I am just in awe of our Lord! There is a house I used to pass on the way to my mother-law's this time of year and the only decoration they had was a big sign that says "Jesus is the reason for the season." For seven years I would drive by this house and not being a believer, you can only imagine my reaction to this..."where are the lights, the reindeer, the presents, the bows, Santa Clause, something else, anything else that shows some "real" Christmas spirit?!" So, 3 years ago, 3 months after my Savior saved me from myself, I drove past this house once again and this time, my heart was lighter, cleaner and more understanding of this decor, however, I still felt some resistance when seeing it, but I am noticing now how the Holy Spirit swoops in and rises up in me, drawing me away from that kind of thinking and skeptical attitude to a place of complete conviction! And sure enough after much seeking, praying, reading His word and devoting many hours out of my day (many spent questioning), I am no longer wondering where all the frills and meaningless decor are, instead I am saying "AMEN!" and wanting the same decor to be lighted up in front of my house. But what He has revealed to me and my heart and thinking is that I don't have to light it up in front of my house, all I have to do is be the LIGHT! And He makes this so easy to do!
I am stripping away the things that take away from the reason for the season~Jesus!" There is nothing more glamorous, more beautiful, more meaningful than simply decorating with our love for Jesus. You can hang it on your wall or above your door, but the best way to decorate your holiday season is by living it! We have always told the kids that Christmas is more about giving than getting...well, this is hard to grasp when they are too busy opening gifts from Mommy and Daddy, Grammie and Grampies, Mems and Peps, Nanas and Grandpas, Aunts and Uncles, Cousins and of course Santa. Well, instead of just telling them that giving is part of the reason for the season, we are showing them by example. This year they will be giving more than getting. And not giving gifts wrapped up in pretty packages, but giving of themselves. They have been giving of themselves so much the past few weeks that they forgot about Santa and what they wanted for Christmas.
And Santa...that's a whole other level of stripping away and change taking place. I think because we have never made a big deal about Santa my son is questioning already at 7 years old "is Santa real or is it you and Daddy?"
I asked him, "would it change anything if he wasn't real?" And he said, "no, because it's about Jesus and what he has done for us and everything comes from Him anyway." I couldn't have said it better he had made me try. There was a part of me that felt sad thinking that he wouldn't be believing in Santa anymore, and for a quick minute I almost went into my "above and beyond" scheming ways of trying to convince him a little longer that Santa is real. But then I realized, it's not up to me to make him believe or unbelieve. The Lord will reveal to him in his own heart what he wants to hold onto and what he is ready to let go of. I am learning that no matter what I tell my children they still decide for themselves what they believe and don't believe. And that is okay. I am just here to help them sort it out or them to help me, which often seems to be the case these days;-) I also realized that I thought I had to do things the same way I did when I was a child or I would be breaking som rule or law, well, I will be completely honest, mostly because I just wanted things to be the way I wanted them or the way that felt most comfortable to me. I guess because I loved our Christmases so much that I wanted to make sure mine remembered them the way I did~but I am seeing now that that is part of my story and it's not theirs. What the Lord has been showing this year and through the many changes that have literally turned our live upside down and inside out, is that I can share my story and my childhood with them without feeling the pressure of carrying it on because life changes and Jesus changes us! And now I get to watch them living out their childhood stories~it's s owonderful what happens and the peace I feel everytime I let go of something that I had no business holding onto in the first place.
At first I was sad thinking that my son would no longer be as excited about Christmas if there was no Santa or that not believing in Santa took the magic and spirit out of Christmas, but when I reflect back on my Christmases I do not recall the moment or the emotion of finding out there was no Santa, I only remember that it didn't change a thing!! Christmas was still just as wonderful and memorable without Santa. And now with our focus on what it's REALLY all about, it's even more wonderful and memorable! And the excitement that we feel and have at Christmas time doesn't go back to the North Pole, He lives on in our hearts and through our lives ALL YEAR LONG! And that is the best Christmas present of all! The one you remember, the one that is always there, never gets old or outdated and the one that you can take with you wherever you go! Oh, this was the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER and it's going to "keep on" getting better as we grow and mature and get to know the real REASON FOR THE SEASON!
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