Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas

What is it about Christmas? The controversy surrounding this holiday, the symbols and sights and decorations that show themselves during the month of December, the various opinions and likes and dislikes about this time of year...it is enough to drive a person crazy. I LOVE Christmas, and I'd say that's pretty evident by the looks and posts of my blog and Facebook page.

ON Facebook, there is a blog post floating around as well as an article or two about how to redeem Christmas: Santa or no Santa? Buy gifts or not, and from where? If gifts, how many and what type? (etc., etc.) Here's my issue with those posts and articles about Christmas. What does God look at? It's in the Bible, it's not a trick question. The Lord looks at our heart...each one of us individually. But here's the part we seem to forget: He looks at our heart every day of the year. What we do around Christmas is GOING to look different for each family. I will be straight up honest in my opinions on Santa, and I might even share what I think about giving gifts if you really quiz me...but I DON'T want to get caught up in what Christmas should and shouldn't look like for each family.

Derek and I talked last night about what we would do differently next Christmas, and I'm pretty sure we've had similar discussions around this time every year for the past 6 years. We make mistakes, we recognize them, and we do what we need to do to make it right. As followers of Christ, we are now slaves to righteousness. We should be constantly re-evaluating how we do life, what we are teaching our kids, and what we need to change...but we aren't always all going to end up with the same results.

Christmas, in my opinion, just brings out the evidence of needed changes. Things are brought to light that we might glaze over during the year. Our greed is definitely more evident when we are writing up wish lists, stuffing our faces with yummy food, and then volunteering to serve here or there...just because it's Christmas!! (In reading one of these Christmas posts, I saw someone comment about how people are at nursing homes and soup kitchens every day of the year. They actually have an overabundance of volunteers around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but then their residents and guests are left so lonely the rest of the year.)

Anyway, all of this to say that I'm judging myself. I'm checking my heart. Why am I so much more intentional in teaching my children about certain things this time of year, but then I am very casual about it the other 11 months? Why do I focus on certain things during December that I am not convicted of during the rest of the year? I enjoy making much of Jesus' birthday. My kids love birthdays, and I want the celebration of Jesus' birthday to look way more special and exciting than any other birthdays we celebrate all year. Whether we should give them gifts for JESUS' birthday??...well, I don't know the answer to that yet. We're still evaluating that one.

I have so much to work on, and by God's grace, I can do so with confidence knowing that He sees my heart. That fact is the same for all of you reading this. Don't have false guilt over something you are seeking the Lord on. You do what God has called you to do. Sure, there are some black and whites. Honestly, I think Santa IS one of those black and whites, but I do think there are other things that are going to look different in each and every home...not because they're right or wrong, but because God has made us different. He didn't intend for us all to look the same or do life in the same way.

Just because I am doing 25 days of Christmas Fun doesn't mean you are a bad mom if you're not. Just because the mom next door decorates her front yard as a winter lights wonderland, and her children are often seen gallivanting with glee all around the reindeer and trees and snowflakes doesn't mean I am supposed to do that for my kids (I'll just send them to HER house!! :) ) I DO know this: my life should be focused on Jesus...every day of my life. Everything I do with my kids should somehow come back to the truth that Jesus is the reason we are here. God created us for His purposes, for His glory. My prayer is that Christmas...December...would be a time of God revealing my heart to me.

"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
1 Peter 1:6-7

1 comment:

Mimi / Jennifer said...

VERY well said!! And shall I say Amen, sister?

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