Thursday, December 22, 2016
It's All About Him......NOT ME!
In years past, my Christmas traditions started right after Thanksgiving. I loved this time of the year so much that I decorated every bedroom with its own fully decorated, lit tree. The inside and outside of the house looked like a Christmas Store. I had several nativity sets throughout my house. After all, I wanted Jesus to be prominent amidst all the Santa Clauses and snowmen. I had a huge village of little houses and ice skating pond, trees, churches (lots of churches). I made dozens of cookies and candies to share with family and friends. I handwrote and mailed a flood of Christmas cards with my family's picture on it. That was a "must do" every year -- getting the family Christmas picture at Thanksgiving. I purchased way too many gifts. I spent hours and hours shopping for just the right treasures to give. We squeezed in Christmas parties and programs into all the other "must do's". Despite my best intentions to make Christ the center of our Christmas, hyper mode was my mode of operation for years. Does that sound familiar to you?
I never felt guilty about the flood of activity and way-too-much-attention to so many details. I loved this time of year so much that I gave it ALL I had. The family traditions were so dear and precious to me. It was a work-out, but at the end -- we had made so many precious memories, and it was worth every effort. But, this year, my story takes a big turn.
Since I sold my home in Tulsa and, at my children's urging, making a temporary decision to live a "vagabond" lifestyle (going from my children's homes, mother-in-law's home and friends' home), until at least February of next year, my "normal" is no longer the same. My way-of-thinking is certainly having to make adjustments. My "way" isn't the way when I place myself at the mercy of the schedules, environments, cultures and lifestyles of friends and family. I never knew the "single" lifestyle until my sweetheart graduated to heaven. I guess I didn't realize how it had affected my outlook on responsibility to and for others again.
So, I'll admit, my faith journey that was somewhat ideal because it was MY faith journey now includes the faith journeys of others, which means my ideals and my desires must submit and become secondary to others. As I type this, once again, I've heard God's voice saying "Trust Me! I've got this. This is part of my plan!"
So, as I sit here eating my "Humble Pie", I've come back to what the PRINCIPLE THING is supposed to be. I've recalibrated my thinking to HIS thing. A widow friend of mine gave me wisdom a couple of nights ago. In her Widow's Group, she told me there were a couple of gals who had no intentions of decorating their homes this year. They weren't wanting to put forth the effort. She told me she scolded them. She said, "Is Christmas about YOU, or is it about the birthday of the ONE who gave His life for us, Who came here to earth so He would understand us and die for us so we could live forever with Him? Don't decorate for you.....decorate for Him!"
I loved that. My life, this season, my wants, my desires -- shouldn't be about ME. Everything should be about THE ONE whom we celebrate so I'm determining to keep my focus on Jesus' birthday. I even started my Christmas baking yesterday for me, us AND Him!
When I attend several more performances of the Christmas program at my daughter's church, it will be in honor of celebrating He Who this Christmas is about. I will lean in to the real sweetness and tenderness of this season, and turn my attention to the STAR of this story, Mary's baby boy that grew up to be my great I AM. "I AM" is my protector, my healer, my strength and my joy giver, my way-maker, truth-finder and my peace-provider
If you've been like me -- whether in an utter frenzy-mode to this point, or in a little whiny mode about the changes in your life and even disappointments about things being different than they once were, since it's His birthday.....we get to just show up and celebrate Him. No matter how we decorate the house for His party, it is still ALL ABOUT HIM, Who is ALWAYS the life of the party. And He has come to give life to all the people at the party. And, when we lean in even closer, we'll find that the LIFE of the party holds out Himself as the gift that keeps on giving. And the gift tag? It has our names on it. Oh, what a relief it is!