I love Christmas!
In fact, one year I had 50 or so teens and parents over for an Ugly Sweater-Game Playing-Carol Singing-Sugar High-Christmas Extravaganza, just days after having PRK LASIK surgery on my eyes. Not really the best idea, but I loved having the party.
But this year, I just haven’t had the energy or spirit. The banisters are bare. The outside of my house is dark at night. You won’t be receiving a family card from us this year. The one batch of cookies I threw in the oven are gone. And no parties will happening at this crib.
“Less fuss”, they say. “Say no to Santa!” The blogs shout out to “Keep it Simple”! Well, I’ve tried, but I don’t feel happy and joyful. I’ve had some anxiety attacks and honestly, just wanted to crawl into my bed and pull the covers over my head. That doesn’t sound like much HoHoHo.
Then I found my spirit!
It wasn’t until I read this post by Courtney at Women Living Well, that I fully understood what I was feeling. Her post titled, “Is a Simple Christmas a More Godly Christmas?”, hit the nail on the head for me.
People’s lives are fuller than they’ve ever been and we just keep on adding more – grasping for the elusive happiness we hope the next thing will bring us.
And so the backlash is to call a time-out and remind everyone to stop it and simplify.
And I get it because it’s what I need to do all year long. I need more boundaries and to learn to say more “no’s” to people, stuff and food!
But here is what is not helpful, telling a busy woman to simplify her life – equating it to a higher standard of holiness or godliness.
I agree, full heartedly!
Here’s the deal…
In some cases (not all – hear me on this friends) simple = selfish.
There is a danger in simplifying to the point that we don’t reach out to the hurting and the lost because it takes precious time and makes life feel full and overwhelming!
Serving is not simple.
Serving is a sacrifice.
And the baby born in a manger – was the ultimate sacrifice.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Simple does not always equal Godly.
So this is for the woman – whose plate is really really full. God is not looking at our calendars – but at our hearts.
Is your calendar full from striving, serving or sacrifice?
There are some things that if I didn’t do them, of course would make my life simpler. For example, I have said no to tennis for a few weeks. I have said no to 5:30 am boot camp for just a little while. No to extra decorating and shopping.
But there some things that are non-negotiable. I will drive over seven hours round trip to bring my boy home from college.
I will take a car-less friend to Walmart to pick up a prescription for her son.
Instead of decorating my own house in the way I’ve always done it, striving for some sort of illegitimate perfection, I helped some women, living in a shelter, decorate their own spaces in a way they never would have been able to do without our time and resources.
Instead of crafting selfishly, entirely for me, I will use that skill to make presents for some sweet high school girls, whom I pray will continue loving Jesus when they go off to college. Not only were gifts made, but I did it by spending special time with a friend.
I may not be having a Christmas Extravaganza Party, but I am celebrating with my friends as we join together to fill 25 bags for the women at Miracle Hill. These bags are being filled with donations of shampoo/conditioner, lotion, panties, socks, pajamas, blankets, journals, note cards with stamps and more. I have had such an enthusiastic response, that I am giddy about this project we are doing together.
I spent over an hour shopping for two teenagers, whose mom is in prison and won’t be home for Christmas. On Christmas Eve, my family will deliver wrapped gifts to homes with incarcerated parents. We will be Santa’s helpers by letting the children know these gifts are from their parent and that they are loved.
Yup! I’m pooped. I have a lot of things on my plate. But I’m tired not because of selfish pursuits, but because I believe the ultimate sacrifice that was done for me. God decided to leave his perfect home and to come live here in this sinful world. I am so thankful He did. I can show my love of Him, by sharing His love with others. Does everyone have to do it my way? Nope. These are just the
opportunities that God has given me.
I pray you have the right spirit within you in this most special season. I’m sorry that this was kind of a long and rambling post, but I hope you will feel some comfort if you too, have a full plate this Christmas. Thanks for dropping by!