).

This Christmas season may we pause from what is distracting us long enough to say, “Oh, yeah” to what Jesus’ story really means for us: a call to love our neighbor, and to, as the song of Zachariah urges, “give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.”

May we use this Christmas season to live more boldly, to live the kind of lives that will be difficult to forget.

Sarah Carson is associate editor of Gather.

This article is excerpted from the December 2017 issue of Gather magazine. To read the full story or more like it, subscribe to Gather.